This Week, Part 2 (Oct. 2-4, 2015)

Because of embargoes, a lot of our critics aren’t able to share links with you until release day. Here are some last-minute reviews for this weekend’s upcoming films. We’ve kept in all the reviews posted yesterday as well so you can have more help in deciding what to see (if you haven’t already).

Our critics have been hard at work reviewing the latest films. Here is a look at what’s coming out this weekend (in select cities, check your local listings) and what else may be in theaters right now.

Opening: Oct. 2-4, 2015

Wide (United States)

The Martian

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Expanding (United States)

Sicario

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Limited (United States)

Freeheld

[New Today] Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: It’s all so neatly laid out yet so lacking in the type of detail that would give it emotional soul. Even the dog Stacie so yearns for and gets with Laurel goes MIA once it’s served its purpose.

[New Today] Courtney Howard @ Sassy Mama In LA

  • Excerpt: A landmark case deserves a landmark movie. Unfortunately, this isn’t it.

Guilty

Courtney Small @ Cinema Axis

He Named Me Malala

[New Today] Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice

  • Excerpt: An inspiring documentary about the teenage advocate for girls’ education, reconciliation, and peace.

[New Today] Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Malala Yousafzai is a worthy and fascinating subject, but Guggenheim’s documentary is a muddle, one which leaves a surprising amount of lingering negative impressions.

Kenji Fujishima @ Slant Magazine
[New Today] Courtney Howard @ Sassy Mama In LA

  • Excerpt: Oscar winning documentarian David Guggenheim skips all around Malala’s history to paint her portrait, when he should’ve just relied on her own powerful words and conviction.

Pat Mullen @ Point of View

  • Excerpt: Malala Yousafzai says, “One teacher, one student, one book, and one pen can change the world.” But can one documentary?

Courtney Small @ Cinema Axis

Shanghai

[New Today] Courtney Howard @ FreshFiction.tv

  • Excerpt: There are some movies that, no matter how hard they try, just don’t work. This is one of those movies.

The Walk

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

2015 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets

[New Today] Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

The 33

Samuel Castro @ Ochoymedio.info [Spanish]

  • Excerpt: Una historia que todos queríamos conocer sobre los mineros chilenos atrapados, que fracasa por su ambición de querer contarlo todo.

87th Oscars: Nominated Shorts

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

99 Homes

[New Today] Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies

  • Excerpt: 99 Homes is a broad take on a specific kind of soulless opportunism.

Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com

  • Excerpt: Empathetic & socially-conscious, effectively exposing real-estate corruption…

[New Today] Courtney Howard @ Sassy Mama In LA

  • Excerpt: Co-writer/ director Ramin Bahrani does for the real estate market what ‘Wall Street’ did for greed-fueled stock brokers. It’s chilling and highly charged.

About Ray

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

Adult Beginners

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Advantageous

James Marsh @ TwitchFilm

  • Excerpt: Jennifer Phang’s ambitious sci-fi drama presents some intriguing ideas about identity and sacrifice in a uniquely female context, but she invests her budget into the wrong elements, and is unable to fashion her final film into anything particularly engaging.

American Ultra

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Amira and Sam

Don Lewis @ Hammer to Nail

Ant-Man

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Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Barely Lethal

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

Big Game

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Bikes vs Cars

Jared Mobarak @ Jared Mobarak Reviews

Black Mass

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The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

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Blackhat

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Blind

[New Today] Jonathan Richards @ www.jonrichardsplace.com

  • Excerpt: For most of us blessed with functional eyesight, that visual sense is a major factor tethering us to our concept of reality. The sudden loss of sight, Norwegian filmmaker Eskil Vogt suggests, can leave a person unmoored.

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story

Chase Whale @ Hammer to Nail

  • Excerpt: A Brave Heart is a tender and soulful movie about being confident in your own skin. Prepare to be moved and exhilarated.

Breathe

[New Today] Jonathan Richards @ www.jonrichardsplace.com

  • Excerpt: Laurent builds carefully toward a shocking ending, and the journey is ultimately worthwhile, although along the way it can feel a little aimless.

Captive

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

Chappie

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A Christmas Horror Story

[New Today] James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
[New Today] Mark Harris @ About.com

Cinderella

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The Cobbler

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Coming Home

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The Connection

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Cop Car

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The Cut

[New Today] James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture

The D Train

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Dark Places

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Deathgasm

[New Today] Mark Harris @ About.com
Frank SwietekO @ One Guys Opinion

  • Excerpt: A brew that aims for a campy, midnight-movie vibe it never quite achieves.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

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Dirty Weekend

Chris Barsanti @ Film Journal International

  • Excerpt: Two co-workers stranded in Albuquerque explore some personal taboos in this dashed-off comedy of manners from Neil LaBute.

The Divergent Series: Insurgent

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Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead

Stacia Kissick Jones @ Next Projection

The DUFF

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The Duke of Burgundy

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Eden

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Ejecta

Greg Klymkiw @ Electric Sheep

  • Excerpt: There are no happy-faced hairless alien midgets making Kodály Hand Signs whilst smiling at a beaming François Truffaut. No siree Spielberg, the mo-fos in this picture induce drawer filling of the heaviest order.

Entourage

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Everest

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Ex Machina

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Fantastic Four

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Faults

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Felt

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Fifty Shades of Grey

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Finders Keepers

[New Today] Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies

  • Excerpt: [Carberry and Tweel] turn this odd story into something surprisingly touching about and compassionate toward these people.

Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine

  • Excerpt: Surprisingly, Finders Keepers is more Rich Hill than Jerry Springer: a grim portrait of rural, blue-collar America negotiating—with little success—a briarwood of false hopes, suffocating expectations, and exploitative forces.

Focus

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Forbidden Room

Carson Lund @ Slant Magazine

  • Excerpt: The Forbidden Room’s central gimmick—a collection of lost films from the recesses of moving-image history are re-made by Maddin and company and invited to converse with one another—is deceptively anthropological. What’s really happened is that this filmmaker, always fascinated less by bygone cinema in its actuality than by the interaction between old films and the complex mind of their viewer, has leveraged this experiment, at once a research project and a brainstorm, to chisel yet again into the depths of his own past.

Furious 7

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The Gallows

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Get Hard

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The Gift

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Grandma

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The Green Inferno

[New Today] James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com

  • Excerpt: Gross, stomach-churning horror flick, proving, once again, that no good deed goes unpunished…

[New Today] Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic

  • Excerpt: Never quite as gripping, scary, or shocking as a cannibalistic horror film could and should be, it’s just flippant blood and guts but no brains and very little reason to care.

Hard to Be a God

Jared Mobarak @ Jared Mobarak Reviews

Hitman: Agent 47

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Home

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Hotel Transylvania 2

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How to Save Us

Jared Mobarak @ Jared Mobarak Reviews

Hyena

Don Lewis @ Consequence of Sound

I Saw the Light

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

In the Name of My Daughter

Robert Cashill @ Popdose

Inside Out

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Insidious Chapter 3

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The Intern

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Irrational Man

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It Follows

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James White

James Marsh @ TwitchFilm

  • Excerpt: The debut feature from Josh Mond, producer of Simon Killer and Martha Marcy May Marlene, is a tough coming-of-age tale featuring a couple of top-notch showboating performances. However, the desperate circumstances alone do not make for an engaging drama, and the desperately unlikable central character always keeps the audience at arm’s length.

Jupiter Ascending

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Jurassic World

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Just Jim

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

The Keeping Room

Chris Barsanti @ Film Journal International

  • Excerpt: Three women, two white sisters and their slave, are hunted by renegade soldiers at the end of the Civil War in an ambitious if overreaching home-invasion thriller laden with historical nuance.

Kill Me Three Times

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Kingsman: The Secret Service

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Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

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Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

Jared Mobarak @ Jared Mobarak Reviews

The Last Five Years

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Learning to Drive

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Legend

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Life

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: A smart, wistful exploration of art, ambition, and celebrity, with appealingly melancholic performances by Robert Pattinson and Dane DeHaan.

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

Lila & Eve

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Live from New York!

Don Lewis @ Consequence of Sound

Lost River

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Love

Matt Brown @ Twitch

Macbeth

[New Today] Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
Rob Wallis @ The Metropolist

  • Excerpt: A Macbeth that lacks not only significance but also the sound and fury that might provide a truly memorable addition to the canon.

