Alexander Ryll

Alexander Ryll
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Editor In Chief and Founder of LGBTQ+ magazine Gay Essential. Find Alexander @GayEssential
Publications: Gay Essential

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
77% Jesus (2017) Jesús is less about juvenile delinquency than it is about violence that stems from adolescents testing limits and as a result losing control of the situation. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
5/5 94% A Date for Mad Mary (2016) There are some delightfully unexpected moments - largely stemming from Mary's penchant for jeopardizing or even ruining whatever good things come her way. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
No Score Yet Before the Fall (2017) In Before the Fall, writer and director Byrum Geisler presents a familiar assortment of rambling, lovestruck characters. Familiar, because Geisler bases his debut feature film off of one of Jane Austen's most recognizable works, Pride and Prejudice. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4/5 100% Check It (2016) As is the case for any documentary about a potentially uncomfortable subject, Check It deserves as much distribution and exposure as possible - both for its importance and for its ability to orchestrate the change it desires. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4.5/5 94% The Freedom to Marry (2017) The Freedom to Marry is very well-done in both its presentation, framing and context. It should serve as a joyful reminder of a hard-fought victory as well as a wonderful historical reference point for the victories we have yet to fight hard for. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet La noche (2016) The movie narrates the sexual adventures of a man who navigates the prostitution underworld of Buenos Aires. For company, he has only drugs, prostitutes, and the incessant solitude that pushes him time and again. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
No Score Yet Pulse (2017) A twist on the concept of trans sexuality, Pulse is more about body swapping than the traditional trans experience. Still, Cruz-Martin and Monks deliver an insightful look into the challenges of evolving into one's true self. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
No Score Yet Bromance (2016) The three aesthetically-pleasing friends have easygoing interpersonal relationships with each other, but things get complicated when something happens between Daniel and Santiago while skinny-dipping. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4/5 83% Handsome Devil (2017) More than anything, the character/s who are actually revealed to be gay couldn't be any more refreshingly portrayed by both the filmmaker and the actors in question. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Heartland (2016) Each character is both loved and despised for their unique combinations of strengths and flaws, and the chemistry within this cast is evident from the opening scenes. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
5/5 84% Tom of Finland (2017) Upon the Centennial celebration of Finland, award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski presents a moving biopic of one of the country's most beloved sons. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
100% Ekaj (2015) There is a lot to enjoy if you can accept its stylistic choices for what they are and how they help inform the film's unrelentingly stark tone. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America (2016) Regardless of which side of the wall you fall on as it relates to the topic of immigration, Forbidden does a wonderful job of presenting a more personal perspective on the topic. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
No Score Yet Such Good People (2014) This delightful comedy caper ends with several back-to-back twists that are unexpected without being arbitrary. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
No Score Yet Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story (2015) The film intertwines the history of Falcon with the history of gay porn and gay history itself as Falcon, ably adjusted to the ever-changing times and ever-evolving tastes, which were reflected in the films. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
49% King Cobra (2016) Filmmaker Justin Kelly wrote the film adapting the story told in the book "Cobra Killer: Gay Porn Murder" by Andrew E. Stoner and Peter A. Conway, and if anything, by the time credits roll, it's hard not to be compelled to read the source material. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
No Score Yet Un bacio (2016) A story about teenage survival, Italian filmmaker Ivan Cotroneo's film, One Kiss (Un bacio), offers all the fun of an '80's high school flick combined with the real-world challenges facing LGBT youth today. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
100% Esteros (2016) The aptly titled Esteros takes the audience on a journey of sexual discovery, no matter how muddy that experience may often be. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
No Score Yet Retake (2017) Nick Corporon delivers a promising feature film debut in Retake, an inspired road trip drama with enough quirks and twists to keep audiences enthralled until the credit roll. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
No Score Yet The Falls: Covenant of Grace (2016) Not every trilogy can improve with each successive film. But The Falls: Covenant of Grace does just that. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
67% Lazy Eye (2016) Though this film only features the two main characters for most scenes, Kirkman's script in Lazy Eye contains enough movement to maintain direction and deliver up a few surprises. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
No Score Yet Love Is All You Need? (2016) An expansion of her short film by the same title, Love Is All You Need? is an intriguing and very personal look at what it feels like to be persecuted for what you look like, who you are, and whom you love. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
87% Tab Hunter Confidential (2015) Tab Hunter Confidential is a great 2015 documentary about the life and career of the titular former actor, matinee idol and heartthrob who was also a closeted homosexual in 1950s Hollywood. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
No Score Yet Shared Rooms (2016) Be they a nephew, a hookup or a renter, it all comes down to letting people who enter your life into your life. And Williams exemplifies that perfectly in his Shared Rooms. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Taekwondo (2016) This is a significant film in today's landscape of overbearing heteronormativity as it deals with the rather delicate topic of being comfortable as a gay man without having to give disclaimers or explanations. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
