Specialty Releases

Film Review: “Pain and Glory” Offers Neither, But Still Diverts

Pain and Glory (“Dolor y gloria”) (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019) 2½ out of 4 stars. Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film offers neither excessive pain nor great glory, so megalomaniacal masochists, beware. It is a very personal film, however, so there are plenty … Continue reading

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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: “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” Too Contrived for Its Iconic Star

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (Rob Epstein/Jeffrey Friedman, 2019) 2 out of 4 stars. There are things in life that are ridiculously overdue; things that have been kept from the general public for far too long. You and I … Continue reading

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Film Review: In “Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements,” the Chords of Sound Resonate

Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements (Irene Taylor Brodsky, 2019) 3 out of 4 stars. Deafness follows director Irene Taylor Brodsky, though she, herself, can hear just fine. The child of deaf parents, she was not surprised when the condition … Continue reading

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Film Review: “The Whistler: Origins” Is Brisk, Beguiling, and a bit Baffling

The Whistler: Origins (“El Silbón: Orígenes”) (Gisberg Bermudez, 2018) 2½ out of 4 stars. Cultural folktales seem to be the horror genre’s newest obsession. They’re coming in all varieties it seems, from mainstream supernatural jump-scare-fests like The Curse of La … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Vita & Virginia” Engages, If More Vita Than Virginia

Vita & Virginia (Chanya Button, 2019) 2½ out of 4 stars. Though the late Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) has been portrayed on screen before in a cinematically stronger film than the new Vita & Virginia (i.e., the 2002 The Hours), she has … Continue reading

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Film Review: In Remarkable “The Load,“ the Journey Is the Only Way Forward

The Load (“Teret”) (Ognjen Glavonić, 2018) 4 out of 4 stars. The year is 1999, and war is raging in the Balkans, specifically in Kosovo, the former semi-autonomous region of Yugoslavia struggling as Serbs and Albanians fight for control. NATO … Continue reading

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Film Review: Visually Stunning “Aquarela” Delivers Soggy Narrative

Aquarela (Viktor Kossakovsky, 2018) 2½ out of 4 stars. A frequently beautiful meditation on water in all its forms (ice, snow and pure liquid), the new documentary Aquarela achieves its most spectacular narrative effects when placing people at its center. Unfortunately, … Continue reading

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Film Review: “What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?” Burns but Doesn’t Consume

What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? (Roberto Minervini, 2018) 3 out of 4 stars. Italian director Roberto Minervini has, since moving to Texas in 2007, been on a mission to tell elliptical, nuanced stories about both the … Continue reading

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