Mad Max: Fury Road

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Man from Reno

Jared Mobarak @ Jared Mobarak Reviews

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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Manglehorn

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Maps to the Stars

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Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

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McFarland, USA

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

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Meru

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Miss You Already

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: Authentically female in how it gets inside a lifelong friendship between two women, and as wisely funny as it is sharply poignant.

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

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Mississippi Grind

[New Today] Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies

  • Excerpt: Boden and Fleck understand that these two characters feed off of each other’s personalities, while fueling the addiction that unifies them.

[New Today] Courtney Howard @ Sassy Mama In LA

  • Excerpt: Though the cards add up to a few shy of 21, GRIND’s throwback vibe and characters make this worth taking a seat at the table.

Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie

  • Excerpt: Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds are playing the latter day George Segal and Elliott Gould. Unfortunately, our protagonists this time around are poorly developed and sometimes downright unbelievable, a serious mistake for earnest filmmakers.

[New Today] Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com

Mistress America

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Narcopolis

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

The New Girlfriend

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The Nightmare

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Pan

Rob Wallis @ The Metropolist

  • Excerpt: … essentially Hook for the Avatar generation.

Paul Taylor Creative Domain

Marilyn Ferdinand @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: Riffing on the title of dancer/choreographer Paul Taylor’s autobiography Private Domain, director Kate Geis’s conceit is that she will reveal the secret of Taylor’s choreographic genius. This she does not do—nor do I think anyone can—but she nonetheless offers accumulative detail in showing how a dance is made.

[New Today] Jonathan Richards @ www.jonrichardsplace.com

  • Excerpt: It will appeal mostly to dance aficionados; for the less passionate, it would be like someone not interested in tennis watching a documentary about Roger Federer doing stretches and calisthenics and drills in preparation for Wimbledon. The genius is apparent, but the process is not for everyone.

Pawn Sacrifice

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Pay the Ghost

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Peace Officer

Don Lewis @ Hammer to Nail

The Pearl Button

Alan Mattli @ Facing the Bitter Truth [German]

  • Excerpt: Although it partakes in uninhibited romanticisation, Patricio Guzmán’s documentary essay still is still a fascinating example of Herzogian “ecstatic truth” cinema.

Phoenix

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Pitch Perfect 2

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Prophet’s Prey

[New Today] Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies

  • Excerpt: Amy Berg’s documentary about Jeffs and the FLDS is a study of evil disguised as virtue and of devotion taken to the extreme.

Queen of Earth

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Reality

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage
Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Reality is a Chinese puzzle box of nightmares hidden inside of jokes hidden inside of nightmares. It’s the labyrinth itself that interests Dupieux, not the exit.

Ricki and the Flash

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Run All Night

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Samba

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San Andreas

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The Second Mother

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Shaun the Sheep Movie

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Sleeping with Other People

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Some Kind of Beautiful

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

Southpaw

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Spring

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The Stanford Prison Experiment

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Straight Outta Compton

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Stray Dog

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Survivor

Don Lewis @ Consequence of Sound

Taxi

[New Today] Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice

  • Excerpt: A cogent and playful documentary about the banned filmmaker’s return to the streets of Teheran.

Courtney Small @ Cinema Axis

  • Excerpt: Like an outlaw puppeteer Panahi refuses to let anyone break his creative strings.

Ted 2

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Terminator Genisys

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Tom at the Farm

Jared Mobarak @ Jared Mobarak Reviews

Tomorrowland

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Trainwreck

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The Transporter Refueled

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Truth

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

Unbranded

Chris Barsanti @ Film Journal International

  • Excerpt: Four modern-day cowboys drive 16 mustangs from Mexico to Canada in this sumptuously packaged and goofily charming oddball feature-length advocacy advertisement about America’s wild-horse overpopulation crisis.

Unexpected

Jared Mobarak @ Jared Mobarak Reviews

Vacation

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Veteran

James Marsh @ South China Morning Post

  • Excerpt: A renegade cop takes on the spoilt heir of a family-run conglomerate in Ryoo Seung-wan’s tightly-paced and sharp-witted crime thriller Veteran. Hwang Jung-min and Yoo Ah-in lead an impressive ensemble of familiar faces, while the themes of endemic corruption and cronyism in Korean big business strike a poignant chord.

