Category Archives: 2020 Films

Reviews: Irresistible (2020)

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Reviews: Endings, Beginnings (2020)

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  • [New] | Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: The filmmaking is elegant and gorgeous, but it still can’t help but feel stock and standard. However, Shailene Woodley still manages to shine through.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Love this cast, but, my god, I hate these characters. I hate this miserable take on romance, which mistakes wallowing in self-pity for introspection, and people being awful for philosophical depth.
  • Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage
    • Excerpt: I have to imagine that a second viewing is where Endings, Beginnings truly shines. I’m just not sure I care enough to confirm it.
  • Beverly Questad @ It’s Just Movies
    • Excerpt: Some sorry millennials will gravitate to this story, but Daphne’s life was too much a thoughtless, self-centered, woe-is-me story of an unemployed, unrealized woman for a mature audience to appreciate.

Reviews: End of Sentence (2020)

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Reviews: And Then We Danced (2020)

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

  • Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: In one amazing sequence, the camera follows Merab through room after room of David’s wedding reception toward his heartbreak before doubling back against the irony of dancing guests… His final, rebellious dance for Aleko and Beso is a complete show stopper.
  • Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage
    • Excerpt: And Then We Danced is a love story, but it’s not merely a sexual awakening. We’re watching as Merab is exposed to a world he’s been conditioned to ignore.
  • Jonathan Richards @ www.santafenewmexican.com
    • Excerpt: Akin doesn’t discover many original wrinkles in this coming out story, but it’s the powerful cultural context, and some terrific dancing and acting by Gelbakhiani, that earn this movie its dancing shoes.
  • Rene Sanchez @ Cine Sin Fronteras [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: And Then We Danced es una vibrante, desafiante y enternecedora semblanza sobre el primer amor, aquel que deja una huella indeleble en nuestros corazones para siempre. Un relato necesario que muestra que el amor es amor, sin etiquetas ni prejuicios.
  • [New] | James Wegg @
    • Excerpt: No words required

Reviews: 7500 (2020)

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

  • Andrea Chase @ KillerMovieReviews.com
    • Excerpt: By removing any hint of sensationalism from the events, filmmaker Patrick Vollrath focuses on the moment-to-moment uncertainty of people ripped in an instant from the security of their familiar routines, and then forced to face both impossible choices as well as their own mortality.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance and the filmmakers’ effective tension building makes for an engaging watch, even if there is little going on under the surface.
  • Rob DiCristino @ F This Movie
  • [New] | Federico Furzan @ Cinelipsis [Spanish]
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives another solid performance in this generic airborne thriller.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Mundanity builds to almost unbearable tension, but this isn’t an action movie. It’s a drama grounded in emotional realism thanks to the Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s intense empathy and vulnerable humanity.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: At best it reveals the film to be tone-deaf in its bid to humanize victims of a complex situation by placing them in the exact scenario westerners use to dehumanize them.
  • Eddie Pasa @ Gunaxin

Reviews: Da 5 Bloods (2020)

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

  • [New] | Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice
    • Excerpt: A troubling portrait of the Vietnam war and its toxic impact on so many black soldiers who suffered there.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: : It’s hard to pin down in its early goings, often seeming almost parodic… but once Da 5 are reunited in the jungle, the film coalesces into something powerful.
  • Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews
    • Excerpt: On its surface, Da 5 Bloods is an exhilirating adventure filled with twists, turns, and Spike Lee’s iconic style. However, it’s also a depth-filled character study that his heartbreakingly prescient about our present moment.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Spike Lee’s approach to the material is done with a stirring relevance and fearlessness that shows he is still able to capture the pulse of the zeitgeist better than pretty much anyone else out there.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: It’s male camaraderie and brotherhood that make this Spike Lee joint so effective.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: There is action and drama aplenty, but Spike Lee isn’t here to just entertain us; he never is, he’s here to educate us. We’re on a guided tour of how the black man is the foundation of the United States of America, yet has only received scorn and torment in return.
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: Spike Lee has been delivering masterpieces for a long time. He does it again now.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
    • Excerpt: For as long as there has been cinema, we have needed a Spike Lee. We may always need Spike Lee.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: That’s not to say that the good doesn’t outweigh the bad, though. I merely hypothesize that a great two-hour drama exists within this over-inflated, two and a half hour epic.
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: Not willing to settle down or hold back on ambition, Da 5 Bloods finds Lee operating on all his high functioning levels.
  • Paulo Portugal @ Insider [Portuguese]
  • Josh Taylor @ www.forgetfulfilmcritic.com
    • Excerpt: Spike Lee’s indelible style, wit, and focus on black issues is what makes the picture as good as it is. He has created – in collaboration with the actors portraying them – four black men who are all dealing with what the Vietnam War did to them. They do so in different ways, and Lee explores the unique ways in which trauma affects and is expressed by those who have survived it.

