Review: “Best Summer Ever”

Plot-wise, there isn’t much that is new about the musical “Best Summer Ever,” directed by Michael Parks Randa and Lauren Smitelli. The story involves two teens who meet at a dance summer camp and fall in love before going their separate ways. Tony (Ricky Wilson Jr.) is supposedly going home to New York, where he […]

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Review: “Identifying Features”

All we know of Jesús is his face. It’s his face that opens “Identifying Features,” the debut film from director Fernanda Valadez, at first blurry and far away, but walking ever closer to us. The image fades, as a voiceover informs us that Jesús left his Mexican town with a friend weeks ago, in search […]

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Kino Lorber Mini Reviews

In January I had the opportunity to catch up on some of Kino Lorber’s 2020 releases in time for awards season, and wow, some of these films really knocked me out. A few of these were among the best films I watched from last year, so I wanted to take the opportunity to briefly review […]

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Review: “Kindred”

“Kindred” is a horror movie that isn’t scary in a very obvious way. Rather, there’s a feeling of unease that permeates the film and gets under your skin, staying there long after the credits roll. Director and co-writer Joe Marcantonio’s debut feature may draw comparisons to other films such as “Rosemary’s Baby,” but he takes […]

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Review: “The Dissident”

On October 2, 2018, Washington Post journalist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and never left. Over two years later, Khashoggi’s loved ones are still seeking justice for his murder, a premeditated crime committed by Saudi officials—and largely believed to have been ordered by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin […]

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Review: “Promising Young Woman”

Almost every year, a movie comes along that—for better or for worse—feels completely fresh, bold, and unpredictable. “Promising Young Woman,” the debut feature film from writer/director Emerald Fennell, is that movie for 2020. A timely and provocative revenge thriller that serves as a scathing indictment of a misogynistic society that protects abusers, “Promising Young Woman” […]

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Review: “Dear Santa”

Every year, thousands upon thousands of children write letters to Santa Claus, asking for him to make his Christmas wishes come true. But where do all those letters go? One might call to mind the climactic courtroom scene at the end of “Miracle on 34th Street,” when postal workers deliver huge bags of letters addressed […]

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Review: “A Call to Spy”

“A Call to Spy” contains many of the typical hallmarks of a World War II movie.  We follow the heroes through action, espionage, struggle, and sacrifice, all performed on behalf of their country.  But these movies usually follow male heroes, whether they be soldiers on the front lines, spies trying to covertly gather intelligence against […]

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