Review: “Please Baby Please”

As young men clad in leather jackets leap and twirl down a dark street, the opening scene of “Please Baby Please” immediately draws a visual parallel to the classic romantic musical “West Side Story,” which begins with rival gang members dancing around the city until they meet and conflict ensues. But Amanda Kramer’s “Please Baby […]

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Review: “Something in the Dirt”

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s latest film, “Something in the Dirt,” concludes with a dedication: “to making movies with your friends.” This is the fifth feature film the pair have written and directed together (they also star) in a filmography that includes everything from indie (“The Endless”) to big budget sci-fi (“Synchronic” for Netflix), as […]

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TIFF Review: “Corsage”

Toronto International Film Festival 2022 North American Premiere Romy Schneider made such an indelible impact playing Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the “Sissi” trilogy as a teenager in the mid-1950s that not only did the success of the films launch her into the celebrity stratosphere, but they have become a tradition in Austria and other […]

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TIFF Review: “Susie Searches”

Toronto International Film Festival 2022 World Premiere It’s exciting when movies take ambitious swings, but sometimes the final product is too messy to be even admired. At the beginning of Sophie Kargman’s feature debut “Susie Searches” (based on her 2020 short of the same name), the story appears to be moving in a predictable direction, […]

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Review: “Alone Together”

We’re over two years into this thing now, and I think I’ve figured out at least partially why no movie that centers around the COVID-19 pandemic has been good. In fact, they’ve almost all been almost excruciatingly bad, with the exception of Steven Soderbergh’s straight-to-HBO Max thriller “Kimi,” which tied the protagonist’s anxiety to the […]

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Review: “Skies of Lebanon”

He was an astrophysicist who dreamed of sending the first Lebanese man into space. She was a Swiss artist who moved to Beirut to work as a nanny. For this seemingly unusual pair, it was love at first sight, but even the most idyllic romance struggles to withstand the hardships of war. Director and cowriter […]

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Review: “Neptune Frost”

“Neptune Frost” is the sort of film that needs to be experienced without trying too hard to unravel the intricacies of directors Saul Williams (who also wrote and composed the music for the movie) and Anisia Uzeyman’s complex world-building in their Afrofuturist musical. At the same time, it’s essential to engage with the film with […]

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Review: “Watcher”

Julia (Maika Monroe) is outside her comfort zone. The American just moved to Bucharest with her part-Romanian husband Francis (Karl Glusman), who accepted a demanding new job there. With Francis away for much of the day, and not knowing the language or anyone around her, Julia’s isolation soon transforms into paranoia when a serial killer […]

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Review: “18 1/2”

To this day, no one is certain what exactly was said during the 18 ½ minute gap in a tape of President Richard Nixon reportedly discussing the Watergate break-in with his then Chief of Staff, Bob Haldeman, or who erased it in the first place. Nixon’s secretary claimed to have pushed a wrong button and […]

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