Category Archives: 2020 Films

Reviews: True History of the Kelly Gang (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Justin Kurzel along with his “Snowtown” screenwriter Shaun Grant have refashioned the legend of Australia’s most notorious outlaw like a cross between Todd Haynes’s “Velvet Goldmine” and Gerald Kargl’s…1983 Austrian serial killer movie “Angst.”
  • Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews
    • Excerpt: True History of the Kelly Gang is a punky auteurist vision of adrenaline that makes the already chaotic story disorienting, and, most importantly, unrelenting.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Justin Kurzel’s filmmaking is bold, electric, and haunting and his touches as a visual stylist paints the story of Ned Kelly as an operatic western drenched in grime and blood.
  • James Jay Edwards @ The Big Smoke America
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: The movie begins with the words “Nothing you’re about to see is true.” The title is made irrelevant in the first 10 seconds.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Revisionist tale of the Australian folk hero rages against the dark forces that shaped him: emotional and economic neglect and abuse forged in patriarchy and colonialism. Electrifyingly punk and vulgar.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: While Kurzel laces the story with a punk rock edge and the ensemble cast provides spicy performances, it offers little in the way of finer details as so many broad strokes regarding heritage, identity, and even homoeroticism dominate the hardly true at all tale.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: A wild, violent, blood-slicked portrait of the fabled outlaw, from childhood to his inevitable end.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: The film should have come across as a profound stand for liberty, not the petty grievance between selfish people devoid of scruples we eventually receive.
  • Ron Wilkinson @ itsjustmovies.com
    • Excerpt: Neither true nor history, this flight of fantasy has too few moments of excitement buried in the taxing rhetoric.

Reviews: We Summon the Darkness (2020)

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Reviews: Butt Boy (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • [New] | Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: It just is what it is, and what it is might definitely be a huge turn-off for most people. However, if you’re able to get into its weird wavelength, you will be immensely entertained by its commitment to the bit.
  • James Jay Edwards @ The Big Smoke America
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: For what wants to be farce and satire, the filmmaking is earnest, the characters have depth and emotional conflicts, but you know, there is only so much one can do to avoid the hole…you know, the plot hole. What did you think I meant?
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Yes, this movie is called ‘Butt Boy,’ but it’s not what you think. Okay, it’s kind of what you think.
  • Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage
    • Excerpt: The final result is far from perfect, but the “you have to see it to believe it aspect” is a powerful enough selling point to render [that truth] inert.
  • Frank Ochieng @ Flick Feast
    • Excerpt: …about as cheeky as a quarantined outhouse. Painfully contrived and methodically doltish, Butt Boy strives for its validation of absurd fanny fun but this comedic crapper definitely needs its behind spanked.
  • Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies
    • Excerpt: …not for the meek. Then again, the meek probably won’t be streaming something titled ‘Butt Boy’ in the first place.

Reviews: Why Don’t You Just Die! (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Writer/director/editor Kirill Sokolov’s splashy debut revels in comedic violence that plays like a live action Itchy and Scratchy cartoon with production design (by Viktor Zudin) that seems to have inspired last year’s “Beanpole”
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Why Don’t You Just Die! is a ton of fun, and the kind of movie that begs to be seen with a bunch of rowdy friends looking to have a good time. It’s a stylishly crafted and ultraviolent splatterfest that keeps you guessing with each swerve that the story takes.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Mean, nasty, bloody, violent, funny, vicious, unexpected, twisted, vengeful…I don’t know, I’m trying to collect words that will make you want to watch the crazy new Russian action film Why Don’t You Just Die!. That’s my goal here, to get you to watch this damn movie.
  • Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage
    • Excerpt: The film progresses with a high-octane energy that keeps us on our toes as people are thrown around like ragdolls whenever passion gets the better of thought.
  • [New] | James Wegg @ JWR
    • Excerpt: Here’s a very dark film that celebrates, blood, betrayal, corruption, greed/graft and familial dysfunction run amuck.
  • Ronald wilkinson @ itsjustmovies.com
    • Excerpt: Does Tarentino almost better than Tarentino.

