Category Archives: 2020 Films

Reviews: Swallow (2020)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Bennett… is the real deal as a woman imprisoned by her own truth until she sets herself free, happier flown her gilded cage, and Mirabella-Davis’s female body control thriller marks him one to watch.
  • [New] | James Jay Edwards @ The Big Smoke America
  • Candice Frederick @ The Wrap
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Half a century ago, this would have been radical. Today, it’s banal. The slick postwar aesthetic is emblematic of a male filmmaker’s understanding of women that exists only through dated stereotypes.
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: With Haley Bennett’s outstanding work at the center, the film is a true stunner.
  • Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage
    • Excerpt: [Bennett] perfectly embodies the zombie-like motions that result from existing in this purgatorial limbo [and] the naked suffering underneath.
  • Frank Ochieng @ Flick Feast
    • Excerpt: Swallow certainly echoes the intricate tendencies of a feminine lost soul left to her hidden mental devices. Absorbing, contemplative and probing…low-key but potent in its dramatic portrait
  • Josh Taylor @ www.forgetfulfilmcritic.com
    • Excerpt: Carlo Mirabella-Davis has style to burn and he puts that to effective use throughout Swallow. The production design, look, and feel of his movie are vivid and impeccable. It’s the inconsistent tone and poor character development that lets Swallow down.

Reviews: Greed (2020)

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

  • Chris Barsanti @ Slant
    • Excerpt: The film takes occasional stabs at comic grotesquerie, but it’s brought back to earth by an insistent docudrama seriousness.
  • [New] | Sarah Boslaugh @ TheArtsSTL
    • Excerpt: The YMMV judgment also applies to the many scenes of the degenerate rich proving they have more money than brains—basically, everyone already knows that such people exist, and I don’t find Winterbottom’s attempts at satire to be either entertaining or enlightening. The result is a film that largely falls flat, failing to either amuse or challenge the viewer.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Winterbottom encouraged improvisation and Coogan, who has shown a scary affinity for portraying obnoxious gits (albeit highly entertaining one), summons Trump and his ilk… Call it “The Trip to the Roman Empire: The Road to Global Ruin.”
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: If you see money through this lens, “Kylie Jenner has over a billion Instagram followers and is on the cover of Forbes; well, she must be a very good person,” then Greed is a doc rather than a farce.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: What we receive is miserabilism as fodder for comedy that takes a hard left into miserabilism for miserabilism’s sake. It is entertaining, though.
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: Perhaps Greed is good, or maybe it’s just shy of it.

Reviews: Emma. (2020)

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

  • [New] | Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews
    • Excerpt: The 2020 adaptation of Emma is a sheer delight, mixing costume lavishness with a hint of modernity in this tale of thwarted lovers who do find love despite themselves.
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice
    • Excerpt: A witty and charming drama based on the Jane Austen novel.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Knightley’s introduction is altogether astonishing, the young man disheveled from a hard gallop stripped down completely before being redressed by his valet to walk to the Woodhouses’, a scene usually reserved for women and with far less nudity.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: You don’t drink a Mimosa for its nutrients but because it’s a sparkling gem of a cocktail. Emma is appreciated in the same way.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: A sly, penetrating zing and a frisson of Insta-influencer horror — of the oppression of performative perfection against a marzipan backdrop — renders Austen’s fluff and nonsense deadly serious.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Director Autumn de Wilde reminds us Emma is the original Mean Girl; the ur-Regina George, queen bee of The Plastics. Yet, listening to the approving murmurs of the ladies in attendance at the screening, Emma can do no wrong.
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: Based on the use of color, floral arrangements, and utter decadence of it all, it’s as if the viewers are being treated to seeing an elaborate cake come to life.
  • Rene Sanchez @ Cine Sin Fronteras [Spanish]

Reviews: Onward (2020)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Pixar has been known for its incredible world building, but “Onward’s” world is Tolkien lite by way of Dreamworks’ dragons with a lead character who could easily slip into a Keebler elf commercial…
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: It will likely fall into the category of mid-tier Pixar. However, if you’re able to connect with the film’s examination of loss and mending old emotional scars, I think there is a story to be found here that is deeply moving, meaningful, and cathartic.
  • M Enois Duarte @ High-Def Digest.com
    • Excerpt: Pixar Studios delivers another heartwarming, tear-jerking winner in Onward, but the fantasy adventure film doesn’t quite cast the magical spell expected of the studio.
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: This is an incredibly sweet — and occasionally bittersweet — tale about family and love that will move and entertain audiences of all ages.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Even a minor Pixar release is still pretty enjoyable.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Don’t let the Pixar curve throw you: familiar this quest may be, but it’s full of magic and wonder and humor and melancholy, and set in a fully realized fantasy world. Not a masterpiece but very good.
  • Dan Lybarger @ Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
    • Excerpt: Much of the charm of Pixar’s animated movies comes from the fact that the finished product often sounds like a rejected idea from a pitch meeting. The imagination and wit involved with a lot of their movies can’t be contained in 25 words or less.
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: Onward finds Pixar in full-on weird mode, and it’s a surprisingly good look for the company.
  • Brent McKnight @ Giant Freakin’ Robot
    • Excerpt: Perfectly harmless and benign, and I kind of hated it.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
    • Excerpt: Pixar, not content with simply making kids (and adults already on the edge of mortality crises) confront regular ol’ death in their movies, have pioneered plenty of new methods to make us mourn.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: While a pretty straightforward entry in Pixar’s usually trendsetting oeuvre, it’s relatable and resonant enough to still best most Hollywood children’s fare.
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: A lot of excitement is balanced well by Pixar’s continued ability to generate real emotions in their films.
  • Frank Ochieng @ Flick Feast
    • Excerpt: Onward is speculative in its whimsy concoction as an increasingly impish supernatural gem that offers charm and treasured wizardly at its escapist core.
  • Eddie Pasa @ DC Filmdom
  • [New] | Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
    • Excerpt: Onward’ lacks Pixar’s usual magic but its tale of brotherly love is fun and sweet and occasionally touching.

Reviews: The Night Clerk (2020)

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

Reviews: The Invisible Man (2020)

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

  • Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews
    • Excerpt: The newest adaptation of the H.G. Wells’ novel works on nearly all levels but does not quite land the ending.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Leigh Whannell aces adapting H.G. Wells’ nineteenth century novel for the modern #MeToo age as a paranoid thriller, low budget effects à la “Paranormal Activity” effecting big chills, Elizabeth Moss excelling as a woman with only herself to turn to.
  • Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Even when the film reaches certian places that feels contrived or silly, you’re still invested in the characters, you’re still compelled by the narrative, and you’re still thrilled by the set pieces. It’s thoughtful, slick, fun, and delivers everything you’d want in a crowd-pleaser horror film.
  • M Enois Duarte @ High-Def Digest.com
    • Excerpt: Leigh Whannell’s psychological thriller The Invisible Man is a modernized retelling of H.G. Wells’s 1897 sci-fi classic, a parable for the #MeToo movement featuring a remarkably powerful performance by Elisabeth Moss.
  • James Jay Edwards @ The Big Smoke America
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘The Invisible Man’ is a terrifying update to the classic Universal horror narrative, creating an intense atmosphere that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats as they search for what can’t be seen.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: It has been a while since such a well crafted crafted opening scene grabbed my attention so quickly.
  • Brent McKnight @ Giant Freakin’ Robot
    • Excerpt: Harrowing and resourceful, using ingenuity and imagination rather than unlimited funds, Leigh Whannell skillfully constructs a tight, terrifying horror film.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
    • Excerpt: Wanna see a magic trick? Because writer-director Leigh Whannell, screenwriter of Saw, has evolved into a proper illusionist with his old school yet radical retelling of The Invisible Man.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: The fight choreography and special effects are flawless, but they’re nothing but aesthetic bells and whistles without Moss giving them substantive purpose via her performance.
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: The Invisible Man has done well to reveal some positive light on this dark universe.
  • Eddie Pasa @ Gunaxin
    • Excerpt: An unexpected masterpiece from writer/director Leigh Whannell.
  • Joao Pinto @ Portal Cinema [Portuguese]
    • Excerpt: Elsabeth Moss is Amazing!
  • Shelagh Rowan-Legg @ ScreenAnarchy
    • Excerpt: Whannell keeps the audience on the seat’s edge in fear and anticipation, desperately searching for the monster that hides in plain sight.
  • [New] | Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
    • Excerpt: With fantastic lead performance from Elisabeth Moss, Leigh Whannell’s ‘The Invisible Man’ is a smartly-crafted thriller that delivers knockout and will leave you absolutely breathless.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens