Cannes 2016 Review: TRAIN TO BUSAN, A Zombie Thrillride With Social Bite

For his live-action debut Train to Busan, indie animation director Yeon Sang-ho, whose films The King of Pigs and The Fake have drawn international acclaim, has taken the zombie thriller, stuck it into the claustrophobic confines of a train, and... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: KILL ZONE 2, A Delirious, Masterfully Staged Martial Arts Melodrama

Never fear the “2” in the title of Soi Cheang’s deliriously baroque, thrillingly action-packed extravaganza Kill Zone 2, better known in Asia (and to early film festival viewers) as SPL 2: A Time for Consequences.   This is a follow-up,... More »
  

Tribeca 2016 Review: ALWAYS SHINE, In Which The Hollywood Dream Factory Becomes A Nightmare

Director Sophia Takal more than fulfills the considerable promise of her debut Green with her second feature, a film that often looks, acts and feels like a thriller/horror flick, but at its heart is a dramatic treatise on the tyranny... More »
  

Review: THE DARKNESS Inhabits The Creepy Edge Of Suburbia

For his latest adventure in suspense, director Greg McLean reins in the blood and guts to focus on a family under attack by forces both interior and exterior. McLean established his international reputation with the gruesome Wolf Creek more than... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: FYNBOS, Brilliantly Anti-Cathartic Cinema

A young white woman in high heels walks down a street in a black working-class neighborhood. Though clearly on edge, she walks with a purpose. She pauses at a row of trash cans. Clothes billow in the wind, threaded on... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Cannes 2016 Review: THE WAILING, A Bone-Chilling, Thunderous Descent Into Hell

After turning the Korean thriller on its head with The Chaser and The Yellow Sea, director Na Hong-jin has reinvented himself again, aggressively pushing against the boundaries of genre cinema with The Wailing. A deafening descent into hell, it may... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

NY Indian Film Fest 2016: SAHEB BIBI GOLAAM, A Bengali Triptych Thriller

A hitman, a hooker, and a hustler all with hearts of gold: these are the three main characters in Pratim D. Gupta's latest thriller, Saheb Bibi Golaam (The Drifters). Except, these three aren't exactly virtuous, they have their pecadillos and... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: I AM THALENTE Skates With Soul

We all know the sound. That clack-scrape-whoosh of a skateboard on the sidewalk. For many of us it is as close to the sport as we get. When we hear that sound most of us move out of the way... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: SUNSET SONG, An Impeccable Masterpiece From Director Terence Davies

A sweeping tale of changing times in Scotland in the early 20th century, Terence Davies's new film Sunset Song centers around a farm girl Chris Guthrie (Agyness Deyn) in the fictional rural town of Kinraddie near Aberdeen. Chris is a thoroughly... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT, A Wandering Christ Parable

Director Rodrigo García's minimalist Christ-centered parable on fathers and sons pivots the holy man as everyman and observer. It's an approach that feels of merit: one that ultimately doesn't see earth-bound humanity and a more intangible sense of spirituality as... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: MONEY MONSTER Takes A Hostage With A Sense Of Humor

Pleasantly surprising, Jodie Foster's Money Monster is better than expected, in large part because it's not as straightforward as it initially appears. The setup, in fact, leads one to believe that the movie will be a deadly serious hostage thriller.... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Cannes 2016 Review: Woody Allen Visits CAFÉ SOCIETY

You ever see the Woody Allen film about the older man who’s in love with a younger woman, only to have her torn between her affection for another nebbishy guy? Sure it’s fair to say that Allen’s treading on familiar... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: WHAT WE BECOME, The Noir-ish Horror Of A Family Being Torn Apart

An extremely well-made horror film from Denmark, What We Become (original title: Sorgenfri) examines the churning emotional dynamics of a nuclear family when they are placed under extreme -- some might even call it apocalyptic -- stress. Mother Pernille (Mille... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: THE LOBSTER Loses Its Way

Boy, I wanted to love this movie. Really, I did. I mean, the first shot of the film is a delight: a woman is passively driving in a car. She gets out, windshield wipers still flailing away, and pulls out... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: HIGH-RISE, A Provocation To Disengage

As audience empathy tests go, killing the dog is perhaps the most capital of movie-crimes. Here it is gleefully committed in the opening minutes; a bellwether for the casually curious to beware.    Several other canine-murders are peppered throughout the... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Tribeca 2016 Review: ALWAYS SHINE, In Which the Hollywood Dream Factory Becomes A Nightmare

Director Sophia Takal more than fulfills the considerable promise of her debut Green with her second feature, a film that often looks, acts and feels like a thriller/horror flick, but at its heart is a dramatic treatise on the tyranny... More »
  

NY Indian Film Fest 2016 Review: PARCHED Pleads For Peace And Equality In The Face Of Violence

It is dangerous to be a woman in India these days. While I sincerely hate to paint an entire country with such broad strokes, this is the story I'm told over and over again by the news of deadly gang... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

NY Indian Film Fest 2016 Review: KOTHANODI, A Quartet Of Dark Fables From The Rivers Of Assam

Far from the hustle and bustle of India's big film industries in Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad is the western state of Assam. This state borders China to the north, and stretches almost all the way to Myanmar in the west.... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Hot Docs 2016 Review: ANGRY INUK Recontextualizes Activism

"Martha Stewart does not live here," reads a sign in the home of lawyer, seal skin seamstress and economic activist Aaju Peter. The feminist icon you have probably never heard of, from her abode in the capital city of Nunavut,... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Review: In X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, Greed Is God

The 1980s are back whether we like it or not. Like Zack Snyder's Watchmen before it, X-Men: Apocalypse adapts mainstream super hero comic book material from the eighties as taking place then. Like that film, it tries hard, but remains... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  
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