Reviews: Sorry We Missed You (2020)

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Reviews: Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Kyle Anderson @ Nerdist
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: A deeply touching film that illustrates the healing power of empathy.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: With her third film, writer/director Eliza Hittman (“Beach Rats”) has proven herself a real auteur, a filmmaker with the uncanny ability to project the inner turmoil of teenagers unable to voice it for themselves.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: It’s Eliza Hittman’s most accomplished work yet. Her empathetic eye allows her to tackle a tough subject matter with so much compassion and sensitivity.
  • [New] | Bavner Donaldo @ [Indonesian]
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Softly savage, exposing the unspoken subtext of the lives of girls and women: the mundane but covert garbage that gets piled upon us, the knotted existence too many of us are just barely surviving.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: It is all too believable there are thousands of Autumns out there and this is the shadowy world they must navigate due to a cacophony of decisions made by countless figures they will never meet.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: It’s a devastating turn of events with potential to fall down much darker pathways than Hittman takes while also [spotlighting] how dark this authentic trail is on its own.
  • Frank Ochieng @ Flick Feast
    • Excerpt: Solidly acted and restrained in its thought-provoking resonance, Hittman’s quiet commentary on young female empowerment is tranquil and engaging in its message of disenchantment.
  • Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Reviews
    • Excerpt: Richly tells us how a teenager from the sticks deals with her unexpected pregnancy in this rewarding indie.
  • Josh Taylor @ www.forgetfulfilmcritic.com
    • Excerpt: In Never Rarely Sometimes Always, director Eliza Hittman focuses on a young girl with few options and little support while dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. The film is filled with grace and compassion; it’s a luminous example of humanism in art.

Reviews: First Cow (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Cowriter (with novelist Jon Raymond)/director Kelly Reichardt returns to the Pacific Northwest for a simple tale of friendship rooted in the compromised beginnings of American capitalism.
  • Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews
    • Excerpt: Like all of director Kelly Reichardt’s films, First Cow is a warm blanket of a story where the stakes are never overstated, the characters are grounded to Earth, and the filmmaking leaves you to be immersed in its simple joys.
  • James Jay Edwards @ The Big Smoke America
  • Richard Gray @ The Reel Bits
    • Excerpt: In this udderly enchanting piece, indie filmmaker Kelly Reichardt returns to themes of bromance and natural realism without milking her recurring motifs.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Those with the patience to luxuriate within a deliberate pace will be handsomely rewarded by this thoughtful tale.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: A simple story about friendship. A revisionist Western reworking fables of masculinity and frontiers. A softly savage deconstruction of the American dream, of capitalism itself. An astonishing movie.
  • Charlie Juihl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Kelly Reichardt is an idol in the world of independent film and First Cow will earn her even more acolytes who relish her more sedate and contemplative filmmaking style.
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: For a film that is so simple and understated, First Cow knows how to hit at some interesting aspects of culture.
  • [New] | Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
    • Excerpt: Like all Reichardt’s films, ‘First Cow’ requires the viewer’s attention, and patience with the leisurely pace and attention to minor detail – but such patience is rewarded.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens

Reviews: Run This Town (2020)

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Reviews: Vivarium (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Director Lorcan Finnegan has come up with the creepiest story about parenting (along with screenwriter Garret Shanley) since David Lynch’s “Eraserhead.”… a surreal look at a literal daily grind
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: As a parable on suburbia, there isn’t much here you haven’t seen before, but it’s presented with skill from the cast and crew, a relentlessly oppressive atmosphere, an eye for striking visuals, and a level of viciousness that I can’t help but admire.
  • [New] | Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Unfortunately, real life is a lot stranger (and bleaker) than fiction.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: While Contagion, Outbreak, and World War Z enjoy a mini-renaissance due to the world’s current viral fears, Vivarium may be the ultimate cabin fever horror as it preys on the audience’s tedium of social distancing.
  • Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage
    • Excerpt: I have to give the filmmakers a ton of credit here because they walk themselves to a point of no return as far as where things are heading and they do not blink.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens

Reviews: Blow the Man Down (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • [New] | Chris Barsanti @
    • Excerpt: The film never veers into wink-wink self-consciousness that its opening might have suggested.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: The way Mary Margaret’s old waders hold this little town’s history is an ingenious device and Harpswell, Maine, standing in for the fictional Easter Cove, couldn’t be more steeped in Downeast.
  • [New] | Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: The filmmakers breathe new life into an otherwise familiar setup.
  • [New] | MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Quietly savage, weirdly funny, this feminist take on crime noir is ferocious in a way that only slowly reveals itself. Conflict and compassion wax and wane in a mystery that isn’t quite what it seems.
  • Charlie Juihl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: This Maine seaport set crime noir is far too linear and no-nonsense to spur much mystery. The biggest twist is there isn’t one.