V.28 No.12 | 3/21/2019
Disco-fueled drama looks for love in several wrong places
Gloria Bell is about seeking out and accepting joy in life’s tiny moments, not wallowing in misery. Its empowering coda is mild and delivered as a spur-of-the-moment whim in an act that leads less to a life-changing epiphany and more to a moment of Zen-like acceptance.
V.28 No.11 | 3/14/2019
Ruben Brandt, Collector
Animated film folds art history lessons into Hitchcock-style thriller
Like all great works of art, your appreciation of Ruben Brandt, Collector may depend on what you bring to it. Watched as a casual, technically proficient imitation of a classic, Hitchcock-style move caper, it's a breezy, stylish diversion. Push past the surface and dive deep into its multiple layers and it's a Stendhal syndrome-inducing intellectual exercise.
V.28 No.10 | 3/7/2019
Gaspar Noé gets down with his bad self in one freaky acid trip
Half Bob Fosse and half Marquis de Sade, Climax will be a torture test for the average moviegoer. But for those in the market for something unshakably original, this is one very bad trip you might want to check out for yourself.
V.28 No.9 | 2/28/2019
Never Look Away
German director examines the war of art
As an Oscar-nominated epic conflating art and history, Never Look Away is impressive in size and scope, but shortcuts keep this film from being a penetrating, nuanced work.
V.28 No.7 | 2/14/2019
Tito and the Birds
Brazilian cartoon paints a dark picture
Adults will certainly appreciate Tito and the Birds' visual brio—which reads like a children’s bedtime story run through a Museum of Modern Art nightmare machine.
V.28 No.6 | 2/7/2019
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
Manic sequel builds on the original’s clever legacy
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part comes awfully close to meeting what amounts to some very high expectations. It’s surprising, funny, original and emotional. And like its predecessor, it’s a perfect film for kids and parents alike.
V.28 No.5 | 1/31/2019
Oscar-nominated romance unfolds behind, in front of, the Iron Curtain
A sad ballad juxtaposing the intimate with the international, Cold War is a masterpiece of economy and image, mapping out the often seismic changes common to all affairs—the emotional as well as the political.
V.28 No.4 | 1/24/2019
Stan & Ollie
Genial showbiz biopic examines aging comics, changing times
Stan & Ollie is a film about passion, about loving what you do so much that you can’t give up on it no matter what happens. There’s a lot of laughter to be found, as well as a tear or two.
V.28 No.3 | 1/17/2019
Keanu Reeves goes old school in retrograde sci-fi thriller
Replicas feels more like a Syfy Channel “mockbuster” parody of a sci-fi film than an actual sci-fi film. The effects grow increasingly junky, and the whole thing devolves into a poorly staged string of chases scenes involving lots of interchangeable guys in black suits with guns.
V.28 No.2 | 1/10/2019
On the Basis of Sex
Courtroom drama lauds its subject for her role in the fight for equality
Anyone inclined to go see a biopic about Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the first place is going to be perfectly happy with On the Basis of Sex and its infectious optimism.
V.28 No.1 | 1/3/2019
Satirical biopic plays (dirty) politics
If you're inclined to laugh at the real-life hijinks of our country's various psychopathic politicos, then Vice just might get your vote.
V.27 No.51 | 12/20/2018
Bright direction and epic action keeps watery superhero afloat
Aquaman is a breezy blend of mythology and sci-fi, delivered to audiences with a winking sense of humor.
V.27 No.50 | 12/13/2018
Mean and nasty historical drama makes ambition a courtly enterprise
The Favourite is loopy, long-winded and devolves into increasingly misanthropic spirals, but has wonderfully deadpan humor, scabrous assessment of female power dynamics and a well-played lesbian twist.
V.27 No.49 | 12/6/2018
Maria By Callas
“Temperamental” diva defends her controversial life in deeply personal documentary
Maria By Callas attempts to illuminate the singer’s controversial life and career, relying entirely on the words of the diva herself to set the stage.
V.27 No.48 | 11/29/2018
Meow Wolf: Origin Story
Radical New Mexico art collective goes to the movies
New Mexico’s homegrown success story, the radical arts collective known as Meow Wolf, continues its rocket ship ride to intergalactic success with a documentary feature chronicling the group’s circuitous rise to fame.