LUCE is less a film than a political dialectic on race and class in these United States, and a brilliant, exquisitely performed one at that. Told with a deliberate, sometimes maddening ambiguity, it challenges the audience at every turn about where the truth lies, and the limits of familial loyalty. By the end, not every… Read More »
BRIAN BANKS is an earnest film that hits all the necessary and expected plot points as it makes its cogent indictment of the criminal justice system. It never becomes a screed, though the based-on-a-true story of 16-year-old who ended up serving time for a rape he didn’t commit certainly has all the elements to support… Read More »
We know going in to THE BEST OF ENEMIES that there will be soul-searching and redemption. The challenge for director Robin Bissell in adapting this true-life story from the book by Osha Gray Davidson was to frame doing the right thing in terms that truly demonstrate to the audience the temper of the times that… Read More »
Science is pure. A hypothesis is either true or it isn’t and the scientific method can be used, unfailingly, to prove it. Politics and human emotions are another story, as we learn in RED JOAN, a drama of that most potent mixture, love and politics. Based on a true story, it considers questions of loyalty… Read More »
There is a distinct strain of melancholy nihilism throughout Stephen Burke’s MAZE. Based on the 1983 prison break by 38 inmates of the eponymous maximum security prison in Norther Ireland, it mixes the suspense of plotting an escape dependant upon split-second timing from an inescapable prison with the psychological games the prisoners play with the… Read More »
GIANT LITTLE ONES is a perceptive, intelligent examination of what happens when unexpected feelings and actions don’t have neat labels. In a time when acceptance of teenage sexuality, at least straight sexuality, has become the norm for most concerned, both parents and their sexually active kids, the question of sexual fluidity can still flummox.
Full of unexpected compassion and humanity, HOTEL MUMBAI is also a harrowing retelling of the 2008 takeover of the fabled Taj Hotel in Mumbai by terrorists whose zeal for religion had been twisted into something horrifying. The standard meet-and-greet of the people whose lives will shortly be forever changed is the only part of the… Read More »
There is little that tugs more insistently at my heartstrings, cinematically at least, than a film that genuinely means well and falls short. And so it is with WELCOME TO MARWEN, a showcase of CGI and of Steve Carrell’s dramatic chops, but of little else. The story is based on the life of Mark Hogencamp,… Read More »
a thoughtful, anarchically lively, film about the obligations of the candidate and the responsibilities of the press that force us to question both
Based on Lee Israel’s memoir of the same name, it is not just an intriguing character study of a talented but difficult writer of one New York Time bestseller now on the skids, but also a perceptive consideration of writing as both an art and as a business.