Victoria

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage
Chase Whale @ Hammer to Nail

  • Excerpt: It’s wild, it’s bold, and the final act is an exhilarating force that will leave you slack-jawed. Star Laia Costa is a virtuoso of talent and her nuanced emotional range is going to make her a star.

The Visit

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The Voices

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A Walk in the Woods

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We Are Still Here

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The Wedding Ringer

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Welcome to Me

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What We Do in the Shadows

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When Marnie Was There

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While We’re Young

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Wild Tales

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Woman in Gold

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2015 Films (Coming Soon)

Baskin

Greg Klymkiw @ Electric Sheep

  • Excerpt: Call it torture porn, if you will, but the final thirty minutes are revoltingly shocking – replete with all manner of eviscerations, eye gouging, flesh burning and – my personal favourite – sodomy involving a half-woman-half-goat.

Body

Samuel Castro @ Ochoymedio.info [Spanish]

  • Excerpt: Una película que intenta ser reflexiva y termina siendo una visión banal y desordenada de algunos fenómenos sociales del mundo actual.

Catch Me Daddy

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

Cub

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

Demon

Greg Klymkiw @ Electric Sheep

  • Excerpt: Demon raises many questions, but supplies no easy answers. What it delivers, however, is one of the scariest, most sickeningly creepy horror films of the year.

Der Nachtmahr

[New Today] James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture

Dhanak

Kathy Gibson @ Access Bollywood

Eva Nova

Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer

  • Excerpt: Eva Nová is a sobering character study.

G – A Wanton Heart

Kathy Gibson @ Access Bollywood

Ghosthunters on Icy Trails

Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog

  • Excerpt: We ain’t afraid of no ghost.

Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World

Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer

  • Excerpt: Haida Gwaii shows us a corner of the world that evokes an image of Canada before the fall. It’s a shame the rest of the country isn’t as beautiful.

Hellions

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

Hong Kong Trilogy: Preschooled Preoccupied Preposterous

Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer

  • Excerpt: Christopher Doyle’s docudrama is gorgeously bizarre.

The Last Time You Had Fun

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

The Lobster

Kenji Fujishima @ Slant Magazine

Miss Sharon Jones!

Pat Mullen @ Point of View

  • Excerpt: The inspiring Miss Sharon Jones! hits a very high note.

Parisienne

Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer

  • Excerpt: Do stories of migration need to be tragic in order to be compelling?

The Program

Rob Wallis @ The Metropolist

  • Excerpt: … you’ll want to get with The Program, if only for Foster’s focused performance, which is bound to be an honest competitor come award’s season.

Seashore

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

Singh Is Bliing

[New Today] Kathy Gibson @ Access Bollywood

Solace

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

Songs My Brothers Taught Me

James Marsh @ TwitchFilm

  • Excerpt: The debut feature from Beijing-born Chloe Zhao focuses on the unlikely subject matter of adolescent Lakota indians in South Dakota. Beautifully photographed and confidently directed, Songs My Brothers Taught Me is a notable first film, marred only by a rather cliched coming-of-age narrative, albeit in an original and intriguing setting.

This Changes Everything

Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer

  • Excerpt: A great film and a rallying cry for change.

A Wedding in Castañer

Francisco Cangiano @ CineXpress [Spanish]

  • Excerpt: Una Boda en Castañer es una entretenida comedia romántica puertorriqueña llena de personajes simpáticos y bastante risas. Aunque tiene fallos en varios departamentos, el largometraje logra salir a flote gracias a un director que pone a Puerto Rico como uno de los personajes principales, y un elenco variado con mucho talento.

Where to Invade Next

Kenji Fujishima @ Slant Magazine

The Witch

Greg Klymkiw @ Electric Sheep

  • Excerpt: The Witch is bargain basement Terence Malick crossed with a Roman Polanski wannabe and dollops of half-baked Bergman, but worse yet, is not unlike lower-drawer M. Night Shyamalan. That, my friends, is truly chilling.

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