CUB, A Campfire Story That Fizzles Out

Cub is another of those genre films that has a terrific premise, some really nice moments, but overall comes across as pretty flat and uninteresting. The story begins when a group of cub scouts are led out into the woods for a camping retreat. As is the case whenever a bunch of young adults are […]

ST. VINCENT Delivers Vintage Bill Murray

Not everybody watches quite as many films as some of us. There are those where getting out to a theatre isn’t a weekly (or, in my case, daily) occurrence, where the schlepp of getting there, standing in line, getting a ticket, and spending a few hours in a darkened theatre requires a bit of patience […]

THE LOOK OF SILENCE Is A Film For The Ages

Since I saw it back at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act Of Killing has lived up to my early impression – that the work is truly one of the great films of all time, documentary or no, providing a startling insight into the banality of evil, the stories we tell […]

THE VOICES, Silly And Schizoid

It’s days after I saw it, and I still haven’t decided if Marjane Satrapi’s The Voices is sublime or shit. I think, frankly, that it’s an unholy combination of both, a mess of a film that still has moments that beyond any credulity actually work. Toeing a very fine line between comedy, horror, and melodrama, […]

THE IMITATION GAME Falls More Than A Bit Flat

From a British Nation that has had its fair share of scientific geniuses, it’s perhaps no surprise that the life and work of Alan Turing has spawned its fair share of dramatic works. There have been TV versions, drama/docs, and even a musical with the score by The Pet Shop Boys. Now, with The Imitation […]

Kevin Smith’s TUSK Gleefully Plays By Its Own Rules

“Why don’t you ask him if he’s going to stay? Why don’t you ask him if he’s going away? Why don’t you tell me what’s going on?” – TUSK, Fleetwood Mac Kevin Smith is many things to many people – stoner disciple, prurient podcaster, agitprop commentator, guerilla filmmaker. Yet at its heart the phenomena surrounding […]

WILD, A Decent Film

Taking on another true story after his hugely successful Dallas Buyer’s Club, Jean-Marc Vallée this time turns his lens onto the story of Cheryl Strayed, a woman with a past who takes it upon herself to hike hundreds of miles on the Pacific Coast Trail. Shooting from a screenplay adapted by Nick Hornby, the scribe […]

RUN Finds Thrilling Drama In Fractured Character

Ivorian Philippe Lacôte’s film Run is a brash fiction debut for this documentarian. The film begins with an off-camera assassination, and through a series of concentric flashback’s we’re told the story of Run. Part gangster and part activist, Run also proves to be a man with a complicated past and a strong moral code. With […]

THE CONNECTION Misses Its Mark

The Connection (titled La French in its native county) has the makings of a great film, which is what makes the final product such a disapointment. Drawing upon the same case that was the basis for the William Friedkin classic, this companion piece to The French Connection should have it all – power, money, hubris, […]

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Celebrates The Messiness Of The Universe, Concisely

James Marsh’s eye for documentary is a welcome aspect to this biopic about one of the most recognizable scientists to have ever lived. Stephen Hawking is perhaps known more widely for his physical struggles, synthesized voice and pop culture appearances than he is for his scientific work, but for many he embodies the brilliant scientist, […]

THE LAST FIVE YEARS Is On-Screen Music Theater Done Right

It’s common knowledge that a pure musical takes more than a bit of suspension of disbelief. From the first notes, you kind of have to go with the flow, taking in the abstraction as it comes. On stage, this level of abstraction is often heightened by the stage design, the proscenium forming a canvas on […]

MONSOON Paints A Brash, Beautiful Portrait Of India And Its Storms

There’s something primal about our fascination with storms, something connected for even the most urban of city dwellers to the enormous forces that shape our planet. It’s no surprise that earlier civilizations named gods after these elements, and that for millennia the cleansing and chaos brought by heavy rain has shaped our very existence. There […]

NIGHTCRAWLER Out Networks NETWORK

Soon after seeing this film, I just kind of blurted out what this film meant to me when talking to fellow critics – it may be premature to declare it as such, but what the hell: Nightcrawler is my Network. Sidney Lumet’s 1976 film is a scathing commentary on the News business, but it’s also […]

BIG GAME, Big Fun That Feels Totally Fresh

It’s such a delight to see a film that plays by its own rules, fulfilling the premise that it sets up, and delivering right through to the conclusion. This is especially true for Midnight movies, as often you get a mildly clever idea, only to have it beaten to death (sometimes quite literally) as the […]

THE PRICE WE PAY, One Of The Most Compelling Docs Of The Year

It’s not often that something as dry as tax theory can result in an engrossing night at the movies, but credit Harold Crooks and his team for providing an exceptional articulation about the vagaries of “off shoring” in an accessible, engaging way with The Price We Pay. Crooks co-wrote the narration for Mark Achbar and […]

ROSEWATER, Jon Stewart’s Debut Is Earnest, If Middling

It’s safe to say that for the last several decades Jon Stewart has been one of the most powerful voices in comedy. Since taking over The Daily Show, his show has been the beacon for popular American political satire, showing through his witty segments, farcical interviews done by a series of correspondents, or his probing […]