Frank J. Avella

Frank J. Avella
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Frank J. Avella is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and film journalist. His plays include LURED, VATICAN FALLS and CONSENT. He currently writes for Edge Media Network and Awards Daily. Frank is the East Coast Rep for GALECA - The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics. He's a proud queer Italian-American.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
A- 74% The Hand of God (È stata la mano di Dio) (2021) And yet, with his latest and most personal film, The Hand of God, he mindfully vacillates between telling a compelling, intimate family tale and peppering it with wildly outrageous, yet wholly believable, characters. - Awards Daily EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2021
B 100% Marx Can Wait (Marx può aspettare) (2021) . It's an investigation of past sins, a laying bare of all the bullshit fakery that Italian-Catholics are forced to grow up with. It's a purging and a mea culpa. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2021
B 75% Jane by Charlotte (2021) The director is more interested in trying to further understand her mother while she is still here, and thanks to her sharing that with us, we might learn a bit about our own mother and/or child. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2021
B+ 90% C'mon C'mon (2021) Joaquin Phoenix taps into his sweet and loving side for Mike Mills' C'mon C'mon, a deeply affecting, uplifting, and unconventional peek at a small family looking to reconnect. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2021
A 100% The Worst Person In The World (Verdens Verste Menneske) (2021) Trier penned the smart and sensitive screenplay with his collaborator Eskil Vogt. But this is Reinsve's showcase, and it's glorious. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2021
A- 100% A Chiara (2021) Carpignano never judges his characters, but his coda is a stunner and speaks volumes to his intent. I loved his film. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2021
A- 98% The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) Washington and McDormand both seem to get better with each new screen performance. It's truly astonishing. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2021
A 94% The Lost Daughter (2021) It's a tribute to the extraordinary gifts Colman has with knowing exactly how to play to the camera. This might be her greatest film work yet. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2021
A 100% Parallel Mothers (Madres paralelas) (2021) It helps to have Penélope Cruz delivering the best performance of her career (and that is not hyperbole). - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2021
A 91% The Power of the Dog (2021) Campion's genius is in keeping this crucible cooking at just the right temperature, with the perfect ingredients, stirring it the correct number of times, until it explodes. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2021
B No Score Yet Lucky Luciano (1973) It's also quite an enjoyable film, in large part thanks to Gian Maria Volontè's charismatic, understated performance as Charles "Lucky" Luciano and Rosi's deft direction. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2021
B- No Score Yet L'attentat (The Assassination) (2013) But it's Volontè and Trintignant's film, and both are perfectly understated in it. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2021
B- 89% What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? (2021) (The film) certainly a one-of-a-kind film that has its enchanting moments. I also enjoyed how strange and idiosyncratic it was. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2021
B+ 97% The Velvet Underground (2021) Haynes has crafted a celebration, as well as an exploration of a time and a sound that changed the world. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2021
B 98% Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (2021) The film asks fascinating questions about destiny and how the decisions we make shape not just ours, but those we interact with, as well. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2021
A- 83% Hit the Road (2021) Pantea Panahiha is a standout as the mother, but it is Rayan Sarlak as the younger son who runs away with the film; the kid is just terrific. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2021
A- 67% France (2021) It's (Seydoux) a masterful performance: Hilarious, heartbreaking, mad, and poignant. And Emanuele Arioli excels in a pivotal role. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2021
A 95% Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (2021) You are not likely to see anything as audacious, as bold, as exasperating, as bracing or as illuminating. And the final moments are a lunatic triumph of female empowerment. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2021
C 63% Encounter (2021) Riz Ahmed delivers a joyfully unhinged performance in Michael Pearce's deceptive thriller Encounter. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2021
B- 20% The Story of My Wife (2021) Léa Seydoux is arresting as his wife, keeping us intrigued even when the narrative runs out of steam. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2021
B- 82% Sundown (2021) Charlotte Gainsbourg is scarily good as a woman on top - and dead set on staying there. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2021
B 83% Compartment No. 6 (2021) Writer-director Juho Kuosmanen has created something that is close to magical with "Compartment No. 6," co-winner of the Cannes Grand Prix. Haarla is super. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2021
B- 42% Three Floors (Tre piani) (2021) It's an intriguing setup that tends to hit more than it misses, thanks in large part to solid performances by the luminous Margherita Buy, the spellbinding Rohrwacher, and newcomer Denise Tantucci. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2021
B 100% Small Body (2021) While I may question the denouement, I was moved by it. And Cescutti reminded me of an Italian Kate Winslet. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2021
B+ 96% I'm Your Man (2021) ... things take an interesting turn in writer-director Maria Schrader's intelligent and keen comedy, which never chooses sci-fi dazzle over true human depth of feeling. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2021
B 81% True Things (2021) Wilson, in a knockout performance, is transformative here, from the early days of waiting for a return text to a reawakening of sorts. She is no victim. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2021
B 84% Medusa (2021) Medusa is a trippy film that brings to mind Argento, von Trier, and even "Heathers," with one of the most satisfying endings of any film this year. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2021
B+ 100% One Second (2020) I was enchanted by this film, although I do wonder what Yimou's original cut might have been. I'm imagining it would not have contained the jarring and unnecessary coda. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2021
B+ 65% Silent Night (2021) The script is clever and insightful, and the performances rock... - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2021
A- 100% Întregalde (2021) Romanian filmmaker Radu Muntean has crafted a riveting mediation on compassion, empathy, and good will with Întregalde - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2021
A 88% Unclenching the Fists (2021) Russian director Kira Kovalenko has crafted a truly gripping, hypnotic, and astonishing tale... - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2021
A 74% The Survivor (2021) This is a career-changing role for Ben Foster, who delivers one of the best performances of the year, and one I cannot shake. Still. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2021
B 86% The Mad Women's Ball (Le bal des folles) (2021) Mad meanders a bit, but is a powerful film about the historically misogynistic treatment of women by men in power. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
B 100% The Girl and the Spider (2021) The performances are uniformly wonderful, and, in the end, the filmmakers achieve something sublime. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
B 82% Violet (2021) Olivia Munn delivers a career-best performance... - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
B 95% The Wheel (2021) why did it leave me with such a joyous feeling? Perhaps it was Steve Pink's intimate way of telling the story, or Trent Atkinson's intelligent screenplay, or the authentic performances from Taylor Gray, Amber Midthunder, Bethany Ann Lind, and Nelson Lee? - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
B- 75% Mothering Sunday (2021) the film might have been fleshed out a bit more, especially with such an armada of talent in the cast, which features a criminally underused, but wonderful, Glenda Jackson. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
B- 66% The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) ... it succeeds more than not because of the bold embodiment by Chastain. Her Tammy is a misunderstood dupe and a good soul. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
B 71% The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021) Benedict Cumberbatch gets to fly his fabulous freak flag high in the wildly eccentric biopic... - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
A- 94% Montana Story (2021) Montana Story is a beautiful film on every level, and the two leads are captivating. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
B+ 87% Titane (2021) Titane challenges notions of gender and identity, and will definitely elicit a reaction from you. Agathe Rouselle is unforgettable as the lead. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
A- 73% Ahed's Knee (Le genou d'Ahed) (2021) Lapid has the audacity to turn the tables on the viewer and toss us into doubt. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
A No Score Yet Wildhood (2021) Brettan Hannam's glorious first feature, Wildhood, catapults him into the pantheon of filmmakers to watch. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
A- 94% Benediction (2021) The film is also an exploration of sexual and spiritual identity, as well as a depiction of the desire between men at a time when acting on such feelings was criminal. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
A 86% Bergman Island (2021) It is ultimately a valentine to filmmaking itself - a profound one. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
B- 72% Arabesque (1966) Convoluted script notwithstanding, Arabesque is a gorgeous film with two stellar performances by cinematic royalty, Sophia Loren and Gregory Peck. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2021
B+ 94% Theater of Blood (Theatre of Blood) (Much Ado About Murder) (1973) highly recommend "Theater of Blood" for fans of theater, satire, or horror, or for anyone who has ever gotten a bad review. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2021
D- 29% Moment by Moment (1978) the script is atrocious. It sounds like it's been improvised by the cast of "Gilligan's Island" or "Jersey Shore" - not written by one of our best playwrights (Jane Wagner). - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2021
B No Score Yet What's So Bad About Feeling Good? (1968) The film is an often-keen satire (written by Seaton and Robert Pirosh) that fears going too far. And there are comedic bits that are hilarious and others that fall flat. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2021
B 82% Potato Dreams of America (2021) This Jojo Rabbit-reminiscent comedy-drama (with Jesus substituting for Hitler) blends elements of 80s studio films with Genet and even John Waters and has a strange poignancy to it. - Edge Media Network EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2021