Reviews: Becky (2020)

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  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: As a violent home invasion thriller, it’s engaging, it’s intense, Lulu Wilson and Kevin James are both stellar, and it absolutely delivers for genre fans looking to have a gnarly good time.
  • [New] | James Jay Edwards @ The Big Smoke America
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: Becky is bad, just not in a way that’s any fun, and Kevin James neither embarrasses himself nor has an Uncut Gems moment like his pal Adam Sandler.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Writing about movies feels trite right now, but this one is about an angsty tween absolutely eviscerating a gang of hateful Nazis, including one played by Kevin James, and that’s always welcome. Feel-good movie of the summer so far.
  • [New] | Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: Someone has to learn something from [the scenario’s] potential horror. If neither [Becky] nor we learn anything, it’s all just been an exploitative mess of genre tropes.

Reviews: The High Note (2020)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: a more benevolent take on the star/underling dynamic of many films that have come before it with a surprise up its sleeve which you may not see coming and which helps to alleviate some unfortunate flaws.
  • [New] | Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: This glossy pop distraction won’t any awards for originality, but superior performances elevate this music industry tale.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: The Vegas residency version of a story which preaches new material, but declines to offer any
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: The High Note is a music-based comedy that I enjoyed the heck out of.
  • Eddie Pasa @ DC Filmdom
    • Excerpt: The High Note belts its own tune by celebrating a genuine camaraderie between women looking out for each other personally and professionally.

Reviews: Shirley (2020)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Featuring a mind blowing, career best performance from Elizabeth Moss, “Shirley” is a tour de force of imagination, director Josephine Decker (“Madeline’s Madeline”) keeping her camera in close to get us inside Shirley’s head.
  • Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews
    • Excerpt: The film’s overwhelming and somewhat chaotic opening prepares you for its penchant for tension—sexual, suspenseful, and otherwise. On the other hand, the introduction to Shirley barely scratches the surface of the unpredictable rollercoaster that she is
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Elisabeth Moss is as great as you’d expect. Josephine Decker’s stylistic touches can sometimes be frustrating, but is more often offers a striking and thrillingly inventive look into the mind of her characters.
  • James Jay Edwards @ The Big Smoke America
  • [New] | Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: It eschews the basic qualities that make a captivating picture. The central protagonist isn’t likable, it moves at a snail’s pace and nothing particularly exciting happens.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: A beautiful-ugly film, a work of domestic gothic grotesquerie, of women’s suffocation and sacrifice, pain and isolation. Elisabeth Moss’s performance is next-level glorious in its wackadoo intensity.
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: A compelling portrait of a great writer, fueled by Elisabeth Moss’s searing work.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: Decker portrays it all as though it’s one of Jackson’s psychological horrors—[stepping] to the precipice of danger before all tension releases with a cut.
  • Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Reviews
    • Excerpt: Elisabeth Moss is perfectly cast for the part of the neurotic horror and mystery writer Shirley Jackson.
  • Josh Taylor @ www.forgetfulfilmcritic.com
    • Excerpt: If Shirley is a biopic at all, it’s by way of psychological thriller. Decker and screenwriter Sarah Gubbins infuse myriad themes into the picture, everything from dread of pregnancy and childbirth, female sexual desire, toxic male behavior (with plenty of toxic female behavior, too), and psychological mind games.
  • Ron Wilkinson @ ItsJustMovies.com
    • Excerpt: Revisiting the psychopathic writer and friends and family, director Josephine Decker spends too much time rehashing past treatments.

Reviews: The Vast of Night (2020)

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  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: This audacious debut from director Andrew Patterson is a case of ‘it’s in the telling, not in the tale.’
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: The filmmakers pulled off a brilliant balancing act between the existential horror and awe that comes with potentially confronting things that are beyond our understanding.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: A mystery set in the 1950s about an enigmatic sound.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Striking sci-fi mood piece, all eeriness and ookiness, wonder and dread. Explicitly Twilight Zone–esque, summoning a midcentury-America innocence in order to shatter its narrowness (and our own).
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Expertly weaves together amateur sleuth characters, late ‘50s production design, camera movements to emphasize place and storytelling, and stirs it up in a Twilight Zone pot. Andrew Patterson creates a masterpiece of suspense and wonder.
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: Intelligent, inventive, and alluring, it’s nothing short of a modern sci-fi masterpiece.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: I seem to be in the minority that doesn’t love this movie, though it overflows with potential.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
    • Excerpt: The Vast of Night actually made me do the Spielberg Face.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: The “Twilight Zone” nature of it all could easily make way towards full-blown aliens, but Patterson holds course to keep things subdued and focused on reactions instead.
  • [New] | Josh Taylor @ www.forgetfulfilmcritic.com
    • Excerpt: If Andrew Patterson can evoke something as grand as Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind for under a million bucks, I pray to the movie gods that someone gives him a giant Hollywood budget. We need to see what wonders he might conjure with it.
  • Ron Wilkinson @ ItsJustMovies.com
    • Excerpt: When the medium starts controlling the message one always answers.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens