For a film to get its own page on the main 2017 links page, it must receive at least 5 link submissions from our members with few exceptions. Here is a list of all films that haven’t quite reached that threshold yet. When it does, it will be moved to the main page and removed from this page.
- Excerpt: The drama, the political talk of citizens, and the surprises of Election Day 2016.
- Excerpt: But from minor details like a notable event taking place on November 8th to major, thematic concerns about how the people of Germany made the rise of Hitler possible, 13 Minutes has become accidentally but powerfully vital.
The 13th Friday
- Excerpt: The actors deliver their lines, but bring little unexpected to their roles and writer/director Price brings nothing innovative to the plot.
150 Milligrams (La fille de Brest)
- Excerpt: A riveting French social justice drama about a courageous female
The 19th Annual Animation Show of Shows
- Excerpt: This year the best film was 53 years old.
20th Century Women
- Excerpt: 3 Generations is well-intended and heart-warming, but a mess, and problematic besides.
47 Meters Down
- Excerpt: 47 Meters Down navigates choppy waters, but ultimately manages to deliver some prime summertime screams.
- Excerpt: Don’t tell me I must suspend my disbelief either since Roberts never provides us anything to suspend it for. The plot unfolds so matter-of-factly that we have nothing to do but poke holes.
- Excerpt: 47 Meters Down is uniquely terrifying, offering an authentic exploration of a nightmare scenario, treating sharks as keen predators, but not evil villains.
- Excerpt: Mandy Moore and Claire Holt play sisters Lisa and Kate, on vacation in Mexico following Lisa’s breakup with…you know what? It doesn’t matter. They’re sisters, trapped in a cage, under the ocean, with sharks.
- Excerpt: A seedy, rubber-burning crime hinging on powerful women that’s too goddamn fun (despite a constant need to rain shit on Matthew Gray Gubler).
Federico Furzan @ Cinelipsis [Spanish]
- Excerpt: La “shower scene” de Psycho es un documento histórico a considerar en cualquier instante analítico del cine. Este es el documental que lo expone de forma magistral.
- Excerpt: Frankly, Psycho deserves better.
89th Oscars: Nominated Shorts
- Excerpt: there are moments of profound and fittingly strange beauty found in Aardvark.
- Excerpt: a complex vampire film that delves more deeply into its characters than most modern horror pieces.
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
- Excerpt: While nowhere near the high water marks James set with films like Hoop Dreams, Stevie and The Interrupters,Abacus is still a modest success on the level of James’ Head Games, another issue-driven documentary that never lets you forget the individual people at the story’s core.
- Excerpt: The little-known story of the trial of a Chinatown family-owned bank in the wake of the financial debacle of 2008.
Abundant Acreage Available
- Excerpt: An intense and poignant drama about family, home and letting go.
- Excerpt: Finding the painless world
Africa’s Great Civilizations
- Excerpt: A six-part series tracing the very long history of humans in Africa.
- Excerpt: An intense family drama revolving around the split of an unmarried cohabiting couple with two children.
After the Storm
- Excerpt: A touching story about a mad and sad blocked writer in the midst of a midlife breakdown.
- Excerpt: An intense biopicture about a Polish avant-garde painter persecuted by the Communist government
- Excerpt: A fitting swan song from one of the greats.
- Excerpt: a dramatization of how even a very strong personality can be ground down between the stones of clashing political ideologies.
- Excerpt: Two men set on a collision course just like the event that sparked their destined paths. Not a momentous journey, but a stinging portrait of pain nonetheless.
The Age of Consequences
- Excerpt: A startling documentary that presents new twists on the global climate change crisis and what to do about it.
The Age of Shadows
Alex and Eve
- Excerpt: A dramedy about the challenges of accepting diversity and interfaith marriage.
Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]
Alien Invasion: S.U.M.1
- Excerpt: Pasquariello does a great job keeping us on our toes as far as motivation and ambition because so much happening could be taken multiple ways. Suddenly we become uncertain as to what’s reality and what’s not.
All I See Is You
- Excerpt: All I See is You’s commitment to be scenic reflects its forgetfulness to be thrilling.
- Excerpt: This is a film that desires—and tries—to play around in a pool of grandiose ideas but its attempts at a deep dive are skewed into an accidental belly flop into the shallow end.
Francisco Cangiano @ CineXpress [Spanish]
All These Sleepless Nights
- Excerpt: A documentary drama of the night-time quests for pleasure via booze and drugs of a twenty-something pair in Warsaw, Poland.
All This Panic
- Excerpt: A timely documentary about the coming-of-age of seven adolescent girls in Brooklyn.
All You Can Eat Buddha
- Excerpt: A hard-eating hero, a telepathic octopus, beaches, a reference to Buddhism, adulation, and maybe some politics: it’s a puzzle movie, but one where the pieces all seem to come from different boxes.
- Excerpt: A profound and hopeful documentary about the challenges faced by soldiers returning from war.
- Excerpt: A snappy and mind-boggling documentary about a 3000-year-old board game and a A.I. program.
- Excerpt: A simplified, sanitized versioin of a turbulent time, full of quirky characters.
Amityville: The Awakening
- Excerpt: More like AMITYVILLE: THE A-SNOOZENING, AM I RIGHT?!!?!?!! BECAUSE INSTEAD OF WAKING YOU UP, IT PUTS YOU THE FUCK TO SLEEP?!!?!?! *blows smoke away from finger guns*
Ana, Mon Amour
Joao Pinto @ Portal Cinema [Portuguese]
And Then I Go
- Excerpt: Grashaw so expertly pulls the viewer into that feeling of misfit teenagedom–where you’re old enough to be enraged by your place in the world but helpless, not yet granted the agency to do anything about it–that the identification with Edwin is already sealed long before you realize he’s on the path to possibly opening fire on his classmates with his friend’s father’s rifle.
- Excerpt: But all this mood and mystery swells to a fevered and disturbing finale, then leaves audiences with a heady blend of exhilaration and uncertainty. Which feels strangely fitting.
- Excerpt: Less a pro-seal-hunting documentary than an impassioned plea for cultural understanding often denied indigenous people.
Anna and the Apocalypse
- Excerpt: Anna And The Apocalypse is an enthusiastic coming-of-age musical that cares just as much about bellowed heart and soul as it does keeping horror fans entertained. High School Musical meets Footloose meets Shaun of the Dead, with all the yuletide yucks you could want.
- Excerpt: Anna and the Apocalypse is a totally bonkers and bloody good time.
- Excerpt: “Another WolfCop takes a bite out of crime…and that’s just the beginning.” Oh! “Another WolfCop is the dirtiest, hariest crime thriller you’ll see this year.” What about, “WolfCop’s bark is just as bad as his bite.”
Antarctica: Ice & Sky
Antarctica: Ice and Sky
- Excerpt: A meditative masterwork about the polar explorer and glaciologist Claude Lorius.
- Excerpt: This is a film that could well earn a cult following. There is little visual flash to the story but it is an accomplished technical mystery.
- Excerpt: Everything becomes fluid visually as events repeat with different power dynamics and realities. These women are victimized by cultural norms, older generations, self-centered egos, and eventually by their own hands. How can you fight back when the world dictates your place as virgin or whore? Anyway you can.
- Excerpt: A timely and important documentary about the courage of three elderly survivors of
- Excerpt: It’s an acquired taste but, for those with the right sensibility, it’s a nasty bit of fun.
- Excerpt: The Ardennes may be saturated in dark blues and snow-covered blankness, but it burns with bright fury as Robin Pront inches closer to his film’s inevitable breaking point. Once it snaps, Belgian wits are traded for barbed attacks, until we – along with most characters – are left withering in a pile of hurt.
- Excerpt: Assholes is the kind of movie that would probably embrace a single-star rating as much as it would a ten-star rating, if not more so. A ten-star rating would probably feel pretentious and laughable. With a single star, at least they’d know I got it.
At the End of the Tunnel
- Excerpt: It’s not particularly original and the foreshadowing is telegraphed from a mile away but Grande’s movie has been making the festival rounds for a while and it’s clear to see why. Despite the preposterous set-up and the ridiculous unfolding of events, At the End of the Tunnel is a total crowd pleaser; chalk it up to a brilliantly hilarious ending.
- Excerpt: Like Hitchcock with a nasty streak.
- Excerpt: A hard-hitting documentary about an environmental disaster brought on by the EPA’s irresponsibility.
Atomica (Deep Burial)
- Excerpt: low-budget and claustrophobic film, most of which takes place underground with a plot that develops only slowly
Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies
- Excerpt: Dead Snow and Dead Snow 2 should be your go-tos for mountain horror mayhem, but Attack Of The Lederhosen Zombies isn’t a terrible alternative.
- Excerpt: A beautiful documentary on the life of John James Audubon and his masterpiece The Birds of America.
Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour [Indonesian]
The Axe Murders of Villisca
- Excerpt: The Axe Murders Of Villisca tries to up the “deadly house” game, but neither Tony E. Valenzuela nor co-writers Owen Egerton and Kevin Abrams find individuality despite retelling such a storied crime.
Baahubali 2: The Conclusion
- Excerpt: If you were told “McG made a horror comedy that subverts home invasion tropes for Netflix and it’s a certified blast,” would you believe it?
Backpack Full of Cash
- Excerpt: A fiery passion shines through to highlight this vital, complex, difficult-to-address topic.
The Bad Batch
- Excerpt: it’s a pitch-perfect sister flick to A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night.
- Excerpt: Bad Black’ is your loud, raucous wakeup call.
Bad Day for the Cut
- Excerpt: A smart, fun saga of violent retribution.
- Excerpt: This bitingly brilliant teen movie is deliciously clever and laugh-out-loud funny, offering parody thrills and acute observational humor.
- Excerpt: The film therefore has one thing going for it: Judge Reinhold. Sadly his success is less about his character than his being cast against type.
Bad Kids of Crestview Academy
- Excerpt: Are you ready to hate every character in Bad Kids Of Crestview Academy?
Badrinath Ki Dulhania
- Excerpt: Heartfelt, sarcastic, and funny; tinged with love, loss, and healing.
Bang! the Bert Berns Story
- Excerpt: Entertaining documentary about a very talented and unheralded 1960s songwriter.
- Excerpt: Os momentos finais são muito previsíveis e apenas existem porque era preciso uma conclusão. Comparando com o início, dizer que é uma desilusão será um eufemismo.
Bareilly Ki Barfi
- Excerpt: De forma sumária, é um filme que surge desenquadrado das estreias do momento, que não tenta passar nenhuma mensagem óbvia ou subliminar sobre culturas, apenas quer entreter como qualquer romance pipoca.
- Excerpt: The story is more complex than it at first appears, but it is built of fairly familiar building blocks.
- Excerpt: It may be nothing new to say that macho male friendships are pervasively homoerotic but the dynamic is strikingly depicted here without hanging a lantern on it.
Beatriz at Dinner
- Excerpt: Drama about the values conflict between a New Age holistic healer and a famous real-estate tycoon.
- Excerpt: Beauty Mark has important things to say on important topics but it’s simply too dry; the power of the story is lost in the endless point-making.
- Excerpt: Behemoth becomes a sort of roller coaster in this way as we alternate between voyeur and participant, our safe haven contaminated by the torturous heat and stifling atmosphere that is easy to forget from afar. And the only words heard come through the carefully constructed narration by [Liang] Zhao and Sylvie Blum, a tale of man becoming its own means of annihilation.
- Excerpt: Bethany is one of those minimal-to-zero production value indie horrors that will never haunt your nightmares.
- Excerpt: In general the film is well executed, but just lacks the creativity it needed from Bressack the writer to set itself apart from so many similar nightmare fests.
A Better Man
- Excerpt: A documentary in which a couple with a history of domestic violence try to heal the wounds.
Better Watch Out
- Excerpt: Better Watch Out is a good movie you should watch knowing nothing about, like a spoiler-free Christmas morning.
- Excerpt: The overall structure and final surprise may be commendable on an intellectual level, but not an emotional one. Sadly the desire to shock distracted everyone from seeing how that jolt exposed its strings.
Beyond the Clouds
Big Little Lies
Bill Nye Saves the World Season 1
Bill Nye: Science Guy
- Excerpt: An edifying glimpse into the life and work of a TV celebrity transformed into a passionate critic of climate change.
- Excerpt: Put Bitch on your radar. It’s one you’ll want to catch-up with when it opens later this year.
- Excerpt: An intriguing puzzle that still has me wondering if I’ve put all the pieces together correctly. But the film offers thrills and nerve-wracking excitement as well as strong performances by its excellent co-stars.
- Excerpt: A documentary on threats to online freedom from malevolent cyberware used by governments, militants, and criminals.
The Black Prince
The Blackcoat’s Daughter
- Excerpt: Pay attention or you’ll miss details that are required to piece together Oz Perkins’ demented puzzle – unfortunately, sometimes this is more a chore than pleasure.
- Excerpt: Predictability keeps this from reaching its full potential.
- Excerpt: [Perkins is] not looking to tell a story about Satan or death or even horror. Beneath everything his movie is about the power of loneliness and humanity’s desire to do whatever it takes to combat it.
Blade of the Immortal
- Excerpt: Shephard is an emerging auteur to watch.
- Excerpt: Romantic suspense served up by Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin, who still radiate star power.
The Blood Is at the Doorstep
- Excerpt: An expose of police violence against a mentally ill black man in Milwaukee.
- Excerpt: Remy Auberjonois’ gripping and somber Blood Stripe announces a number of talents from whom we can hope to expect more great things in the future.
Blue My Mind
- Excerpt: A delicate coming-of-age story and tale of female friendship mixed with squirm-inducing body horror.
- Excerpt: From top to tails, it’s a haunting and poignant film, alive with beauty, pain, and heart.
- Excerpt: Although ‘Blue My Mind’ isn’t exceptional, as a low-budget debut feature from a director fresh out of film school, it is remarkably assured. Freckle-faced Luna Wedler’s on-key performance helps a lot…
- Excerpt: Joseph Kahn resurrects a type of cinematic satire that isn’t afraid to expose society for what it’s become, cracking a few eggs and flipping so many birds in the process.
- Excerpt: This is a film for the patient and that patience goes largely unrewarded.
- Excerpt: Plays like an overlong episode of ‘Twilight Zone.’
Federico Furzan @ Cinelipsis [Spanish]
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
- Excerpt: In a country where too few women pursue science for archaic cultural and systemic reasons, Hedy Lamarr serves as a crucial reminder of what’s possible with the courage and perseverance to be yourself despite the world trying its damnedest to change you.
- Excerpt: Bombshell becomes not just a stupendous tribute to Lamarr, but also a tribute to every brilliant woman ignored, thanking them even if they never snagged the spotlight, and inspiring a new generation to go looking for theirs.
The Book of Henry
- Excerpt: It’s a film about sacrifice ultimately built around cowardice. An oddity with unfulfilled merit; it’s a memorable failure.
- Excerpt: Life is too precious to waste any of it on The Book of Henry.
- Excerpt: There’s little I, or anyone, can do to fully prepare you for the absolute insanity of The Book of Henry’s bewildering structure, plot, or purpose. If I told you everything, you’d call me a liar.
Born in China
- Excerpt: At one point, after a cute baby mishap, Krasinski clucks, “Oh my gosh, this is so embarrassing!”
The Boss Baby
- Excerpt: The Boss Baby is a befuddling, sometimes chuckle-worthy, mostly ill-toned dive into a children’s concept laced with workplace toxicity.
- Excerpt: Scott Adkins once again proves himself king of the DTV action set.
BPM (Beats per Minute)
- Excerpt: Campillo would have a winner on his hands with this historical fiction alone and yet he goes further to create that nucleus of Nathan and Sean to show the emotional cost removed from politics. It’s only in death that we see rhetoric dissolve in lieu of impassioned feeling.
- Excerpt: An insightful dramedy about a man’s midlife crisis propelled by comparisons and envy.
- Excerpt: It’s very difficult to feel anything for Brad besides absolute contempt. No matter how funny his meanness gets or how great it is to laugh at his utter cluelessness towards problems a man in his line of work should be keenly aware of, the culmination of everything adds up to zero.
Brave New Jersey
- Excerpt: A clever dramedy about a small community that surges on a sea of troubles during Orson Welles’ broadcast about an alien invasion.
- Excerpt: Director/writer Jody Lambert uses the impact of the infamous Orson Welles radio broadcast as the backdrop for his amusing movie. He deserves kudos for putting together a wonderful, diverse cast and crew to create a film that looks as real as possible.
Brawl in Cell Block 99
- Excerpt: Despite all of its pretensions, Brawl in Cell Block 99 is ultimately just as brainless as its title.
- Excerpt: Brawl In Cell Block 99 takes a bit to get started, but when it does, it’s a punishing spiral into the depths of exploitation madness too gory to believe.
- Excerpt: É uma experiência completamente inesperada e que, visto em festival, obriga a fazer uma pausa para pensar no que se acabou de ver. Infelizmente tem algumas cenas pouco credíveis (como a destruição do carro) e algumas gaffes (como cadáveres que desaparecem), mas qualquer filme em que desfaçam cabeças apenas com as mãos merce que se perdoe os erros.
- Excerpt: An animated feature about a young girl who defies the Taliban in Afghanistan through her courage and storytelling.
- Excerpt: The Breadwinner thus becomes an empowering story of heroism under duress. It can be small or large, but it always demands a people be judged by their best elements rather than worst.
- Excerpt: 1975 classic re-released on Blue-ray
Dragan Antulov @ Draxblog VI [Croatian]
Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds
- Excerpt: A poignant documentary revealing how the lives of these two iconic showbiz stars were so tenderly intertwined.
- Excerpt: Some may find Brimstone’s running time tedious but those who appreciate a well-told story which challenges the viewer at nearly every turn will not be disappointed by Koolhoven’s film which straddles both the western genre while also being a tightly woven thriller.
- Excerpt: Women’s history as seen through a Grand Guignol lens. That says that it needs to be taken with just a little grain of salt.
- Excerpt: Not only do the evenly spaced chapter breaks help keep things fresh by moving us back and forth through time, Koolhoven has a knack for distilling each to its most intense moments of action. Brimstone becomes trashy thriller as high art.
- Excerpt: A more disturbing movie than “Brimstone” would be hard to find. It’s kind of like “Night of the Hunter “– if directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Brimstone & Glory
- Excerpt: The film itself is a sensory experience that takes us through the preparations of explosives and architecture. Jakovleski is keen to relinquish his title of director and truly speak about the project as a collaboration of people who understand what it is to be so close to destruction and acknowledge its unparalleled majesty.
Broche de Oro: Comienzos
Francisco Cangiano @ CineXpress [Spanish]
The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photgraphy
- Excerpt: Morris, in pointing a camera at her the same way she did and the same way he has done many times before, explores as much about himself as he does his subject.
- Excerpt: This revealing documentary does not idolize its subject. However, one cannot help being impressed by the passion, intensity and dedication Chris Burden brought to his controversial art projects.
Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe
- Excerpt: a light and lively documentary that turns into a surprising pleasure.
- Excerpt: A disturbing film about the hazing of a college fraternity pledge.
Buster’s Mal Heart
- Excerpt: An entertaining documentary about people who love typewriters.
Can We Still Be Friends?
Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour [Indonesian]
- Excerpt: You should know this movie exists. God help you if you watch it.
- Excerpt: We should despise [the title role] and harbor frustration towards director Susan Johnson for wanting the opposite. [But somehow she] proves utterly likable in her failings — likable and relatable while traversing the landscape of life and love.
Federico Furzan @ Cinelipsis [Spanish]
- Excerpt: With a title like Catfight and the only available image showing a bloodied and battered chokehold, our expectations are forced into conjuring hope for a wild, frenzied ride. Well, writer/director Onur Tukel doesn’t disappoint with this broad satire of American politics and wealth disparity.
- Excerpt: Chameleon pummels the viewer.
Anne Hoyt @ AARP.org/Español [Spanish]
- Excerpt: Tequila, dolor y canto: la combinación era sinónimo de la personalidad artística de Chavela Vargas. Reinventarse sin el primer ingrediente fue el gran reto que le acabó dando el éxito sin reservas a la cantante costarricense, naturalizada mexicana.
Chedeng and Apple
- Excerpt: A bittersweet, blackly comic riff on ‘Thelma and Louise’ and ‘Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.’
Children of the Night / I Figli
- Excerpt: So the end result becomes your usual offensive shtick wrapped within a not-so-bad action-based plot. Come for the action, stay for the laughter, and cringe through the rest.
Chris Gethard: Career Suicide
- Excerpt: Chris Gethard: Career Suicide emerges to become more than a comedy show, though it is a uniquely hilarious one
- Excerpt: There are lessons to be learned and we do so with [Chuck] while enjoying the chaos for laughs. We hope [he] pulls himself together so that his doing so proves commendable rather than cliché.
- Excerpt: An engaging look at Winston Churchill’s inner struggle in old age as he faces his diminished powers and vulnerability.
- Excerpt: The scope of this slice of wartime history is so small, it’s almost the movie equivalent of a one-man show.
- Excerpt: Something about this spotlighted look at Churchill’s reservations towards the most famous war assault in modern history risks tainting his legacy more than bolstering it. What the film depicts isn’t weakness, yet it’s difficult not to see it as such.
- Excerpt: A dystopian story that raises key questions about whether technology really serves the common good.
- Excerpt: The Circle is a movie that is emotionally dead, intellectually vapid, and otherwise just dull. It doesn’t even have the decency to be so bad that its failing is amusing.
- Excerpt: Como cinema é um produto fraco, precisamente por repetir de forma desleixada o que “AntiTrust” fez bem, só por ter um bom elenco. Teria funcionado como mini-série, repartindo estas várias etapas e trabalhando melhor a aura de mistério por umas quatro ou cinco horas, em vez de atafulhar menos de duas horas com tudo.
Citizen Jane: Battle for the City
- Excerpt: With Citizen Jane, Tyrnauer gives us a stirring portrait of a woman who was both passionate and pragmatic.
- Excerpt: An exciting and enlightening documentary about an urban visionary’s legacy.
- Excerpt: Tyrnauer is providing a forum for Jacobs’ side of this war against the people. He’s providing her voice so that we can remember her tenacity and drive to stop hubristic men in power from strong-arming the people into accepting opposition as a futile exercise.
City of Ghosts
- Excerpt: Timely, pressing, important.
Claire in Motion
- Excerpt: A great showcase film for Brandt, Claire in Motion is also notable for its realistic approach to loss, dealing with the unexpected and the slow and painful process of coming to terms with the realization that the person you thought you knew best has changed and worse still – is gone for good.
- Excerpt: If the viewer is expecting a mystery he will be disappointed. This is a story of a woman who has lost her husband and what her uncertainty does to her.
Diego Salgado @ Guiadelocio [Spanish]
João Pinto @ Portal Cinema [Portuguese]
- Excerpt: One of the worst NetFlix original films of 2017!
- Excerpt: Com componentes técnica e artística de nível profissional e um argumento que tem apenas uma “liberdade criativa” (para não dizer esquecimento), prova que em todos os países se conseguem fazer filmes mediáticos.
- Excerpt: COLD MOON has the feel of a horror novel and makes for a few unexpected chills.
Nuno Reis @ SciFiWorld Portugal [Portuguese]
- Excerpt: Gens sabia disso, pelo que construiu a narrativa em torno dos humanos, explorando questões como o isolamento, as adaptações ao meio e aquilo que se considerava humanidade. Se tivesse lugar noutro planeta seria um território fértil para ficção-científica que aqui se disfarça de ouros géneros.
- Excerpt: A mesmerizing film about the poetics of place and the difficult choices we must make to stay true to our passions.
- Excerpt: Kogonada draws his film like an “X” with Casey and Jin crossing paths and ending up on a trajectory towards where the other came. Both Cho and Richardson are unforgettable with an easy chemistry that starts stilted in guarded awkwardness before quickly thawing to reveal warmth only an empathetic stranger could provide.
- Excerpt: É um desafio visual interessante que terá como destinatários os amantes da arquitectura e da fotografia. Algumas das suas imagens ficarão gravadas na memória, mas não conseguirá convencer os restantes a novo visionamento.
- Excerpt: Everyone is lonely and miserable, but at least we can be lonely and miserable together.
- Excerpt: It’s going to be hard to be shaken from the status quo by a movie that’s still real pissed off aboutFear Factor.
- Excerpt: It’s sad, more than anything. Knowing that De Niro fought for years to make The Comedian forces one to wonder just what happened to the Bobby D. of yore, the one who was one of the greatest actors of all time and could do no wrong.
Commando 2: The Black Money Trail
- Excerpt: The fissures and follies of living in an urban commune during the 1970s in Copenhagen.
- Excerpt: A riveting documentary about the abuse of migrant workers in large Chinese factories.
- Excerpt: Contemporary Color could have easily been a bland concert film with three cameras shifting between wide shots and close-ups. The reasons it’s not: the Ross Brothers and Byrne, their choice to highlight the chaos, motion, and heart a testament to their art.
- Excerpt: No matter where Stensland and Grady end up on the moral scale by the end, the film normalizes what they do and hopes we laugh at it because they’re “just being boys.” Rather than tear down these masculinity stereotypes, Crash Pad reinforces them.
The Creeping Garden
- Excerpt: As the title implies, this is in fact creepy.
- Excerpt: Though it’s not a completely successful venture, The Crescent has stuck with me enough that I’d recommend it to anyone with slightly adventurous tastes who are willing to give themselves over to the mood of a movie.
Cries from Syria
- Excerpt: A documentary masterpiece chronicling the stages of the Syrian revolution and the staggering suffering of the Syrian people.
- Excerpt: A substância está lá – na música, nos cenários – mas diluída em demasiados extras na escrita. A adaptação não é completamente fiel ao livro nem suficientemente arriscada para justificar as mudanças.
- Excerpt: Even though [the actors] excel, the constant ping-ponging back and forth to make sure everything is included does subvert their success. It’s not enough to derail the message or the characters’ ability to earn empathy, just to stop the whole from being truly great. But if eyes and hearts are opened nonetheless, “good” works just fine.
- Excerpt: Puente is superb.
Cult of Chucky
- Excerpt: Cult Of Chucky roots itself in nostalgia long enough to shock us all by flipping the Child’s Play franchise on its head in an invigorating, inspiring, and oh-so-deadly way. If you think Cult jumps the shark, I hope the shark eats you whole.
- Excerpt: Custody, French director Xavier Legrand’s debut feature, is a harrowing 90-minute exploration of the perfidiousness of domestic abuse, in keeping with Margaret Atwood’s famous dictum, “Men are afraid women will laugh at them; women are afraid men will kill them.”
Daddy’s Home 2
The Dark Below
- Excerpt: It’s one thing if The Dark Below sought campy implausibility, but it craves legitimacy instead [as its] cool cinematic idea never finds the execution needed for success.
The Dark Tapes
- Excerpt: Darkland might sound generic on paper but Fenar Ahmad’s revenge thriller mixes a familiar trope with a fascinating and insightful look at the intersection of immigration and gang violence in a world that is both familiar and just a little foreign.
- Excerpt: An unflinching look at the incredible harm that can be done by secrets, adultery, and even honesty.
- Excerpt: In the hands of a director who knew less about how to stage dialog this would have been a bit talky and feel like a lot of soap opera melodrama. Stone takes what could have been taken as exaggeration and leaves it with a realistic feel.
Dave Brent: on the Road
- Excerpt: In the title role, Gervais makes us feel sorry for the pathetic David Brent and even evokes a few laughs over his social inadequacies, but the movie uses the same situation too many times.
Dave Made a Maze
- Excerpt: Cemented by great performances, most notably from Kumbhani who is both the sensible one and the heart of the story, Dave Made a Maze is a wonderfully charming and innovative story of an adult finally growing up.
- Excerpt: Dave Made a Maze is silly, but it’s driven by a ton of heart and meticulously detailed execution.
- Excerpt: Aquilo que um espectador desconfiado imediatamente classificaria como um pequeno gag que daria para dez minutos a ser explorado ao limite e esticado até dar uma longa-metragem, na verdade é um gag muito bem trabalhado de forma a dar uma história simples que foi construída de forma a dar exactamente tudo o que podia sem entrar em exageros.
David Lynch: The Art Life
- Excerpt: A documentary in which filmmaker and artist David Lynch shares stories about his past.
- Excerpt: There’s still a lot to enjoy with the dialogue being invaluable to getting inside the mind of an elusive soul who’s made a career of never projecting his meaning onto his films. So it’s definitely a must-see for fans as long as they don’t expect more than the brilliance of its audio.
Dawson City: Frozen Time
- Excerpt: [Dawson City: Frozen Time is] an important work that demands a place in film school syllabuses the world over. And if I had seen it in that context I probably would have given it a higher score.
- Excerpt: Just when things seem too grim, bordering on numbing, writer-director Cho Sun-ho reveals this devastated doctor isn’t alone in this aching eternal cycle, and so A Day spins into something exhilarating, strange, and bittersweet.
- Excerpt: Contra todas as expectativas, não é o mero filme de fantasia, mas uma obra de acção sobre perdão e redenção, sem momentos mortos e que deixa a pulsação acelerada como poucos. Revitaliza o género dos loops temporais, entretém e ainda transmite preciosas lições enquanto nos leva nesta alucinante corrida.
- Excerpt: It is hard to find much here that is new and creative. If one discounts the violence in 6 DAYS, this film is a lot like DOG DAY AFTERNOON or INSIDE MAN.
- Excerpt: This one-trick pony only paralyzes its victims for so long before succumbing to ghoulish paranormal norms.
The Dead Nation
- Excerpt: a masterful cinematic recreation of history, showing us a decaying, innocent world while telling us how what we do not see is destroying it.
- Excerpt: A touching dramedy about the different styles of grief.
- Excerpt: Já “Dear Dictator” nem é um bom filme adolescente, nem boa referência a outros filmes de adolescentes, nem propaganda.
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
- Excerpt: At times the narrative scatters, but this is heartbreaking, powerful, and pressing, and an urgent must-see.
- Excerpt: You’re here for Lakeith Stanfield’s ice cream cones. You’re here for Willem Dafoe’s cackle and you’re here for Shea Whigham being one of the most underrated actors in the game. The rest? I’m excited to see where Netflix ventures – and how Death Note can improve.
- Excerpt: Despite all of Wingard’s pre-release proclamations of respecting the original, none of that shows. Death Note is a whitewashed, hasty, and vapid adaptation that offers one great performance, few thrills, and lots of missed opportunities.
- Excerpt: Although the first half promises so much, the last half loses the right touch. This horror flick is scary in parts, but it seems too jumbled.
The Death of Louis XIV
- Excerpt: An unusual French film about death and dying.
The Death of Stalin
- Excerpt: Podia ter sido mais ambicioso, mas, para a nossa época, já foi uma surpresa ter tido a ousadia típica da propaganda dos anos 60 de mostrar a Rússia como um monstro.
Death Race 2050
- Excerpt: Do I have to say that Death Race 2050 is not for uptight audiences or those who can only tolerate big-budget production values?
- Excerpt: [Destined is] a film as much about showing audiences our similarities beneath nature/nurture as it is the guilt and regret we carry everyday due to compromises we only acknowledge are wrong in hindsight. These [dueling] paths are shown concurrently as a means to express the complexity and unpredictability of both the “right” and “wrong” choice.
The Devil’s Candy
- Excerpt: The Devil’s Candy is quite a freakin’ dandy, and doesn’t sully Sean Byrne’s highly anticipated return to horror.
The Devil’s Freedom
- Excerpt: An unsettling portrait of the lasting consequences of both victims and perpetrators of drug cartel violence.
Dig Two Graves
- Excerpt: less than totally coherent, and the style of the film puts too many obstacles in the viewer’s path
- Excerpt: Don’t follow a backwoods moonshiner in a top hat into the woods. Words to live by.
- Excerpt: The Dinner is ultimately, a cruel tease of a drama, tempting our interest with curious details, a shocking crime, and a trip of stellar performers.
- Excerpt: The Discovery is a sparse, emotional film that’s primarily focused on earthly concerns. At its core, this a film about the effects of tragedy and trauma on the human spirit.
- Excerpt: Although slow moving in many places, this sci-fi romance gives viewers something important to think about.
The Divine Order
- Excerpt: Story of the transformation of a submissive housewife into a change-maker in her small conservative Swiss town.
- Excerpt: Volpe’s portrayal of this struggle is made better than most by how she translates the politics of their argument onto a relatable, human level. She’s not interested in the nationwide scope with vocal cities that everyone knows will vote one way or the other. This story—like the 2016 US election—hinges upon the forgotten communities on the fringes.
Dog Years (The Last Movie Star)
- Excerpt: By buying so hard into Vic’s smug and alienating ideology, Dog Years cuts off its audience from seeing him as little more than a rightfully lonely jerk, and seeing the film as little more than a waste of time.
A Dog’s Purpose
- Excerpt: A jaunty film exploring all the wonderful ways to appreciate dogs.
- Excerpt: It’s Collateral Beauty all over again, except with puppy euthanasia instead of Michael Peña confessing his terminal illness in a Whole Foods.
- Excerpt: A deft and compelling documentary about one of America’s premier Latino labor leaders and civil rights activists.
- Excerpt: Just be assured that with Domain, Atcheson delivers a great thriller.
- Excerpt: A wonderful nonfiction masterpiece about the questing spirit of an old Spaniard and his beloved donkey and dog.
Don’t Come Back from the Moon
- Excerpt: Don’t Come Back from the Moon is a largely superficial affair.
Don’t Kill It
- Excerpt: If you’re in the mood for some horror violence and don’t mind bargain-bin value, Don’t Kill It is your screamin’ banshee of a slaughterhouse homage.
Don’t Knock Twice
- Excerpt: Another generic haunted-house framework where characters ignore the very thing a movie title warns about. Stale, without chills, and not the demonic game of ding-dong-ditch we’d hope for.
- Excerpt: If you like movies that are mysterious and spice their eroticism with a sense of dangerous perversity, this is one to check out…
Double Lover (L’Amant Double)
- Excerpt: If there is rather more surface than substance and the ending is signposted, it is a surface full of intricacy and a signpost of admirable elegance.
- Excerpt: Chris von Hoffmann’s Drifter is a cinematic collage assembled from better cannibal exploitation feasts.
- Excerpt: This should be an intense ride to oblivion or perhaps even a satirical romp chock full of self-indulgent camp, but it proves to be neither. Instead it’s merely an adventure of self-discovery for a character we aren’t even sure we’re supposed to care about until halfway through.
- Excerpt: Being a good comedian, it would seem, is as much about the ability to fail as it is the ability to succeed.
Earth: One Amazing Day
- Excerpt: A beautifully photographed documentary with amazing footage of animals illustrating the survival of the fittest.
The Edge of Seventeen
Eight Films by Jean Rouch
- Excerpt: Eight films newly restored
El Hombre Que Cuida
Francisco Cangiano @ CineXpress [Spanish]
- Excerpt: Because Sabella experienced what his character goes through, nothing comes across as mere Hollywood cliché. The tragic events portrayed regrettably happen every day.
The Emoji Movie
Francisco Cangiano @ CineXpress [Spanish]
The End of the Lonely Island
- Excerpt: If Wang was making movies in the US, Hollywood would be knocking down his door. I expect it’s only a matter of time before he steps up to bigger projects. I certainly can’t wait to see what he does next.
- Excerpt: If Resolution represents Benson and Moorhead’s mesmerizing introduction and Spring is their masterclass in romantic horror, The Endless cements this movie-making tandem as two of the most exciting, energetic and revolutionary directors in American cinema.
- Excerpt: Basta dizer que tem algum terror, tem muita ficção-científica e fantasia cada um usa a que quer. Pode mudar a perspectiva do mundo que nos rodeia.
- Excerpt: Beneath bug-nuts-crazy trappings and oddities, lies a sweet coming of age tale about a young man trying to live life to the fullest and follow his passion. And dwarf Hitler.
- Excerpt: Endless Poetry is easily Jodorowsky’s best film, fully realizing his view of the world like nothing he’s made (or written) has ever done before. It’s a challenging film, but beyond its cinematic labyrinth lies the purest beauty.
England is Mine
Épouse-Moi Mon Pote
- Excerpt: Não é um filme memorável no seu todo, mas passa a sua mensagem.
- Excerpt: So much of the comedy in Everyone’s Life comes from people behaving badly—cheating, bribing, alcoholism, etc.—that it’s a pleasant surprise when Lelouch draws on those same faults and excesses for the truly moving bits of pathos.
- Excerpt: After treating us with enough respect to carry its shortcomings at face value by knowing full well what it is, the film drops a bombshell in an attempt to shock us into believing there was more to this tale than met the eye. Not only does it not earn the additional drama this reveal hopes to conjure, it renders the love story—the literal emotional backbone of the work—into afterthought.
- Excerpt: It’s an unapologetically feel-good movie at a time where we could really use one.
- Excerpt: Everything, Everything can’t overcome the limitations of its script, which chooses to play above the surface instead of diving into deeper waters. It’s a frustrating experience, watching a film with so many outstanding pieces fall apart with lackluster writing.
Ex Libris: The New york Public Library
- Excerpt: Another appealing documentary masterwork in the astonishing career of Frederick Wiseman
- Excerpt: This insane situation of kings, spies, and murderers engaged in duplicitous actions during World War II is window dressing for small-scale romance. Unfortunately the former is always more interesting than the latter, its existence as background dressing a constant disappointment.
Francisco Cangiano @ CineXpress [Spanish]
- Excerpt: The idea that the fate of one is in their hands is intriguing. Things go awry in the details.
- Excerpt: Two talented filmmakers show off their acting talents as Izzy, a deep-thinking but fear-filled Hassidic Jew, and Polish-born Catholic Marek, who appears more daring and open to life’s experiences. Thought-provoking conversations ensue.
- Excerpt: A playful and wonder-drenched documentary about an unusual creative collaboration.
- Excerpt: This film seeks to remind the common man and woman of their identity as more than a cog in a machine. We all have hopes, dreams, and aspirations and yet we pass each other by without a second glance, heads buried in phones. But we’re all an integral part of the whole. We deserve to be noticed.
Nuno Reis @ SciFiWorld Portugal [Portuguese]
- Excerpt: Com uma frescura que o terror não costuma ter, o filme prima por levantar questões. A demanda por respostas fracassa, pelo que cada um terá de chegar às suas próprias conclusões.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Excerpt: “And lo, the magical super-franchise of Harry Potter doth continue.”
A Fantastic Woman
- Excerpt: A moving story about the spiritual journey of a grieving transgender woman.
- Excerpt: Lelio and Maza have created a complex circumstance built upon implicit notions of empathy that can and do become moot regardless of their assumed universality. And they’ve found an actor in Daniela Vega to carry the weight of this tragic reality on her shoulders in a way no one but a transgender woman herself could.
Far from the Tree
- Excerpt: Rachel Drezin treads a careful line between the risk of appropriating other people’s struggles and the importance of giving a voice to parents, of understanding that they can struggle too.
- Excerpt: Top-drawer documentary on the astonishing mission of the Voyager spacecrafts past the outer planets of our solar system and beyond.
- Excerpt: Despite the noteworthy names attached to this toothless tease, Sher and screenwriter Justin Malen (“Office Christmas Party”) patch together a piffle of a movie project that has all the inspired appeal of a repetitive “Maury Povich Show” paternity test segment.
- Excerpt: If you watch one movie about the female orgasm, it should be ‘The Feels.’
- Excerpt: Drama about how music eases the pain of a seasoned survivor struggling with some unexpected challenges.
- Excerpt: A celebration of the ethical goodness and heroic acts of a teacher.
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
- Excerpt: We are never made to understand in what way Turner was special to Grahame or if, in fact, the whole point is that he wasn’t any different from her four husbands or anyone else she loved.
- Excerpt: As fascinating as it is to watch Bell and Bening work with and off each other, the film’s often too slow and too meandering to make any lasting impact.
- Excerpt: Thin in spots, but so compelling that’s easily forgiven.
- Excerpt: Finding Oscar succeeds not just because it’s such a fascinating story but because Suffern never loses sight of the complex individuals and emotions at the center of it.
First Girl I Loved
- Excerpt: If you can stand the annoying background sounds and music, this movie might be interesting for you. It features lots of action and a fabulous performance by newcomer Ty Shelton .
- Excerpt: Schrader sabe o que faz do ponto de vista narrativo e cinematográfico e não se incomoda com o politicamente correcto. “First Reformed” não chegará a um público tão alargado como podia – estes filmes nunca chegam – mas deixará uma marca em quem o viu.
First They Killed My Father
- Excerpt: A deeply human study of the Cambodian genocide and the brave survival of one little girl.
- Excerpt: The narrative is just as vicious and painful as the title suggests it to be.
- Excerpt: That’s ultimately what First They Killed My Father delivers: a loss of innocence. It provides a look at war from non-combatants, a people scooped up in a regime’s quest to dismantle and destroy everything its predecessor touched without remorse.
- Excerpt: Fist Fight delivers once Charlie Day mans-up and steps into Ice Cube’s hardened world, but all the punches, concussions and broken windshields can’t turn back time.
- Excerpt: It’s stupid, mindless, and crude, but I laughed throughout and admittedly can’t wait to watch it again. If [the trailer] got you excited for its idiocy, enjoy.
- Excerpt: Flatliners is a grave disappointment.
The Florida Porject
- Excerpt: Vibrant portrait that shows us from a child’s point of view how play and enthusiasm can be ways to survive poverty.
For Here or To Go?
- Excerpt: A timely comedy about an Indian software engineer and his friends who are forced to live in immigration limbo.
The Forest of the Lost Souls
- Excerpt: É uma obra para fazer pensar e que certamente levará muita gente a ver os festivais de verão e os passeios junto ao lago com outros olhos. E, esperemos, a evitar os suicídios, pois está visto que nunca acabam bem.
- Excerpt: It shows us that, once a loved one is gone from us, they can never be replaced even though those of us left behind will never stop trying.
- Excerpt: A heart-affecting and inventive drama about war, grief, forgiveness, and the healing powers of art.
- Excerpt: Ozon shows how powerful a lie can be for good, his black and white imagery turning color in moments of bliss whether manufactured or real. It isn’t fate, but choice: how specific events are personally interpreted and subsequently built upon to alter reality and create fresh meaning, death ultimately inspiring new life.
- Excerpt: “Free Fire” is a fearless and sharp shoot ’em up, loaded with star power, and polished with gallows humor.
- Excerpt: Freehold finds entertainment in dark mind-fucking comedics – but not enough to sustain Dominic Bridges’ slow-simmering room share.
- Excerpt: Friend Request won’t go down in history as great horror cinema but it will provide above-average returns for those seeking frights and thrills in the dark with their friends and sweethearts.
- Excerpt: Beware the Facebook witches!
The Friendly Beast
- Excerpt: Friendly Beast is an extremely enjoyable watch and I’m curious to see how the movie plays on repeat viewings. So much of the joy of the first watch is the surprise that comes in the aftermath of each decision but I have a nagging feeling that knowing how the movie unfolds will change the reading of the characters and the choices they make.
From the Land of the Moon
Fun Mom Dinner
- Excerpt: What if you combined the premises of Bridesmaids and Bad Moms, but bled them dry of risque humor? This bland cocktail would be Fun Mom Dinner, a comedy whose tame take on a wild night is so humdrum it might function best as a sleep aid.
Game of Death
- Excerpt: Game Of Death is a madcap murder party, set to jive more with the midnight horror crowd.
- Excerpt: Game of Death is more schlock than shock, and more frantic than fun.
- Excerpt: Gerald’s Game is a winning Stephen King adaptation that understands how to thrill through dread and mental breakdowns over cheap thrills.
Federico Furzan @ Cinelipsis [Spanish]
- Excerpt: Un juego inocente se convierte en una pesadilla en una película que reafirma la posición valiosa de Mike Flanagan en el cine de género.
- Excerpt: As you watch “Gerald’s Game,” you are forced into a submission of bone rattling fear. And after it’s over, the imagery will linger – twitching in your hands, forcing your eyes to the dark corners of your bedroom, looking for things that creep in the night.
- Excerpt: Disturbing, scary and well done!
Get Me Roger Stone
- Excerpt: This documentary, which charts Stone’s rise from ambitious Watergate lackey to the Dr. Frankenstein of monster that is President* Donald Trump, has so unnerved me that I feel hollow and a bit hopeless.
The Ghazi Attack
The Girl From the Brothel
- Excerpt: The basic plot is an overly familiar one, but the film makes up for it by acquainting the viewer with the enormous issue of child forced prostitution.
The Girl with All the Gifts
- Excerpt: Some sluggish midpoints may overburden the film’s story, yet The Girl With All The Gifts does well to rebrand a typical horror scenario with lasting appeal.
- Excerpt: The Girls with All the Gifts’ doesn’t reinvent the zombie genre, but it proves the confines can still be effective and pushed.
- Excerpt: The Girl with All the Gifts is a revitalization of the conventions that have plagued the zombie genre for years. Successfully reframing the familiar standards, the film is a rare new angle on the zombie tradition
- Excerpt: Despite all of the debauchery that takes place on screen, perhaps the most shocking thing about Malcolm D. Lee’s Girls Trip is that it’s a major studio comedy that actually wants you to care about its characters.
- Excerpt: I can’t therefore label the whole a failure when its missteps create some of its assets. The film is caught in this weird headspace of succeeding at its basest level despite missing the opportunity to excel at its loftiest instead.
The Glass Castle
- Excerpt: I think some critics have overlooked this film’s depth of emotion and psychology by assuming its finale absolves Rex of his sins. Jeannette Walls didn’t write a book that re-contextualizes her father as a great man. She wrote one that candidly describes his flaws.
God Knows Where I Am
- Excerpt: A disturbing documentary on the plight of a mentally ill American woman.
God’s Own Country
- Excerpt: A gay love story that reveals the beauty of a landscape and acts of mercy.
Going in Style
- Excerpt: Going in Style leaves a lot on the table when gazing beyond surfaces. I didn’t love it or hate it, but I’ll definitely forget it.
- Excerpt: It’s just playing at being a good movie.
- Excerpt: Negri has a compelling tale to tell about life, death, and love—the execution is just too schizophrenic to earn our investment.
- Excerpt: A provocative period drama inspired by a true story.
A Good American
- Excerpt: A hard-hitting documentary about the misuse of power by the National Security Agency.
- Excerpt: If any of you “Person of Interest” fans out there still wondered whether or not our government was capable of and/or currently practice many of the same programs its fictionalized establishment utilizes, William Binney would like to tell you the definitive answer: yes.
The Good Postman
- Excerpt: A documentary that exposes bigotry, fear, and anger as toxic forces in a dying village in Bulgaria.
Goon: Last of the Enforcers
- Excerpt: It’s like, instead of watching a hockey game, you chose to read the rule book.
- Excerpt: Despite distractions — or colorful hilarity depending on your comic sensibilities — Goon: Last of the Enforcers does ultimately deliver on the promise its predecessor made with a gooey, heartfelt center surrounded by a profanity-laced candy shell.
- Excerpt: Goon: Last of the Enforcers is an incredible sequel, scoring big with laughs, heart and thrills.
- Excerpt: It’s heady and occasionally depressing stuff but none ofGraduation would work as well as it does without Titieni, who appears in every scene of the more than two hour movie.
- Excerpt: Graduation quickly becomes a commencement not for the student heading to college, but the father who’s devoted his life to ensuring it happens. It’s a stirring performance from Titieni that holds everything together—his mix of guilt and uncertainty in action but courage and confidence in results forcing you to wonder if the purpose is worth the process.
A Gray State
Federico Furzan @ Cinelipsis [Spanish]
- Excerpt: Documental fascinante de la fuerza de una teoría y el poder de la ficción que a veces se vuelve demasiado real.
The Great Day
- Excerpt: Documentary about four children who test their bodies, minds, and spirits in pursuit of their dreams.
Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse
Nuno Reis @ SciFiWorld Portugal [Portuguese]
- Excerpt: Desde cobras e esventramentos a delírios alucinogénios, para não referir o pior, “Hagazussa” vai chocar muito. Se for visto depois do almoço, pode causar um profundo desconforto estomacal que obriga a abandonar a sala.
- Excerpt: A lively dramedy about two friends who walk through the fire and forge their characters in the process.
- Excerpt: It’s a story full of people young and old who have grasped ahold of one identifying feature or goal at the detriment of others. Despite a rosier outlook than reality might ultimately provide, the story does show how self-compartmentalization isn’t the only way.
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki
Hare Krishna! the Mantra, the Movement, and the Swami Who Started It All
- Excerpt: A dynamic documentary about the visionary Vedic scholar who launched the Hare Krishna movement.
Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story
- Excerpt: Harold and Lillian have the talent for being instantly likeable, and so does the film about them.
Haunters: The Art of the Scare
- Excerpt: Haunters is a scare industry doc that pushes hard into the realms of extremists and questions what may come next with sensible trepidation. Could have been a bit more balanced, but some of the reveals are too insane to miss/ignore/believe.
- Excerpt: Haunters: The Art of the Scare is a poignant, spirited, and fun exploration of this curious corner of macabre entertainment.
- Excerpt: As the mysteries of Havenhurst reveal themselves, don’t be alarmed by your disinterest.
- Excerpt: Headshot is yet another action film built for lovers of a genre who have been domestically underwhelmed for too long.
- Excerpt: Seething with violence and rage.
Heal the Living
- Excerpt: A very fine French film about death, organ donation, and the importance of illness narratives.
Heaven Will Wait
- Excerpt: Heaven Will Wait would be much better served by trying to get into the minds of the girls themselves instead of treating them like alien beings.
- Excerpt: There’s only one musical number in the entire movie that I felt like applauding. Unfortunately, the wonderful Audra McDonald and her gorgeous rendition of “Beyond the Moon” could not save this disjointed offering.
- Excerpt: A mumblecore take on hockey, violence, and toxic masculinity.
- Excerpt: Here Alone is quiet and pensive and mostly free of zombie action but it’s loaded with emotion and a well-mounted exploration of the impact of a catastrophe on the individual and exploring the effects it has on society never gets old.
- Excerpt: While ‘Here Alone’ has compelling pieces, the whole lacks momenutm and thrust.
- Excerpt: The falseness of so many elements becomes impossible for the rest of the movie to overcome.
- Excerpt: A festive tribute to the this seminal spiritual teacher.
- Excerpt: The film is therefore full of emotion and drama as Lee deals with the present by reconciling past and future. It’s a wonderfully poignant showcase for Elliott’s talents, an uncommon role for an actor his age to sink his teeth in and not be relegated to the background.
- Excerpt: Hidden Reserves has a lot of potential which it doesn’t quite meet. Though it peppers familiar tech and ideas into the story and manages to infuse the old with a new, terrifying concept, sadly much is lost in the convoluted, often confusing plot.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
- Excerpt: The Hitman’s Bodyguard is really just a slapstick vessel for Samuel L. Jackson’s masterful delivery of “m#th&rf$ck*r!” and that’s OK.
- Excerpt: A modestly entertaining ’80s style action comedy about two combative mismatched bros.
- Excerpt: Surprisingly again, Reese Witherspoon has settled for signing on the dotted line to partake in a woefully rudimentary romantic comedy. Witherspoon is curiously reduced to playing what amounts to a walking sleeping pill in first time writer-director Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s mawkish, contrived comedy Home Again.
The Honor Farm
- Excerpt: The Honor Farm dazzles and shimmers under Karen Skloss’s guidance, but characters are far more hollow than their mouthy rants might suggest.
Hot Summer Nights
Hounds of Love
- Excerpt: Hounds Of Love cultivates invasive performances, unsettles nerves and has audiences chewing nails down to cuticle nubs without noticing.
- Excerpt: Hounds of Love is a terrifying edge-of-your-seat thriller spiked with sexual violence, animal abuse, and torture.
- Excerpt: Even as a well jaded and calloused lover of horror, this sparse Australian film is, perhaps, the most uncomfortably horrific and viscerally terrifying film I’ve seen in years. It’s a gut punch of realism in an age of hyperbolic excess, mining the depths of real world fears to leave you sick with dread.
The Houses October Built 2
- Excerpt: A meditative and visually stunning overview of the plight of refugees around the world.
I Am Another You
- Excerpt: Documentary about a young man whose quest for freedom masks major mental problems.
- Excerpt: You’ll be hard-pressed not to dive into the complexities of this situation that had seemed so cut-and-dry. There’s a lot to be said about books and covers as well as the prisons we erect for ourselves despite being outside the ones society constructs around us.
I Am Michael
- Excerpt: James Franco is a stand-out in I Am Michael, but the film’s specific story struggles to relate on a broader scale.
I Am Not Your Negro
- Excerpt: An inspiring documentary on the legacy of the African-American writer and activist.
I Called Him Morgan
- Excerpt: To peddle I Called Him Morgan as some exposé of murder is to sell a specific bill of goods that isn’t fulfilled. To treat it [as such] is a disservice to the legendary jazz that’s regrettably relegated to set dressing for a nonexistent murder mystery.
- Excerpt: There has not been a penetrating and provocative documentary in my recent memory that chronicles with such curiosity, the insight and intimacy into the musical process and romantic partnership disillusionment than Swedish director-writer-producer Kasper Collin’s compelling and resonating true crime documentary, I Called Him Morgan.
I Can Speak
Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour [Indonesian]
I Do Until I Don’t
- Excerpt: The movie itself is enjoyable but lacks its predecessor’s fire, making it a disappointing next step for Bell in both style and content.
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore
- Excerpt: Given its premiere at Sundance the weekend of Donald Trump’s inauguration and its consequently relatable title, Macon Blair’s directorial debut I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore ought to offer some much-needed catharsis with its violent revenge storyline.
- Excerpt: I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore won’t be for everyone, but those who feel like a black sheep in public will no-doubt share on-screen sentiments.
- Excerpt: Blair seems to have taken what he learned from [Jeremy Saulnier’s] sets and infused it with his own flavor. He’s got the brutal violence, suffocating suspense, and uncomplicated yet tautly written mystery down pat, but it’s all mixed with a brilliant sense of satire and caricature too.
I Kill Giants
- Excerpt: No seu todo é um filme interessante que incomoda e por isso dá a impressão que podia ser melhor. Mas o que se pode fazer quando a vida, o mundo e os monstros que o habitam se uniram para nos tramar?
I Remember You
- Excerpt: I Remember You is a strong sophomore showing for Óskar Thór Axelsson, rife with dramatic sights and a tight control on carefully-leaked desperation. Might not be the most fast-paced haunted affair, but slow-burn fans are in for a crushing frozen treat.
- Excerpt: This revealing documentary about doping of athletes to improve their performances plays almost like a spy thriller.
In Dubious Battle
- Excerpt: Film adaptation of a John Steinbeck novel about fruit pickers trying to keep their souls alive during a strike.
In the Fade
- Excerpt: In the Fade may play with European politics and with narrative structures that will be more familiar to us Americans but all of that is just the frame that houses its real story, one of the human soul, the damage that can be done to it and the damage it can do.
- Excerpt: I’m here all day for Diane Kruger fighting Nazis. The only problem with ‘In the Fade’ is that instead of focusing on that part of the story, it turns into a middling ‘Law & Order’ episode.
- Excerpt: It’s no mistake that Kruger won Best Actress at Cannes because her Katja is a force. She runs the gamut of emotions from pure joy at the start to absolute desperation and despair morphing into a cold, calculating malice.
- Excerpt: Writer/director Akin makes no secret of his allegiance to the immigrant community, but his choice of a classically blonde, blue-eyed Aryan as the film’s protagonist is deliberate and purposeful, emphasizing the universality of family devotion and the equally universal agony when violence rips families apart. The political climate may change in future years, but In the Fade will remain a vital and electrifying account of one woman’s harrowing battle with unimaginable loss.
In the Forest of Siberia (Dans les forêts de Sibérie)
- Excerpt: A French film about a burnt-out man who spends some prime time in the wilderness of Siberia seeking the insights of solitude.
In This Corner of the World
- Excerpt: A Japanese anime film about a young woman’s daily life in a town near Hiroshima during World War II.
- Excerpt: It’s through [Suzu’s] obliviousness that we understand the innocence World War II truly took. She becomes a metaphor for Japan itself, stopped in its tracks before finding the strength to rebuild.
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
The Incredible Jessica James
- Excerpt: Directorial flourishes aside, it’s hard to imagine this as anything other than Jessica Williams’ movie.
- Excerpt: The Incredible Jessica James is pretty wonky, delivering a story that’s heart is big, but that’s path is meandering.
- Excerpt: The nightmare grows exponentially worse as each promise for salvation arrives with a crippling defeat. The climax proves devastating as a result: its embodiment of the sinister acts performed for selfish gain in the name of God an unforgettable depiction of futility and surrender.
- Excerpt: …well-crafted, but it’s too slow and monotone for most audiences, with too little dramatic payoff.
- Excerpt: Whatever goodwill Inoperable earns by asserting its own terms is ultimately squandered come the film’s even-more-convoluted finale. A twisty exploration at first, but sustainability is not Christopher Lawrence Chapman’s friend.
- Excerpt: There has to be a more compelling story about Rosewood Institute worth telling.
- Excerpt: This is an unflinching portrayal and, those who are recently bereaved or are in that large group of the populace – including myself – who have ever watched a loved one succumb to terminal illness, should approach it with extreme caution.
It Happened in L.A.
- Excerpt: If you’re going to try to update the urban relationship comedy, shouldn’t the accompanying mores be updated as well?
Jab Harry Met Sejal
- Excerpt: A spiritual look at Jacqueline Kennedy’s search for meaning after the death of her beloved husband.
- Excerpt: A soul-stirring cinematic tribute to Jane Goodall and her reverence for chimpanzees.
- Excerpt: an open mind, a passion for knowledge, a love of animals, and a monumental patience
- Excerpt: And beyond the many wonderful insights from Goodall as she takes us back through this journey, Jane is simply a well-produced work of captivating archival footage. [Hers] is a life that inspires generations, one of perseverance, intelligence, and empathy against all odds.
Japanese Girls Never Die
- Excerpt: Japanese Girls Never Die offers a stinging critique of Japanese culture through revealing the lives of these two very different girls, who can’t seem to escape being treated like things easily discarded.
Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai
Jeepers Creepers 3
- Excerpt: Esta terceira toma do tema deixa aberta a possibilidade de sequela (não que isso alguma vez tenha importado desde que descobriram as prequelas), mas sabemos que isso não acontecerá. A era deste monstro terminou.
Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent
- Excerpt: Tower’s life is a bizarre and often compelling one but Tenaglia is ultimately undone by a desire to make it a more conventional, palatable one and to overlook Tower’s bullheaded egocentrism.
- Excerpt: With a bleak finale that won’t soon leave you, Jesús proves a gripping cautionary tale unafraid to let its characters suffer for justice. A son’s mistake becomes a father’s failure and no matter what happens, no one’s soul is left whole.
- Excerpt: Jigsaw feels like a forced hodgepodge of previous franchise entries that never carves its own identity, making you question what prompted such an expected reboot these few years later.
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond: Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton
- Excerpt: The difference is that Kaufman didn’t live long enough to become long-windedly psuedo-philosophical about it.
Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold
- Excerpt: A portrait of essayist Joan Didion and her self-respect.
- Excerpt: Because Griffin Dunne knows his famous aunt so well, his conversations with her come across as intimate and sincere in this wonderful and enlightening documentary.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable
- Excerpt: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable is wildly uneven in tone, veering from cartoony hysterics, to mawkish earnestness, to abruptly grim family-drama, and brazenly outrageous monster battles.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable – Chapter 1
- Excerpt: Hair do battles, spirit warriors, too many endings. I…it’s…well, only in Japan.
Jolly LLB 2
- Excerpt: Story inspired by historical events that illustrates the process whereby enemies can become friends.
Journey to Greenland (Le Voyage au Groënland) http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/films/reviews/view/28380/journey-to-greenland
- Excerpt: The cross-cultural journey of two long-time friends visiting one of their fathers in a remote Inuit village.
- Excerpt: It’s been a great year for indie thrillers but Juggernaut is so good, it deserves a spot alongside Wind River as one of this year’s must see titles.
- Excerpt: For fans of cinematic oddities that spring forth from the mind of lunatics.
- Excerpt: Not only is Junk Head one of the great discoveries of the year, it also marks the arrival of a bold new vision. I can’t wait to see what Hori will deliver next.
- Excerpt: Karate Kill’ may not have much in the way of plot, but it certainly has an excess of violent martial arts fights, blood, and gratuitous nudity.
Karl Marx City
- Excerpt: A poignant documentary about round-the-clock surveillance in the German Democratic Republic.
- Excerpt: A magical and immensely endearing documentary about the love affair between the people of Istanbul and the stray cats who wander the streets of the city.
- Excerpt: With the camera following [these cats’] every move from ground level meandering to death-defying stunts up ledges to night-vision pursuits of mice in the sewers, we see corners [of Istanbul] we never could by boarding a plane to vacation there for a week.
- Excerpt: What Backcountry did for campfire creature attacks Killing Ground does for murderous bushmen in the same setting.
- Excerpt: Power’s well-paced unfolding of the narratives helps dampen the awkwardness.
- Excerpt: It’s subtle, strong and scary as hell.
King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
- Excerpt: A edição e as perguntas só num momento (Cohen/Williamson) dão valor, mas Cohen fica reconfirmado como um nome incontornável da sétima arte e este documentário, ainda que saiba a pouco pela sua simplicidade, abre o apetite para conhecer melhor tal vida e obra.
Knife in the Clear Water
- Excerpt: Not for everyone, but those with patience may find something lovely.
- Excerpt: The film’s title ostensibly refers to the first communion of an autistic boy. But communion also means a deep communication of thoughts and feelings with another – and in this case, that other is us, the viewers. The family has allowed complete exposure.
- Excerpt: A documentary about a passionate Spanish flamenco dancer.
- Excerpt: The result is a chilling, bold depiction of our souls weighed by a system put in place by men rather than Gods. [It’s] greed incarnate wrapped in a display of white privilege and the fine line separating heroes from tyrants.
- Excerpt: Gerwig has created a remarkable portrait of girlhood, and of that most perilous time of mother-daughter relationships.
- Excerpt: A fierce Finnish import that burns with campfire terror – and be doubly impressed by what comes after.
- Excerpt: Individual pieces are fantastic, but as a whole, this watches like multiple shorts stitched together.
Land of Mine
- Excerpt: Well structured, doling out the mystery over the course of the film, the protagonist in this faux-documentary evolves from heroic pilot to unlikable murder suspect.
- Excerpt: This is a movie that aims to grapple honestly with the concept of forgiveness, treating it not as a catharsis but as a process.
- Excerpt: We’re fortunate to have Gillian Robespierre making movies.
- Excerpt: Witty, warm, and funny, Landline is a charming comedy, edged just a bit by its heartbreaks.
The Last Dalai Lama?
- Excerpt: An edifying and uplifting documentary on the spiritual insights, practices, and epiphanies of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Last Flag Flying
- Excerpt: Much of the film plays with the same sort of walking around and talking set ups as his Before Trilogy, and for the most part the director sits back and lets his stars steal the show. And what a remarkable job they each do!
The Last Jedi
- Excerpt: … the most gratifying big-screen Star Wars experience thus far.
The Last Laugh
- Excerpt: A documentary on the controversies swirling around humor about the Holocaust.
Last Men in Aleppo
- Excerpt: An unflinching, grippingly realistic, and heart-rending documentary about the senseless carnage of war.
- Excerpt: How Fayyad and company stand apart from generic subjective journalism is their ability to erase themselves from the proceedings. There are no interviews or narrative commentary because the events truly speak for themselves.
The Last Word
- Excerpt: One of the few comedies about the challenges of creating a legacy at the end of life.
- Excerpt: This is more an exercise in suspense than one of logic. And it satisfies neither suspense nor logic.
- Excerpt: Despite this underwhelming finale, the thriller might have fared better if its star power matched the caliber of Gass-Donnelly’s style.
- Excerpt: I have seen into the abyss, and it has drained from me my very will to live. Which is to say, I have seen The Layover.
- Excerpt: As brilliant as Harrelson’s performance might be, it’s never enough to elevate the any of the rest of film’s moving parts. His 10-star portrayal does little to hide the fact that this feels like a toothless, late-90s made for TV movie as opposed to an actual major motion picture.
- Excerpt: No, this is a doggedly programmatic attempt at crowd-pleasing that seems to have been made even worse in translation.
- Excerpt: Leatherface is an origin story that attempts to carve new mythos for one of horror’s mightiest legends, but ends up leaning on franchise references and bleakness to an unnecessary fault.
The Lego Ninjago Movie
- Excerpt: But Lemon, Bravo’s first feature film, can’t seem to get the tragedy/comedy balance right.
- Excerpt: More off-color stories have been told about being served life’s biggest lemon, all with more stinging, lasting reflections.
- Excerpt: If nothing else, ‘Lemon’ is notable for bringing us Michael Cera’s worst onscreen haircut.
Let It Fall: LA 1982-1992
- Excerpt: LET IT FALL: 1982-1992 stands with last year’s O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA and I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO as a powerful retrospective on the dynamics of United States race relations.
Let Me Make You a Martyr
- Excerpt: There’s a lot more to Corey Asraf and John Swab’s debut feature Let Me Make You a Martyr than meets the eye. The performances are authentically drawn if a bit melodramatic when philosophical underpinnings of decisions are vocalized aloud; the choice to keep every extinguishment of life off-screen profound to have us questioning whether everything is God’s will rather than the Devil’s.
Let the Corpses Tan
- Excerpt: Let The Corpses Tan is a fetishistic, ultra-violent exploitation flick that’s all kinds of artistic and exciting when it comes to midnighter execution(s). Get ready for some surreal, splattery shoot-out artistry. Min story, max visual feast.
- Excerpt: The filmmakers themselves also allow for the viewer to create their own reading of their films, equally as valid as whatever Cattet and Forzani may have intended.
Letters from Baghdad
- Excerpt: An exquisite documentary on the extraordinary life and work of Gertrude Bell.
- Excerpt: The internet can be a lonely placed filled with temptation, and Like Me is just one (artistically vibrant) warning scenario.
The Limehouse Golem
- Excerpt: The mystery is perhaps not enough mysterious, but the acting and the look and feel are worth the trip. Incidentally, one disappointment is that the plot has virtually nothing to do with golems.
- Excerpt: A heavy darkness falls upon the film that I did not expect. Credit Medina for never wavering from [this] nightmarish aesthetic of darkened streets and splattered blood.
- Excerpt: Combines comedy and horror in a clever offering with plenty of chuckles and scary sights for fans of both genres. It’s like The Omen meets Tucker & Dale vs Evil.
The Little Hours
- Excerpt: Just remember that, while it’s making you guffaw, it’s also engaged in some religious and sexual satire that’s still potent hundreds of years later.
- Excerpt: A raunchy convent comedy loosely based on The Decameron, a 14th century classic.
- Excerpt: Jeff Baena’s The Little Hours – or maybe better The Young Nuns (these nuns say “fuck”) – is a one-note pun played with staccato enthusiasm.
Long Time Running
- Excerpt: Maybe a documentary about The Hip’s fandom will come in the future, but right now the story that matters most is the band’s tragic yet empowering dissolution. It’s about five guys finding a sense of closure their occupation rarely affords.
Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry
- Excerpt: A spiritually abundant documentary on the life and work of a humble rural seer.
Lost in Paris
- Excerpt: A far-out romantic comedy with three eccentric and lovable characters.
Love and Saucers
- Excerpt: An earnest documentary about a parti-time deli employee who likes to paint and lost his virginity a space alien.
Dragan Antulov @ Draxblog VI [Croatian]
- Excerpt: Friends, and often female friends in particular, can achieve a closeness that runs as deep as or deeper than any romance, even if it may look different on the outside.
- Excerpt: Saga of two twenty-something women who try to take their friendship to another level of intimacy.
- Excerpt: A creative animated feature exploring the mysterious death of Vincent Van Gogh.
- Excerpt: It’s like the air itself surges around each character, the surrealism of surfaces in stark contrast with the real world movements performed. That skewed filter of reflecting light transports us onto a plane of vision only attained when looking at this master’s work.
- Excerpt: It’s definitely not for everyone but there’s a charm and gleefulness to Lowlife that makes the movie really entertaining if a bit unhinged.
- Excerpt: Lowlife is a dirt-nasty nonlinear debut for Ryan Prows, sewn together from vengeful, spite-driven tales of urban survival. “Sonofabitch” incarnate. Plus, it’s pretty funny. In like a super depraved way.
- Excerpt: after some unwieldy turns and awkward tone shifts, Lowlife sticks the landing with a finale that is unnerving, satisfying, and suitably absurd.
- Excerpt: The poignant story of the spiritual journey of a nonagenarian facing changes in his ordinary life.
- Excerpt: Lucky isn’t perfect as a person or a film, but there’s something fitting about this. Escape from his character’s situation won’t ever be clean and Kang ensures to never pretend it will.
- Excerpt: Agnieszka Smoczynska’s The Lure demands praise as one of 2015’s most unique, unexpected treats; a fanciful feast of cannibalistic Eurotrash ultra-sweetness.
- Excerpt: In the mood for a dark, Polish, new wave mermaid rock opera?
- Excerpt: We see the mermaids as animals and innocents, predators and victims. We see the humans under their spell until enough fear breaks them free into heroin-level withdrawal. It may be a fairy tale, but its success is being bound to reality.
- Excerpt: It’s the ’80s rock musical with sex, mermaids, and murder you’ve been waiting for.
- Excerpt: Though it comes pretty darn close, M.F.A. doesn’t fully cross over into horror. The decision means the movie should play well to more conservative audiences who may not be ready for the powerful message of empowerment that it delivers.
- Excerpt: It’s impossible to therefore leave the film without a concrete answer to that pointed question of the camera—the experience revealing poverty as the real machine. When inequality, hunger, and destitution allow society to stand on the backs of men rather than lend helping hands, we all suffer.
Mad to be Normal
- Excerpt: A thought provoking biopicture focusing on the countercultural life and work of the controversial Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing.
- Excerpt: Low budget space movies are hard to pull off and Magellan doesn’t quite manage to live up to its ambition but if you’re willing to squint a little at the rough edges, you might find yourself, as I was, swept in by the storytelling.
- Excerpt: The journey is ultimately as sweetly funny as it’s emotionally tragic. Rather than evolve, everyone here learns to embrace who they are. For some this freedom is a beginning, others an end.
The Man with the Iron Heart
Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
- Excerpt: An old-fashioned World War II thriller with chillingly impressive performances from both Jason Clarke and Rosamund Pike.
The Man with the Magic Box
- Excerpt: If you can swallow the big, implausible plot twist, your hundred minutes in Warsaw, 2030 will be well-spent.
Manchester by the Sea
- Excerpt: Manifesto the film—on its own—felt esoteric and smug, mocking art while singing its praises and preaching to a choir all bedecked with matching smug smirks.
Maria By Callas
- Excerpt: A well-researched, personal and fascinating documentary.
- Excerpt: Marjorie Prime is a movie about memory but it’s also a movie about identity, arguing convincingly eloquently that the two are synonyms.
- Excerpt: An inventive and thought-provoking sci-fi film about memory, mortality, family, and technology.
Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
- Excerpt: With the exception of a thin handful of scenes between Felt and his wife (Diane Lane), Landesman hardly even attempts to illustrate Felt’s interior motivations.
- Excerpt: Drama about Deep Throat, the whistle-blower who wanted to save American democracy.
- Excerpt: As imbued with emotion as Neeson’s performance is, the script never lingers long enough to allow the tension to truly build. For a story with as much potential for depth as this has, the dive is exceptionally shallow.
Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts
- Excerpt: More importantly might be the timeliness of Marlina in the discussion of male entitlement and female agency. The basic story was inspired by a true incident in Sumba.
Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
- Excerpt: Another win from one of Indonesia’s most exciting directors today.
Federico Furzan @ Cinelipsis (2017) [Spanish]
- Excerpt: A rousing courtroom drama about Thurgood Marshall as an ardent NAACP lawyer in a town convulsed by racial hatred of blacks.
- Excerpt: You can’t fault the story for being “clichéd” when those moments that feel like forced adversity or opportunistic victories are authentic. If anything this is why the story is important: it shows us that books cannot be judged by their covers or past actions. When the evidence is presented, humanity still has the ability to overcome any prejudice.
- Excerpt: Maudie is, at its core, a graceful illustration of what it means to truly have another person in your life and how it can improve you.
- Excerpt: An inspiring portrait of the resilience of a crippled but immensely creative woman.
- Excerpt: Brimming with emotion and resonance, Maudie is one of the best biopics to crop up in recent years.
May It Last
- Excerpt: “May It Last” plays more like a puff piece than a concert doc, never digging to discover the hard sacrifice to this hectic touring schedule, the dirt beneath the fingernails of such work. Maybe there is no dirt for the Avetts.
- Excerpt: As infection thrillers go, Mayhem spreads the good word of deconstructed civilization with furious rage.
- Excerpt: [Caruso] wields absurdity as a weapon for brutality and humor due to the scenario’s inherent air of surreal delusion wherein nightmare is craved. Societal imperatives like “normalcy” and “decency” are thrown out the window so that we can live vicariously through the unhinged warriors of justice onscreen.
- Excerpt: Most of the characters in the film have all the depth of cardboard standees.
- Excerpt: Impressive sequences in the woods that two teens travel through come across sometimes as very touching, and at other times quite terrifying — just right for a thriller!
The Meaning of Life
- Excerpt: The Meaning of Life is bland, efficient and inoffensive, like the inside of a brand new Burger King.
- Excerpt: An authentic and endearing portrait of an oddball in his Brooklyn Hasidic community
- Excerpt: Menashe certainly gives you plenty to smile about, tucked though they are between moments of sadness and pain. But that’s life, I guess. The good times and the bad often spring from the same source, and choosing one or the other lessens the overall experiences of life.
Meri Pyaari Bindu
Message from the King
- Excerpt: Chadwick Boseman deserves kudos for his riveting performance here as a man deeply concerned about his sister and dedicated to personally punishing anyone who has done her harm.
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
- Excerpt: A hard-hitting dramedy about the emotional fireworks set off by anger.
Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour [Indonesian]
Midsummer in Newtown
- Excerpt: A documentary about the healing medicine of creativity in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shootings.
- Excerpt: A satisfying dramedy about a woman seeking fresh directions and adventures during middle age.
- Excerpt: A lean, taut revenge thriller that continually offers delicate surprises as it shifts and evolves.
Vadim Grigoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]
Mom and Dad
- Excerpt: If you get excited by the thought of Nicolas Cage destroying a pool table via sledgehammer while screaming The Hokey Pokey, Mom And Dad is the movie for you.
- Excerpt: Mom and Dad offers pockets of irreverent fun, some sprinklings of gore, and enough crazy Cage antics to make it worth a late night watch.
- Excerpt: A documentary about the quest for love in monogamy and other options.
Monsieur & Madame Adelman
- Excerpt: In keeping with the literary aspects of the story, the film plays with the concept of the unreliable narrator.
A Monster Calls
- Excerpt: Through his stories, the monster demonstrates again and again that truth, belief and emotion can and do exist in simultaneous contradiction to themselves.
- Excerpt: Monster Trucks is pure, child-first cinema that’s energetically staged to wow younger audiences (and entertain older chaperones).
- Excerpt: “Monster Trucks” is a movie the Internet should love. Imaginative and wonderful, it pays unexpected homage to the gloriously odd kids’ movies of the 1990s.
Moscow Never Sleeps
- Excerpt: O’Reilly has crafted a meticulously drawn tapestry of universal human themes within a setting that’s as unique as it is familiar.
Most Beautiful Island
- Excerpt: Most Beautiful Island is less a film than it is a social experiment, but both aspects create one successful story about a creeping, crawling night you’ll never forget.
- Excerpt: What makes Most Beautiful Island standout, however, is that it isn’t just about desperation. Whether Luciana survives the night pales in comparison to whether she can gain power in the process by peering beneath the curtain of paradise’s lie.
- Excerpt: The story Asensio spins is delicate and threatening, like a spider’s web.
- Excerpt: An eye-opening documentary about the plight of poor women giving birth in the busiest maternity ward in the world.
- Excerpt: An astonishing documentary about an African millionaire whose goodness leads him to serve the street orphans of Nairobi, Kenya.
Muppet Guys Talking
- Excerpt: With the rousing laughter, surprising behind-the-scenes details, and welcoming reminiscence, “Muppet Guys Talking” boasts an easy vibrancy and radiant joy in this conversation that we feel lucky to be the fly on its wall.
The Music of Silence
Diego Salgado @ Guía del Ocio [Spanish]
My Cousin Rachel
- Excerpt: A compelling costume drama that leaves us in the dark with the nettlesome emotion of not knowing.
My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea
My Father Die
- Excerpt: My Father Die is an angry little debut for Sean Brosnan, and thankfully for papa Pierce Brosnan, not with biographical intent.
My Friend Dahmer
- Excerpt: This film makes it seem as though author (and “friend”) Derf Backderf isn’t looking for answers. He’s desperately trying to assuage his [own] guilt.
- Excerpt: My Friend Dahmer feels crass and calculating.
- Excerpt: Não sendo um thriller no sentido convencional, é uma forma diferente de conhecer o que está por trás de uma mente perturbada. Tem um efeito diferente dos filmes de terror e destoa em festivais de género, mas faz todo o sentido estar presente.
My Life as a Zucchini
- Excerpt: Think Short Term 12 for ten year olds and you can begin to understand the delicate balance between present depression and future hope supplied. In the end My Life as a Zucchini’s success is in reminding kids that they aren’t to blame. Things will turn around.
My Little Pony: The Movie
- Excerpt: My Little Pony: The Movie offers a sophisticated message about trauma and self-love.
My Scientology Movie
- Excerpt: My Scientology Movie adroitly uses comedy to make us understand that Scientology is no laughing matter.
Naledi: A Baby Elephant’s Tale
- Excerpt: This marvelous documentary wisely uses the true story of Naledi, a baby elephant orphaned at one month, to gain our attention and empathy regarding the serious problem of African elephant extinction.
Neither Wolf Nor Dog
- Excerpt: A classic on Native American spirituality that will stand the test of time and give you insights into fresh meanings of reverence, silence, honor, shadow, and redemption.
- Excerpt: Even with its slight pacing issues, Never Here is a fascinating thriller with a wonderful lead performance and an ending which pays homage to Michael Haneke without feeling like a rip-off.
- Excerpt: There’s a lot about the plot (for lack of a better word) of Never Here that I can’t be quite sure about, in fact, though that’s far from a complaint.
- Excerpt: Thoman spins a suspense thriller with all its genre underpinnings around Miranda to take the control she’s always carefully ensured was hers away.
The New Radical
Night Is Short, Walk on Girl
- Excerpt: Girl‘s dream logic is totally blissed-out; someone must have spiked the imitation brandy with mescaline.
The Night Watchmen
- Excerpt: The Night Watchmen is a perfect midnight movie; it’s weird, gory, and just goofy enough to keep you giggling between jump scares.
The Nile Hilton Incident
- Excerpt: An anatomy of a Cairo crime investigation clouded by corruption.
Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press
- Excerpt: A hard-hitting documentary exposing the multi-leveled attack on the media by the rich and the powerful.
- Excerpt: [Bonello] knows the price of terrorism in his country and isn’t afraid to make us watch as it gets paid despite those at fault being Parisians rather than foreigners. We’re unfortunately shown this lesson thirty minutes in only to realize it’s the only message Bonello has. Rather than profound, Nocturama is almost forgettable.
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
- Excerpt: Norman is lively, funny and bursting with fantastically realized plot and character intricacies but its main narrative thrust can be boiled down to its subtitle,The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer.
- Excerpt: A charming drama about a wheeler-dealer who genuinely wants to connect people.
- Excerpt: Much like its titular character, Norman is a film that wears its heart on its sleeve—above all else, it is unabashedly itself, awkward foibles and missteps clear to see by any who deign to look.
- Excerpt: Set in a world where our forefathers’ craziest superstitions are literally true, ‘November’ weaves a Gothic tapestry of sleepwalking noblewomen, hags, bewitched friars, and dead ancestors who sometimes manifest as chickens.
- Excerpt: An illuminating study of religious zeal set in a cloistered convent in Tennessee in the 1960s.
Nowhere to Hide
- Excerpt: A laser-sharp documentary on the impact on civilians of five years of war and destruction in Iraq.
- Excerpt: Kormakur’s grim, desolate thriller is a gripping dive into the shadows and more emotionally twisted than most sawed-off-shotgun-toting revenge films.
- Excerpt: A quirky and engaging documentary about the obit beat of The New York Times.
On Body and Soul
- Excerpt: The attraction here is Alexandra Borbély‘s fascinating portrayal of Maria. She makes expressionlessness an art form while portraying a character type who is seldom, if ever, seen on screen—and if so, never in the role of a romantic lead.
On the Beach at Night Alone
- Excerpt: Much like Hong’s last film, Yourself and Yours, this one is more than a little Bunuel-inspired and more than a lot just plain inspired.
Once Upon a Time in Venice
- Excerpt: Jason Momoa is the BIG surprise here. It’s such a treat to see this giant of a man playing a tough gang leader who just might have a heart.
One Cut of the Dead
Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
- Excerpt: Despite a sagging middle, ‘One Cut of the Dead’ is one of the most engaging and innovative films released this year. Pom!
The Only Living Boy in New York
- Excerpt: That The Only Living Boy in New York is uninspired and programmatic is reason to skip it.
Only the Brave
- Excerpt: … Even with conventional proceedings, what “Only the Brave” recounts is populated with beauty, respect, and zero manipulation.
- Excerpt: Kosinski puts his time into the performances and narrative balance necessary to portray each character as a man or woman with flaws and a legitimate drive to accept and overcome them. The moments when those personality shortcomings rise to the surface are the most powerful because they expose the psychological challenges of living inside and outside this job.
- Excerpt: You’ll leave having laughed but not having seen anything new.
The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One
- Excerpt: If I were to be reductive I’d say The Osiris Child was a low budget Neill Blomkamp remix with elements from Elysium and Chappie. And it works.
The Other Side of Hope
- Excerpt: Haji takes control of a still frame like a seasoned professional, relating unembellished the horrors of his life and his commitment to being reunited with his sister, the only family member he has left.
- Excerpt: Although the acting and production values in this independent film earn high marks, a confusing flow of the story is troublesome.
The Ottoman Lieutenant
- Excerpt: Portrait of a strong-willed 23-year-old American who sets off on an adventure.
Our Souls at Night
- Excerpt: A touching and elegant movie about the healing qualities of deep talk in the last stage of life.
Out of Thin Air
Federico Furzan @ Cinelipsis [Spanish]
- Excerpt: Cemented by a great lead performance from Joey Klein, Painless is a nice genre surprise, a movie that takes a grandiose idea but manages to keep the story intimate.
Paint It Black
- Excerpt: It doesn’t always hold together but it’s too outstanding to be ignored.
- Excerpt: Paint It Black is vibrant with emotion, and authentic in its journey, presenting an arc of grief that is raw, riveting, and surreally beautiful.
Vadim Grigoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]
Paris Can Wait
- Excerpt: Some may balk at Paris Can Wait’s fusillade of extravagances but Coppola is aware enough to acknowledge how special they are while Lane balances Anne’s enjoyment of and familiarity with creature comforts.
- Excerpt: A diverting drama about the bounties of wonder, beauty, and the art of being present to the delights of the senses.
The Passion of Augustine
- Excerpt: Intriguing drama about a musically gifted religious who creatively handles the many changes which come her way.
- Excerpt: sober-minded Israeli film about sibling rivalry, secrets from the past, and the quest to express oneself creatively.
- Excerpt: It’s a Hollywood ending to what could have been a devastating look into the darkness of humanity with its back against the wall. Past Life gets us thinking about so many possible scenarios only to supply an optimism that seemed incongruous to the pessimistic journey.
A Patch of Fog
- Excerpt: While some of the plotting may be familiar to some viewers, the story is a tight efficient little thriller.
- Excerpt: Berg may display above average competence in his organization of the chronology and mechanics of the manhunt. But Patriots Day’s heart is so misguided, it barely matters.
Pearl Jam: Let’s Play Two
- Excerpt: Again, although its feel-good moments, Pearl Jam: Let’s Play Two will bring nothing exploratory or particularly fresh within the realm of concert film documentaries to indifferent outsiders that do not harbor any allegiance to either Pearl Jam or The Chicago Cubs.
- Excerpt: SXSW 2017 marks the film’s last appearance, to be destroyed forever – with good reason.
The Pirates of Somalia
- Excerpt: This is a political movie not in the sense that it’s about politics–there’s surprisingly little of that, actually–but in the sense that it’s about a citizenry.
- Excerpt: Writer-director Buckley seems to think that his viewer wants to know more about Bahadur than about Somali pirates. At least he can make that funnier.
Pitch Perfect 3
- Excerpt: After two heralded breezy and finger-snapping editions, the sassy songbirds of the Barden Bellas are back for a supposedly final installment, and sad to say it is not a charm the third time around in the lame, toe-tapping Pitch Perfect 3.
- Excerpt: Unfortunately for Pitchfork, a new breed of evil is not born here.
- Excerpt: The quest of a classical ballerina to express herself through modern dance.
- Excerpt: Despite its idiosyncrasies, Pop Aye is ultimately a boy-and-his-dog story in search of a catharsis that, frankly, you will see coming by the halfway point.
- Excerpt: While Pork Pie writer/director Matt Murphy brings a modern wit and fresh whimsy to this remake, his chief achievement might be selecting a pitch-perfect cast.
- Excerpt: It’s a credit to Yelchin and Lucas that we can observe them betraying the other and still know their love is stronger. To watch them look longingly into the past is to recognize how important moments are to entire lives.
- Excerpt: Prevenge is a breathtaking, savage debut from Alice Lowe, one that boasts horrific moral deprivation and a sense of humor drenched in maternal madness.
- Excerpt: Refusing to relent [Lowe] decided to take the experience [of not getting hired while pregnant] to heart by channeling it creatively into an original project wherein her unborn fetus would become the second lead. So while Prevenge is a comedic slasher on the surface, it’s really a brilliantly conceived satire on society’s pig-headed selfishness.
- Excerpt: With “Prevenge,” Lowe has made a spectacular directorial debut in a film that is defiant, disturbing, and darkly hilarious.
- Excerpt: So when generic films of this ilk position the adult as authoritarian and kid as brat acting out or the adult as immature facilitator and kid as responsible prop, Cone rejects artificial dichotomies for even-footing. He lets his characters see each other as flawed and in need of worthwhile escape. Theirs becomes an evolved relationship of mutual respect and love—the sister and mother they lost.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman
- Excerpt: Professor Marston is a sweet, saucy biopic about unconventional love and iconic origins (plus bondage!).
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
- Excerpt: [Robinson] shines a light onto the identity struggles so many face today and presents an unconventional life as healthy and, dare I say, normal.
Professor Martson and the Wonder Women
- Excerpt: I love this movie. More than that, I’m in awe of it.
- Excerpt: A well-acted drama about the Armenian genocide and three salutary individuals caught in a love triangle.
- Excerpt: Sadly this could-have-been classic has been trimmed to mediocrity.
- Excerpt: A vicious gang of bikers who kill themselves in order to return from the grave even more badass. What’s not to love?
- Excerpt: If Darling distilled the genre to its essence, Psychopaths collects everything he removed. The former was therefore a captivating journey in suspense while the latter loudly (intentionally?) provides horror detractors exactly what they’ve reductively dismissed all horror to be.
- Excerpt: The measured pace and minimalism isn’t for everyone, but the firebug’s escalating motivations keep the film engaging.
Queen of the Desert
- Excerpt: An epic portrait of Gertrude Bell, an English explorer, polymath, and astute political analyst of the Middle East.
- Excerpt: To strip the preconceptions away and simply watch as a family prevails against the stacked deck their own country sustains to keep them down is to see an honest slice of America. Humanity resonates.
A Quiet Passion
- Excerpt: A visually stunning and brilliantly acted biopicture of Emily Dickinson.
- Excerpt: Emily seems to forever be fighting convention, but she leads such a stilted life she makes convention seem like the better alternative.
- Excerpt: Terence Davies delivers a portrait of tone, emotion, and personality. He provides the artist above the art.
- Excerpt: Railroad Tigers is a special breed of cinematic import so rooted in cultural normalities, it’s as if a wall stands between overseas viewers and total immersion. At heart, Jackie Chan’s latest adventure is a dangerous hicks-vs-military underdog mission – but comedic buffoonery distracts and disengages.
The Rape of Recy Taylor
- Excerpt: Whatever issues I have with the final construction don’t alter the reality that Recy Taylor’s story must be told and seen. This is especially true today as the most vocal and high-profile proponents of #MeToo and the quest to give women voices are white and sadly prone to causing different issues by the way they implicitly remove women of color from the conversation.
- Excerpt: Tem os seus momentos gore, tem momentos de humor e tem momentos de puro horror. Aubert desta vez não convence, mas continua a ter uma voz original.
