Specialty Releases

Film Review: “Leto” Is a Gorgeous, But Overly Sleepy, Soviet Rock Drama

Leto (Kirill Serebrennikov, 2018) 2½ out of 4 stars. A somewhat film, albeit a strange one to be given an American release, Kirill Serebrennikov’s Leto(the title means “summer” in Russian) tells the highly specific story (in terms of time and … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Trial by Fire” Offers Unpleasant Truths

Trial by Fire (Edward Zwick, 2018) 2½ out of 4 stars. Trial by Fire, from director Edward Zwick (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back) is the kind of film that trolls for your sympathy through rich veins of sentiment that mask … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Fast Color” Offers Mostly Lovely Indie Sci-Fi

Fast Color (Julia Hart, 2019) 3 out of 4 stars. Though it suffers from some confused world-building, Julia Hart’s Fast Color remains, throughout, an engaging meditation on identity and empowerment. The film follows a trio of women – three generations of a single … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Teen Spirit” Delivers a Quick High and Long Low

Teen Spirit (Max Minghella, 2018) 2 out of 4 stars.  Actor Max Minghella’s directorial debut, Teen Spirit, deserves high marks for style, with its vibrant visuals and evocative editing. Unfortunately, the story the film tells is not up to 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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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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Film Review: “Rodents of Unusual Size” Are the Real Deal

Rodents of Unusual Size (Quinn Costello/Chris Metzler/Jeff Springer, 2017) 4 out of 4 stars. Fresh off its PBS debut, following a festival and theatrical run that started in 2017, the fascinating Rodents of Unusual Size, a documentary about how a … Continue reading

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Film Review: “King of Thieves” Almost Pulls off the Heist

King of Thieves (James Marsh, 2018) 2½ out of 4 stars.  Based on a real-life 2015 heist, director James Marsh’s King of Thieves assembles a cast of fine British actors of a certain age, among them Jim Broadbent (The Lady in the … Continue reading

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