Film Reviews

Film Review: GLORIA BELL

An anthem for gorgeous, independent women memorialized by the magnificent Julianne Moore.  When we first meet Sebastián Lelio’s fabulous Gloria Bell (Julianne Moore), she is at a small nightclub bar. The club is a well-guarded secret in L.A. – it’s a … Continue reading

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Film Review: CAPTAIN MARVEL

“Captain Marvel” – ** OUT OF 4 Writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (“ Half Nelson”) bring back the mid-1990’s with comments ranging  about everything from  computers  to music in this  21st latest iteration  about the 18 billion dollar Marvel Cinematic Universe.   The … Continue reading

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Film Review: In Fascinating “Transit,” the Past Haunts the Present

Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018) 3½ out of 4 stars.  A profoundly unsettling film, director Christian Petzold’s Transit plunges us into the heart of World War II, as refugees from behind German lines struggle to find a way out of the danger … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Time for Ilhan” Shows Why, Yes, It Is Time

Time for Ilhan (Norah Shapiro, 2018) 4 out of 4 stars. One never knows, when making a film, how current events might affect its release. Back in 2016, when director Norah Shapiro (Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile) first started following … Continue reading

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Sundance 2019 – Film Review: SEA OF SHADOWS

Sea of Shadows (Richard Ladkani, 2019)  – 4 out of 4 stars.  Wow. I’ve never started a film review off with a “wow,” but Sea of Shadows definitely deserves one, because it was by far the best documentary that I saw at this … Continue reading

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Film Review: “The Wedding Guest” Delivers Taut Thrills, Until the End

The Wedding Guest (Michael Winterbottom, 2018) 3 out of 4 stars. For two-thirds of its length, The Wedding Guest is a taut thriller featuring a performance from Dev Patel (Lion) unlike any we’ve seen him give before. Lean and mean, he … Continue reading

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Film Review: If “Birds of Passage” Doesn’t Quite Soar, It Mostly Gets Well off the Ground

Birds of Passage (“Pájaros de verano”) (Cristina Gallego/Ciro Guerra, 2018) 2½ out of 4 stars. “Based on true events” reads a title card at the beginning of Birds of Passage, a new drug-war epic, set among the Wayúu people of … Continue reading

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Sundance 2019 – Film Review: Midnight Family Finds Humanity Amongst Chaos

Midnight Family (Luke Lorentzen) 3½ out of 4 stars A teenage boy makes late night phone calls to his girlfriend after a long night at work. He tells her about his job. It seems very ordinary until he starts describing … Continue reading

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Film Review: Happy Death Day 2U and the Originality of Unoriginality

Happy Death Day 2U (Christopher Landon) 3½ out of 4 stars The first Happy Death Day was often described as “Groundhog’s Day meets Scream.” This one tones down the Scream, turns up the Groundhog’s Day, and adds a new layer … Continue reading

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“Dragon 3” Delivers Family Fun but Never Matches Dramatic Weight of Predecessors

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Dean DeBlois, 2019) 3 out of 4 stars. Dean DeBlois, director of Dragons 1 and 2, draws the velvet curtain on the newly formed How to Train Your Dragon trilogy with its final installment, The … Continue reading

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