69% C.O.G. (2013) There are two other somewhat unrelated parts to C.O.G. - making the entire film inadvertently seem as if it exists as three largely unrelated stories with David as their only link. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4/5 94% The Pass (2016) Despite the recognisable structure of its source material, The Pass is a lucid and harrowing portrayal of homophobia in football that couldn't ring any more true. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
No Score Yet The Falls: Testament of Love (2013) Nick Ferrucci and Benjamin Farmer return as R.J. and Chris in this 2013 sequel to 2012's The Falls about two Mormon missionaries whose mission work turns into an ongoing romance. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
5/5 98% Moonlight (2016) Moonlight is one of those films that play out like a huge build up towards an emotionally taut final act. Some will find the climax too understated but that's exactly what makes it feel real and powerful, just like the rest of the story. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet BearCity 3 (2016) BearCity 3 rounds out Douglas Langway's bear trilogy with yet another enjoyable story. In this latest instalment, the gang comes back together for a camping trip and a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
80% Closet Monster (2016) Stephen Dunn has in fact crafted an instant classic of queer cinema that takes the coming-of-age and coming-out tale, rejuvenates it and delivers a film that unapologetically puts the elephant in the room in its very title. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
5/5 No Score Yet El Canto Del Colibri (2015) El Canto de Colibri is a study in love and acceptance that should be used at every PFLAG meeting, religious conference, parenting class and political campaign. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4/5 100% The Watermelon Woman (1997) By the end of the film, the lines between reality and fiction are blurred in that Cheryl in the film and Dunye herself with the film itself are both making points about black women in film. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Holler If You Hear Me (2015) Holler doesn't offer up any conclusions or solutions to the ongoing conflict between the black church and the LGBT community as it relates to god's word on the matter - probably because there isn't one. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
No Score Yet Upstairs Inferno (2015) Upstairs Inferno isn't just compelling viewing for its journalistic competence and historical value but most importantly it's essential viewing for its social value. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4.5/5 70% Miles (2017) Miles is gay and we know it. His mother knows it. And the town knows it - whether they care or not. But that aspect of Miles' life is actually very secondary to the film's main thrust. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet I Love You Both (2017) Imagine meeting a fun and flirtatious 20-something named Andy. He's charming, handsome, has great taste in music. Now imagine finding yourself in a love triangle with Andy...and your twin sibling. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4.5/5 95% Being 17 (Quand on a 17 ans) (2016) The film directed by André Téchiné also does a masterful job of capturing the confusion of adolescence and the general inability to put feelings into words at that age - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4/5 95% Strike a Pose (2017) Its greatest achievement is that one need not be a fan of Madonna, to be fascinated by the story of a group of young men whose time together 25 years ago, taught people about expression, community and survival. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
4/5 100% Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four (2016) This gut-wrenching real-life drama presents an unfiltered look at what a myopic and prejudiced is capable of. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
5/5 No Score Yet Pushing Dead (2016) Tom E. Brown weaves an interesting tale that sucks the audience in from the opening sequence. Brown manages to hit upon important issues, such as the less-than-ideal Affordable Care Act and life with now often-overlooked HIV. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
3.5/5 88% Looking: The Movie (2016) If you liked Looking the TV series, you'll be largely satisfied by the wrap-up movie - which was previewed at Outfest 2016 ahead of its HBO premiere. If you didn't like Looking the TV series, the wrap-up movie won't change your mind about the series. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
95% Pariah (2011) Directed by Dee Rees a Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
81% Holding The Man (2015) Based on Tim Conigrave's memoir of the same name, Holding The Man is the touching love story between aspiring actor and writer Conigrave and his partner of fifteen years John Caleo. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
No Score Yet Morgan (2012) Morgan is perhaps the only independent gay film with a leading paraplegic character. That being the case, Morgan may also be the only independent gay film that even touches on the dynamic between the two leads. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
100% Cloudburst (2012) Dukakis and Fricker are as wonderful in the film as you would expect two veteran and experienced actresses to be. You believe that these two women were a lesbian couple in a committed relationship. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
3/5 83% I Promise You Anarchy (Te prometo anarquía) (2015) This slow-burning pastiche, a blend of coming-of-age melodrama, gritty-bleak thriller and social commentary infused with documentary vibes, normalises a gay love story within the bigger picture. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet Like You Mean It (2015) Like You Mean It is an honest portrait of love in crisis and rather than dwelling in those dramatic tropes especially typical of gay relationships on film, it uses them to dig deep into a man's psyche and inner demons uncompromisingly. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
3/5 60% Akron (2015) Akron, the minimalistic yet affecting indie drama, is titled after the fifth largest city in Ohio, which is of course the setting of this poignant little film about family, young love and ghosts from the past. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
100% The Circle (2014) The Circle does a great job of taking us back to a more repressive time in gay history (which continues in some areas of the world to this very day) - so much so that it's infuriating to watch at times. - Gay Essential EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019