Read up, before you pay $5 for a bucket of popcorn.
V.27 No.25 | 6/21/2018
Courtesy of The Orchard
Genre-bending crime thriller incorporates documentary techniques in its true(?)-life narrative
American Animals intercuts interview footage of the real-life people behind the story with scripted scenes of the actors portraying them, but subverts the docudrama trappings.
V.27 No.24 | 6/14/2018
This mountain is certainly high, but not very deep
Australian writer-director Jennifer Peedom’s rather bluntly titled Mountain could have easily expanded its title to Mountains: What Are They, and Why Are They So Popular?
V.27 No.22 | 5/31/2018
Solo: A Star Wars Story
The now-divisive franchise has fun with a propulsive prequel
Solo: A Star Wars Story, isn’t (and can’t be) all things to all people, but does just about everything it conceivably can to earn the praise of moviegoers.
V.27 No.21 | 5/24/2018
Stark drama tackles postwar Europe’s Dirty Little Secret
1945 plays out as an inevitable march toward an unavoidable, dreadful confrontation. A bill is coming due, and there are a lot of people unwilling to pay up.
V.27 No.20 | 5/17/2018
The Merc With a Mouth comes again
If you have no idea who freakin’ Shatterstar is, you’re still going to get some rock solid belly laughs out of Deadpool 2, but the deeper your knowledge of early-’90s comic books, the more you’re going to feel fan-serviced.
V.27 No.17 | 4/26/2018
You Were Never Really Here
Art house action flick and its main character both feel bad
You Were Never Really Here enters the genre of cathartically violent shoot-’em-up story of emotionally wounded assassins and their doomed betrayers/targets but fails to provide an overall logic to the bloody proceedings.
V.27 No.16 | 4/19/2018
Artistic biopic revels in surface details
Final Portrait is a microcosmic chamber drama, an old-fashioned two-hander in which two characters meet, interact and part company. It rarely dips below the surface, but—like a great many works of art—it’s a fascinating surface, nonetheless.
V.27 No.15 | 4/12/2018
Back to Burgundy
Siblings resolve family strife over a glass of wine in a French dramedy that goes down easy, evaporates quickly
Back to Burgundy may not be complex, but the bottle is awfully pretty. Just don’t go into it expecting something other than perfectly palatable table wine.
V.27 No.14 | 4/5/2018
Isle of Dogs
Meticulously animated feature is a fantastic(al) journey
Akira Kurosawa’s scruffy aesthetic is undoubtedly what’s fueling Isle of Dogs’ creative engines. Feel free to discuss at length—over third wave, cold-brewed coffee, perhaps—whether Wes Anderson’s miniaturization of Japanese culture asks audiences to laugh with or at the stereotypes.
V.27 No.13 | 3/29/2018
The Death of Stalin
Stalin meets slapstick in brutally funny political satire
The Death of Stalin is a manic comedy with occasional doses of slapstick, with some of the bleakest gallows humor in recent memory.
V.27 No.12 | 3/22/2018
Icy family drama will make you glad you don’t live in Russia
Loveless is a stark, dark, often beautifully bleak “feelbad” family drama wrapped around the hardened core of a procedural crime thriller. It is, in short, an extraordinarily Russian film.
V.27 No.11 | 3/15/2018
Master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami ruminates on time, art and image with final film
Abbas Kiarostami evidently began what became 24 Frames by speculating on great works of art. Paintings are designed to capture one specific moment in time. What, he wondered, happened immediately before and after those famous “freeze frames” that the artists chose?
V.27 No.10 | 3/8/2018
A Fantastic Woman
Chilean drama examines grief and gender
A Fantastic Woman is a tiny character study of a film with an almost gut-wrenching impact.
V.27 No.8 | 2/22/2018
Afrofuturist epic takes superheroics in a fresh direction
Black Panther stakes out its own unique territory, mixing the royal backstabbing and intrigue of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series “Game of Thrones” with the impossibly high-tech, glowing bodysuit action of Disney’s Tron.
V.27 No.7 | 2/15/2018
Have a Nice Day
Handcrafted crime film looks up at China from the animated gutter
Modern economic forces and old-fashioned crime collide in Liu Jian’s offbeat, Quentin-Tarantino-meets-Adult-Swim animation, Have a Nice Day.