The Reagan Show
- Excerpt: An expose of how politics became spectacle during the Reagan Presidency.
- Excerpt: This look at the future is hard to become engaged with because the world is so cold and lifeless. As Marc says, “before I died I thought there was nothing after death; now I’m sure.”
- Excerpt: This is a film of philosophical rumination as its hopeful characters find themselves living in an imperfect world of their own creation. Happy endings aren’t so happy and impossible discoveries arrive as nightmare.
Rebel in the Rye
- Excerpt: Red Christmas presents nothing worthwhile, leaving an icky stain on an often insightful subgenre.
- Excerpt: Willer’s essay film is obviously a cathartic experience, her documenting a family history that transcends the personal towards the universal. Stories told in present remain stuck in the past, each a somber lesson to take to heart and know life prevailed.
The Red Turtle
- Excerpt: A magical and mystical animated film about an island, a castaway, a shapeshifting being, and dreams
- Excerpt: … moves with the sort of precision and singularness that has all but disappeared from cinemas
- Excerpt: The concept is high enough that I can’t help but wonder whether this might have been a box office hit with better-known leads, a quirkier best friend confidant, a killer one-liner or two, and a script that dialed back the surrealism just a tad.
- Excerpt: It’s a humorously tragic scenario that excels thanks to its performances. And while Moreno’s Nanna is introduced in a near-catatonic state thanks to the pharmacy of pills she’s forced to take, she proves a firecracker of sarcasm, profanity, and a free-spirited lack of inhibitions later.
- Excerpt: Though I didn’t care for it, I’d love to see a trimmed down version of Replace that leaves out the nonsense and focuses exclusively on the central concept. This is not that movie.
- Excerpt: Refn, Natali and Cronenberg all rolled into one.
- Excerpt: Some fumbles, yes, but at least there is momentum.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
- Excerpt: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter doesn’t even do fan-service right – it regurgitates nondescript horror vomit for almost two hours. Flashy zombie-head-dragon thingys fly overhead while pointless characters suffer even more pointless fates.
Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan
- Excerpt: A magical documentary about a prima ballerina in New York City and the challenges she faces at age 46.
- Excerpt: Lutz confirma ser capaz de muito mais do que tem feito por terras americanas e Fargeat tem um belo cartão-de-visita para lhe começarem a dar argumentos e orçamentos a sério.
Alan Mattli @ Maximum Cinema [German]
- Excerpt: Zhao zeichnet hier ein subversives Bild von Männlichkeit, gerade im Kontext des Genres, in dem sie arbeitet – ein hoffnungsvoller Gegenentwurf zum kompromisslosen Machismo, der für so viel Schrecken in der Welt verantwortlich ist.
- Excerpt: Rift is a chilly Icelandic thriller with a warm heart, smart enough to tell about the demons we live with on a daily basis and not ones that are made up.
- Excerpt: Ajudado pela paisagem desolada, pela deprimente época do ano, e pelo isolamento a que se sujeitaram, torna-se o cenário perfeito para ambos os sub-filmes e torna quase lógica a sua combinação.
Right Here, Right Now – Tout de suite maintenant
- Excerpt: A French film that excoriates a firm that specializes in mergers and takeovers and reveals the toxic nature of secrets.
Rikers: An American Jail
- Excerpt: An important documentary about the incarceration crisis with testimonies from former detainees at the notorious jail.
Road to the Well
Robert Klein Still Can’t Stop His Leg
- Excerpt: A sprightly documentary about the diverse and impressive career of the stand-up comedian.
- Excerpt: The team behind Tilapia Films (Quinn Costello, Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer) have managed to make environmental horror stories that are also humanistic and occasionally hilarious. Their movies don’t berate the viewers what human folly has done to the planet. Instead, they wisely focus on what has to be done with the current catastrophe.
Diego Salgado @ Guía del Ocio [Spanish]
Roman J. Israel, Esq.
- Excerpt: But where there isn’t much nuance plot-wise in this parable, Washington provides more than enough himself to compensate. His is a towering performance with great vulnerability, resentment, and passion.
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World
- Excerpt: A stirring documentary on the impressive contributions of Indians to popular music.
- Excerpt: A revealing, engaging portrait of a too-long-unseen slice of our collective popular culture.
- Excerpt: Rupture is the kind of ill-conceived film that gives Michael Chiklis the campy role while keeping Peter Stormare on background duty.
- Excerpt: Everything I liked about Rupture is half-cooked and rushed to conclusion. Its commendable promise of dystopian future by way of genetics is squandered.
- Excerpt: An intimate portrait from 25 countries of religious rituals and practices that are meaningful to individuals and communities.
Salt and Fire
- Excerpt: A visionary director’s creative and challenging look at an ecological disaster.
Sammy Davis Jr.: I Gotta Be Me
- Excerpt: I still hunger for more information about his mother, his daughter, his adopted children and his wives. The bio does not include it all, but it is a grand introspective look at the best performer who ever lived.
- Excerpt: It may be a beautiful day for the infantry, but it’s another walk in a landmine park for audiences.
- Excerpt: Roessner hasn’t written an anti-war or pro-war film. Sand Castle merely shows the honesty of war’s infinite complexities.
- Excerpt: Santoalla is a true crime documentary unlike any you’ve seen before. It’s nuanced, bittersweet, and haunting, daring you not only to delve into its mystery, but also to confront its complicated message about community and humanity.
- Excerpt: Only when limbs literally start flying through the air did I truly find myself invested in what was onscreen. It’s too bad it came way too late.
- Excerpt: Many great debates like this are presented without time to dive deeper, a fact making Day’s film a wonderful prologue to all despite preventing it from being an essential thesis on any one.
- Excerpt: A thoroughly entertaining documentary set in an Irish prep school where two eccentric teachers draw out the students’ creativity.
Searching for Fortune
- Excerpt: There’s a warm honesty at the heart of this indie drama, which takes roads less travelled in Colorado.
The Secret of Marrowbone
- Excerpt: O terror e a violência marcam presença desde cedo e os segredos que vão sendo revelados podem incomodar os estômagos mais sensíveis. O grande twist não é uma surpresa assim que surge como única hipótese de explicação do que está a acontecer no ecrã, mas mesmo assim as peripécias que conduzem até lá são de visionamento agradável e muito bem realizadas.
- Excerpt: Marrowbone has been designed for repeat viewings, because it plays differently once you know the full story. Little more can be said without spoilers, but I found Sánchez’ haunted tale more engaging, and ultimately more moving, than the usual genre film, precisely because it does take its time to explore the characters and lay out a consistent and coherent narrative.
The Sense of an Ending
- Excerpt: A thoughtful probe into the efforts of an elderly man to achieve closure in a past intimate relationship.
- Excerpt: Heavy sci-fi influences make for a unique DIY “buck-the-system” watch.
- Excerpt: A poignant look at the religious foundations of the settler movement in the West Bank.
Seven Songs for a Long Life
- Excerpt: A touching documentary about the healing powers of music in a hospice setting.
The Shadow Effect
- Excerpt: The vicious circle of emotional/psychological/mental malaise through marital discontentment or relentless school-ground bullying is engrossing and sympathetically realized. However, Shot needed to embrace the gun control pulpit more fully than only scratching its surface and playing it sentimentally safe.
- Excerpt: The Show lacks the proper delivery this important take on media perversion requires.
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan
Sicilian Ghost Story
- Excerpt: The two young leads do an admirable job. The movie’s overall tone is low-key, elegiac, and more than a little depressing.
- Excerpt: Puiu’s film is darkly hilarious as we note not only just how many lies are told and why but how easy it is to accept them.
- Excerpt: If Sleepless raises awareness for Sleepless Night (Nuit blanche), consider it a success.
- Excerpt: Sleight’s greatest trick is hiding expected action for so long, only to capture attention through more familiar dramatic trappings.
- Excerpt: Slumber is a tug-of-war between boogeyman haunter and psychological destroyer, neither side dealing anything more than serviceable nighttime blows. The horror is there, it’s just oddly ignored – next time just flip the camera?
- Excerpt: There’s no denying that Small Crimes ends on the heavy, explosive down-note that Evan Katz so handily teases, but the journey will not please everyone.
- Excerpt: “Small Crimes” feels a bit like “No Country For Old Men,” but minus its crucial pathos
Small Town Killers
- Excerpt: You ever get drunk, order a bunch of stuff online, and be totally surprised when it arrives? That, but you order a hitman to kill your spouse.
Smurfs: The Lost Village
- Excerpt: Sure, youngsters might be happy enough with the undercooked adventure, lackluster humor, vague heroine, and meandering shenanigans. But the grown-ups who accompany them will likely be smurftacularly bored.
- Excerpt: The more I think about The Snare, the more frustrating it becomes.
Solitary: Inside Red Onion State Prison
Song to Song
- Excerpt: My aversion to Malickian lore as of late has been chronicled (To The Wonder/Knight Of Cups), so take my approval as something more than appreciation.
- Excerpt: It’s thoroughly unsubtle, which eventually works in its favor during the gonzo climax but mostly serves to blunt the potential thematic impact.
- Excerpt: The fact that Elisabeth Moss, perhaps one of the best actresses currently working, is relegated to little more than a walk-on role (with some amazing scenes) doesn’t help matters any. I far prefer Force Majeure to this latest offering.
- Excerpt: Unlike the knife’s edge satire of Force Majeure, The Square is a blunt object.
- Excerpt: These are all questions we should have asked at the turn of the century, necessary queries to put a stop to the societal backslide we as a species had already fallen into. Östlund asking them now seeks inciting a reaction and yet my experience watching The Square was one of indifference instead.
Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe
- Excerpt: A biodrama about the wanderings of an exiled Jewish-Austrian writer.
- Excerpt: What is most lamentably missing is a feel for the great writer’s writing style.
- Excerpt: …it is a mere gateway to its more significant statement on how black women and girls value success in a society that has not accounted for them.
- Excerpt: Step is requisite viewing for anyone with a passion for education, a love of dance, or who wants to know more about the realities facing so many young Americans. It’s an important film, which highlights the needs and challenges of minority females, but which also is a source of inspiration.
- Excerpt: A look into the emotional fireworks that emerge when a band of stressed out soldiers from Afghanistan arrive for some R & R in Cyprus.
The Story of China with Michael Wood
- Excerpt: A splendiferous BBC series that traces the ups and downs of Chinese history over 4000 years.
The Strange Ones
- Excerpt: It’s not for everyone but those who appreciate experiencing a movie are bound to love The Strange Ones which matches a unique approach to storytelling with a compelling tale of lost innocence. Combined with outstanding performances, particularly from Freedson-Jackson who, nearly single handedly, carries the last half of the movie, The Strange Ones is one of 2017’s hidden gems.
- Excerpt: Strong Island becomes a steady stream of revelations perfectly timed to completely transform everything we have just learned. The progression is steeped in anger, but that emotion never subverts the importance of each previously unknown detail. If anything that anger is earned because we can’t help feeling our own rage at how poorly handled this case was.
- Excerpt: One of the most poignant and intimate documentaries I’ve ever seen.
- Excerpt: This is what pushes Stronger beyond the biopic clichés it must use to make the substance beneath palatable. While the world hails Jeff as a hero who lived and helped the FBI by telling of his brush with the bomber, he’s [actually] drowning.
Struggle for Life
- Excerpt: While there are delirious comic bullseyes, it misses the mark as often as it hits.
Suck It Up
- Excerpt: A lot of credit for its success falls squarely on a script refusing to pander or fall victim to the usual aftermath of obvious clichés. Suck It Up isn’t without odd choices, but its heart always being in the right place overcomes.
Super Dark Times
- Excerpt: Tremendously tense what-the-fuck-just-happened thriller that plays it obvious and simple, yet still crushes your soul. Kind of like BRICK, but from the opposite point of view.
- Excerpt: Mesmo sendo em parte uma desilusão, é um bom filme para debater e talvez daqui a uns anos rever e apreciar de outra forma.
- Excerpt: Though the story is familiar and a bit contrived, Sweet Virginia manages to overcome its script limitations by some great technicality and a pair of memorable performances.
- Excerpt: Serviceable if unrmarkable mumblecore neo-noir.
- Excerpt: DeWitte offers the best performance in a movie full of great ones.
- Excerpt: It’s as though Blitz thought the Duplass’ script wasn’t funny enough and infused broad absurdity without realizing its adverse affect on the drama (or the other way around). I enjoy being entertained, but I never cared enough about anyone here to forget how empty that entertainment was.
- Excerpt: Take Me is a goofball kidnapping scenario with a much deeper meaning, but a light, jovial tone never wavers.
Take My Nose… Please!
- Excerpt: A wide-ranging purview of plastic surgery, conveyed through the stories of the many female comedians who have tried it.
A Taxi Driver
- Excerpt: The inspiring story of a South Korean cab driver whose life is transformed by his heroic activities during the 1980 Gwangju Uprising.
Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour [Indonesian]
- Excerpt: True account of a talented Chickasaw storyteller who became an ambassador for her people and all Native Americans.
- Excerpt: Adapted from Lissa Evans’ novel by Gaby Chiappe, Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest portrays life in this nightmarish time by pitting Catrin’s precarious situation at home against her newfound voice away. This isn’t therefore just a straight romantic comedy creating dual love triangles (one in the movie Catrin helps write and her actual life), but also an important look at the changing gendered tide.
- Excerpt: It’s a celebration of the power of film that never exalts its medium so much as exalts the men and women who made it possible. Their Finest is a work of love and an ode to Britain, but never falls into the traps you might expect.
This Beautiful Fantastic
- Excerpt: An enchanting fairy tale about the revitalization of an oddball young woman who is an aspiring writer.
- Excerpt: But Thumper fails because Ross forgets that the reason cinema is so good at sending messages is because it engenders empathy and, in order to do that, we need to care about the characters as people who have connections to one another, not just as the paradigms in the filmmaker’s argument.
- Excerpt: Schreiber who is the clear standout, playing both villain and festered hero with an exhilarating intensity and surprising tenderness that makes Thumper worth the cost of admission.
- Excerpt: Dan Stevens shows off his terrific acting chops here, but too many important questions are left unanswered at the film’s end.
- Excerpt: Picking up about a year after the Tahrir Square protests led to President Hosni Mubarak stepping down from office, Sara Taksler’s sprightly, surprisingly vital documentary Tickling Giants serves as an often sobering chronicle of post-Arab Spring Egypt, where, in a few short years, the country emerged from military rule into a fitful democracy and then crumbled back under the power of a new military dictator.
- Excerpt: This documentary juxtaposes humor with tragedy even as Youssef himself does.
Tiger Zinda Hai
Tikli and Laxmi Bomb
- Excerpt: Tilt is a serviceable exploration of the same old political fears.
- Excerpt: A clever concept, a brisk tempo, and filmmakers willing to get absolutely nuts when necessary.
To the Bone
- Excerpt: A very compassionate, non-judgmental film — one that should have an important impact on people with eating disorders and on their loved ones.
Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End
- Excerpt: As a Toddite for life – ever since streaming the hilarious Canadian import on Netflix years back – I can say this all-encompassing animated ending/book re-opener is for fans only.
The Together Project
- Excerpt: A French/Icelandic romantic comedy about love, swimming pools, and the yearning to be rescued.
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha
- Excerpt: Young Tom Morris is a figure of import but Tommy’s Honourfails to elucidate that because it fails to properly contextualize his story.
- Excerpt: A spunky portrait of two pioneers of professional golf.
- Excerpt: The film thusly proves a rousing look back not at the early days of modern golf, but the origin of a heroic figure in sports. Sure it’s a story we’ve seen before in other vocations, but that doesn’t render it less successful in showing this specific version.
- Excerpt: A documentary roundup of can-do solutions to avoid human extinction.
Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present
- Excerpt: The film merely piques interest to jump down the rabbit hole that was [Tony Conrad’s] life and remains an indelible mark on the art world at-large. It’s a heartfelt memorial for us to meet [him].
Top Knot Detective
- Excerpt: If there’s one complaint to be lodged against ‘Top Knot Detective,’ it’s that it plays up the whole damn-Japanese-TV-is-incomprehensibly-weird stereotype, encouraging cultural mockery rather than cultural engagement. But the project is presented with such genuine love and affection for the genre that this seems like a minor criticism.
- Excerpt: The romantic comedy formula is one that can’t help but become redundant in premise. [But director] Adam Leon may have found a new [scenario] with his meet-cute during a dead-drop gone wrong Tramps [starring] a pair of the most charming performances of the year.
- Excerpt: Production values may not be great in this “opposites attract” movie, but the romance between two strangers who are forced into doing a shady deal together is great fun to watch.
- Excerpt: Bloody, emotional and visualized with a damning spirit – what an outspoken genre manipulation for first-timer Michael O’Shea.
- Excerpt: Where O’Shea succeeds and Hollywood often fails is acknowledging the pain and sorrow so many feel can’t magically disappear. To be cognizant of your own evil is to accept its cost. Realizing you are the monster might be the worst punishment you could ever endure.
- Excerpt: While flawed, it’s an intriguing debut from O’Shea, one which hopefully inspires the filmmaker to bigger and better heights in future movies.
- Excerpt: Trench 11 is neither a straight up horror movie nor a war movie and that’s both the movie’s strength and its detriment. Those willing to go along for the ride will have a good time once the action kicks in but others will find the final, action-packed third act to be too much.
Tresspass Against Us
The Tribes of Palos Verdes
- Excerpt: Story of a sensitive teenage girl who finds her passion and escape from family troubles in surfing
The Trip to Spain
- Excerpt: A hilarious journey with two middle-agers savoring the pleasures of Spain.
- Excerpt: Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip To Spain expands his foodie-humor franchise into a three-course experience.
- Excerpt: A heart-affecting drama about death, friendship, and love.
The Truth About Love Is…
- Excerpt: Light and breezy, and not particularly deep or substantive, it’s not without authentic, easy charms as it follows the minor heartbreaks and triumphs of parenthood.
Turn it Around: The Story of East Bay Punk
- Excerpt: A rare look at one unique, dynamic punk scene that’s worth the deep dive, even if it could use an editor.
- Excerpt: An intense and harrowing account of a victim of sexual abuse.
The UnAmerican Struggle
- Excerpt: It looks like the film is already under attack
Under the Turban
- Excerpt: The most important mission of the film is to educate the public on what Sikhs are and spread the word to not confuse them with terrorists.
Underworld: Blood Wars
- Excerpt: It’s all Hot Topic sexy and whatnot, yet lackluster attention to technical details sucks the life out of surprisingly vicious genre bubblegum – the stuff you can chew for days if sweetened just right.
- Excerpt: Unforgettable is a lovestruck battle of wits minus the wit.
- Excerpt: I hate to say it, but the whole might have been more effective if Julia was cheesier. It would have ruined the one thing Unforgettable has going for it, but it also would have made the actions of Heigl’s Tessa seem less impossible by comparison.
A United Kingdom
- Excerpt: A moving film about the love, courage, and perseverance of an interracial couple facing wide-ranging challenges to their marriage.
- Excerpt: In the end, the wonderful performances merely prove part of a serviceable historical drama with a desire it can’t quite fulfill of being more.
- Excerpt: Rushed or not, A United Kingdom is a gorgeous and affecting film.
- Excerpt: Only someone who lives with it like Brea can earn the trust of those who’ve never been trusted. The mix between education and experience is perfectly balanced with each subject bringing something new to the table as far as issues, hope, or despair.
- Excerpt: Watching the strong bond that develops ever so slowly between a troubled teenager and her new social worker touched my heart.
Us and Them
- Excerpt: Not saying Us And Them has the power to start a revolution, but it’s an unsettling fire-starter to say the least.
Nuno Reis @ SciFiWorld Portugal [Portuguese]
- Excerpt: Tal como vimos em “Genesis”, este realizador sabe homenagear os clássicos de forma honesta e aqui temos uma aura de época com reflexos do cinema de então, mas tecnologia muito superior. Uma flexilidade de câmara que serve a arte, em vez de a usar.
- Excerpt: A richly developed historical drama about the partitioning of India.
- Excerpt: Directed with great care by Gurinda Chadha, this splendid motion picture should be shown in all World History classes.
Vico C: La Vida del Filósofo
Francisco Cangiano @ CineXpress [Spanish]
- Excerpt: Season 1 of the historical series about the young Queen Victoria as she learns the tricks and the traps of her reign.
Victoria & Abdul
- Excerpt: A delightful dramedy about the Queen of England’s friendship with a 24-year-old Indian clerk.
- Excerpt: it seems Frears was too afeared to give us anything but the most mundane take on this mysterious and strange relationship.
The Vietnam War
- Excerpt: An immersive portrait of a century of conflicts in Vietnam and the decision-making behind them, featuring accounts from Americans and Vietnamese witnesses and you-are-there archival images.
- Excerpt: Brutal, relentless, and action-heavy.
- Excerpt: Writer/director Byung-gil Jung sure knows how to open an action flick. It’s the type of over-the-top, out-of-control set piece most films work towards as a finale nobody will ever forget and we receive it as soon as the lights go down.
- Excerpt: The Villainess is an ambitious, exhilarating, and harrowing film that does South Korea’s tradition of top-notch thrillers proud.
- Excerpt: Like a good creature-feature does, The Void delivers promised gallons of fake inerts and practical beasties.
- Excerpt: Throw John Carpenter, Clive Barker, and H.P. Lovecraft into a blender, hit the button, leave the room for a while, and the resulting concoction may well resemble ‘The Void.’
- Excerpt: Gillespie and Kostanski understand the aesthetics and also the myriad genres utilized. And while the film exists on its own as a depiction of grief’s unpredictable power dragging us down without hope for escape, it also serves as a gateway beyond symbolism or allegory into another world.
Wait for Your Laugh
- Excerpt: Wait For Your Laugh certainly gives one a more complete portrait of a woman who was more than just Sally Rogers.
- Excerpt: A dramedy worth seeing with an engrossing performance by Bryan Cranston.
- Excerpt: It feels like a one-man play at times because it’s all from one character’s perspective. Doctorow provides his allegory as existential paradox much like Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” and Swicord adapts and films it in way that recalls the best of Neil LaBute’s oeuvre.
Walk with Me
- Excerpt: An enchanting documentary tribute to Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and Plum Village, the monastic community he founded in 1982.
- Excerpt: Full of snowy, widescreen vistas courtesy of cinematographer Todd McMullen and lovely, lingering shots of wildlife, it’s both more beautiful and more emotional than a similar film like Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s The Revenant.
- Excerpt: Aaron Taylor-Johnson deserves more credit as an actor, because he’s the only reason this Iraq War thriller hobbles steadily on two legs.
- Excerpt: War Machine is all about the waste of war, and while it’s not taking a hard stance either way, Pitt’s entourage makes for a watchable modern look into conflict.
Warning: Thsi Drug May Kill You
- Excerpt: A harrowing report on the epidemic of prescription drug addiction and the increase of overdose deaths.
We Are the Flesh
- Excerpt: We Are The Flesh is a scintillatingly strange introspective about culture as a whole, even if some will only see two “children” humping like rabbits in heat (OPEN YOUR EYES, MAN!). Sit back, unlock your mind, and get ready for one hell of a mindfuck.
The Wedding Plan
- Excerpt: I enjoyed the messier bits much more—when Michal’s insecurities and anxiety are allowed to breathe and force the men opposite her to see her devoid of artifice. This in turn shines a light on their shortcomings to glimpse behind the veil of dating into the pettiness and profundity of split-second decisions and awkward misreadings.
- Excerpt: Charming and authentic, it reminds us to embrace our own weirdness.
What Happened to Monday
- Excerpt: Noomi Rapace takes charge of the screen with her splendid interpretation of multiple characters.
What is Democracy?
- Excerpt: From the brave art of Ambrogio Lorenzetti in 1338 to the always insightful challenges of Cornel West, Astra Taylor investigates ideas of democracy.
- Excerpt: Stephen Dorff makes “Wheeler” quite real. His great performance as a country singer seals the deal.
- Excerpt: Wheelman is all about speed and timing in the best ways – simple, exciting and for the love of Bronson, can we give Frank Grillo the credit he deserves?
When the Bough Breaks
- Excerpt: A documentary about postpartum depression.
Francisco Cangiano @ CineXpress [Spanish]
- Excerpt: With a director who better trusted himself and his collaborators, though, it could have been so much more.
- Excerpt: Wilsonmight be vexing to the uninitiated, and perhaps disappointing to some of the ardent; that leaves the tiniest slivers of audiences who will walk away satisfied by the adaptation, and that might be all Clowes needs.
Win It All
- Excerpt: Enjoy Swanberg’s lesson about the art of losing, complete with a nice sunshiny finish that keeps second chances always within grasp.
- Excerpt: “Win It All” might be Swanberg’s most accessible film yet.
- Excerpt: Go ahead and wait for A VERY MILLENNIAL HORROR MOVIE to hit Netflix or something. Nothing you haven’t seen before. Generic PG-13 “chills” that fail to chill.
- Excerpt: … after each of the lead’s wish is realized, a swath of our tolerance is immolated.
- Excerpt: Ryan Phillippe belts out sweet sax jams throughout, need I say more?
- Excerpt: Despite excellent performances, “Wolves” leaves us unsatisfied because of its predictability and strange last scene.
The Woman Who Left
- Excerpt: An intense morality tale about the resilience of a good-hearted woman.
A Woman, A Part
- Excerpt: Portrait of one woman’s resilience as she moves through a difficult mid-life crisis.
A Woman’s Life
- Excerpt: A sobering portrait of the victimization of a woman who lacks the character quality of resilience.
The Women’s Balcony
- Excerpt: A well-done religious drama set in Jerusalem where the members of a small synagogue face changes demanded by a fundamentalist zealot.
- Excerpt: THE WOMEN’S BALCONY is a film that sets up a controversy and then would benefit from presenting both sides of the argument evenhandedly.
- Excerpt: This isn’t merely a farcical war between a synagogue’s female congregation and a new rabbi placing their demands behind his own. It’s also a keenly intuitive account of fundamentalist extremism in a forum we aren’t used to seeing.
- Excerpt: An extraordinarily sensitive drama that tutors us in the spiritual practices of wonder and kindness.
- Excerpt: But most great movies, which is what Wonder Wheel is, are full of things that their creators didn’t consciously intend.
- Excerpt: Ultimately we discover that silence isn’t the absence of clarity, just sound. The film forces us to tap into communicative avenues we often neglect, freeing our minds from the cacophony of excess.
- Excerpt: A raw and immersive documentary set in Folsom Prison where prisoners and three civilians experience a four-day emotional healing encounter.
- Excerpt: In no way can what happens during these four-day intensives be described with effectiveness. [These inmates] know the darkness that exists within them and that they can help quell it in each other and prevent it from consuming those outsiders who’ve yet to act upon it.
- Excerpt: The Workputs you as close to the room as you can get without being there, and the results are as stunning as they are devastating. McCleary and Aldous have made a film as emotionally raw and poignant as any that has ever been produced, and certainly released one of the best documentaries of recent years.
World of Darkness
- Excerpt: World of Darkness is a win/win. For the uninitiated, it provides a great introduction to White Wolf and the “World of Darkness” without getting bogged down with a lot of unnecessary details while those who know the game and the publisher will appreciate the inside baseball stories shared by the creators.
- Excerpt: In Greece it can only be more relevant today than when it was made.
A Worthy Companion
- Excerpt: Unflinching and often difficult to watch, A Worthy Companion never feels exploitative or unnecessarily gruesome though it also doesn’t shy away from difficult scenes and moments. Instead, it feels like an intimate and necessary exploration of abuse and how it can easily turn into a cycle that is difficult to break from.
The Wrong Light
- Excerpt: An expose of the unethical exploitation of two young Thai girls by an amoral entrepreneur.
- Excerpt: A rags-to-riches crime saga like you won’t see anywhere else.
- Excerpt: “Don’t Fall” is the only segment that manages to find its pulse, while others like “The Box” and “The Birthday Party” come and go without much notoriety.
- Excerpt: It sounds simple and yet you can imagine how hard it must have been to put everything together in a male-dominated industry and genre. We should all be glad [it was made] too because even though it is far from perfect, it provides an alternative viewpoint to clichéd standards.
- Excerpt: All together, these shorts and their unsettling cartoon companion create a horror anthology that’s more than scary. XX is richly disturbing
- Excerpt: The four ladies of XX form a powerful alliance against Hollywood’s male dominated culture, bucking completely the idea that women are incapable of either directing or producing quality scares. Each brings a unique vision of horror to the table, each with their own flair and style that makes for a great and enduring anthology film.
Year by the Sea
- Excerpt: A melodrama about a middle-aged woman’s quest for renewal.
You Get Me
- Excerpt: Predictability is a problem here. And that’s not a good thing for a thriller.
- Excerpt: Shinkai’s film opens up from cute stranger-in-a-strange-body antics and expands into a philosophical and metaphysical parable about fate. [It] was Japan’s highest grossing release of 2016 for good reason: its success a testament to its visual, emotional, and intellectual excellence.
Your’re Killing Me Susana
- Excerpt: Both Gael Garcia Bernal and Victoria Echequi are quite photogenic. Unfortunately, most of their scenes together appear forced.
- Excerpt: Beaver season opens with a bang this year – grab your shotgun and join the party. This is the most important movie about zombie beavers ever.
- Excerpt: Arthur de Pins, adapting his graphic novel, alongside co-director Alexis Ducord gets caught between the adult ideas of protest and class war, and the more kid-friendly adventures.
The Zookeeper’s Wife
- Excerpt: A portrait in courage told through the true story of a Polish couple who saved hundreds of Jews during World War II.
- Excerpt: Overall, this is a lacking production composure that more involved audiences will demand more of, despite easy emotional ploys that overtake with the basest drama familiarity – skunk hugs and all.
- Excerpt: Ultimately, this is a story of rebellion, resistance, and hope.