Film Reviews

Film Review: Intriguing “Monos” Makes Monsters Out of Children

Monos (Alejandro Landes, 2019) 2½ out of 4 stars. Blindfolded children stand in a circle of large stones, framed by towering mountains, clouds swirling around. Is this a sinister ritual? No, it’s but a game; we soon see them kicking … Continue reading

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Film Review: Magical “Tigers Are Not Afraid” Explores Horrors of Mexican Drug Wars

Tigers Are Not Afraid (“Vuelven”) (Issa López, 2017) 3½ out of 4 stars. A horror film set amidst the real-life tragedies of Mexico’s horrific drug wars, Issa López’s Tigers Are Not Afraid (“Vuelven,” or “They Come Back” in the original … Continue reading

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Film Review: “The Garden Left Behind” Urges Us Urgently Forward

The Garden Left Behind (Flavio Alves, 2019) 3 out of 4 stars. Winner of the Audience Award in the “Visions” category at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival, The Garden Left Behind, from director Flavio Alves (making his feature debut), tells … Continue reading

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Film Review: JOKER

Brilliant and astonishing. See Joker and there is no need to see any other movie in 2019. Joker is a brave and daring film. Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/Joker creates a fully realized unique character. The screenplay by director Todd … Continue reading

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Film Review: This “Joker” Is All Hole and No Ace

Joker (Todd Phillips, 2019) 1 out of 4 stars. A relentlessly bleak tale of despair and anger, director Todd Phillips’s Joker features a blistering collection of mannerisms masquerading as emotional truths in lead actor Joaquin Phoenix’s performance, and not much else. … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Abominable” Is Anything But

Abominable (Jill Culton, 2019) 2½ out of 4 stars. Dreamwork’s Abominable is just the latest in a string of films to focus on Asian-centered storylines and characters, as well as the latest in a string of films to focus on Yeti-adjacent … Continue reading

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Film Review: JUDY

Boo-Hoo. A little girl was deprived of a childhood to become a world famous actress and singer. Not everyone has an idyllic childhood. Most of us would trade our lousy childhoods with the one manufactured for Judy Garland. Sure, it’s … Continue reading

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Film Review: Zellweger Brilliantly Incarnates “Judy” in All Her Miserable Glory

Judy (Rupert Goold, 2019) 3 out of 4 stars. Judy Garland (born Frances Gumm in 1922) led a not-so-long and very troubled life, during which time she wowed audiences with her incomparable singing, dancing and presence before becoming, in the … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Always in Season” Explores Hard Truths of Lynching and White Supremacy

Always in Season (Jacqueline Olive, 2019) 4 out of 4 stars. 17-year-old Lennon Lacy was found hanging from a swing set in the early hours of August 29, 2014, in Bladenboro, North Carolina, in what the police quickly dubbed a suicide. … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Bloodline” Is As Bold and Brazen As Its Main Character

Bloodline (Henry Jacobson, 2019 ) 3 out of 4 stars. How many people in our lives that we trust do we actually really know, inside and out? Do we know their light side and their dark side? Do we know … Continue reading

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