Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% Cremator (Spalovac Mrtvol) (1969) The Cremator is essential viewing if you're a lover of morbid black comedy, the kind of cinema that lies on the delicate border between horror and social satire. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
100% If Only (Magari) (2019) This tender, highly personal-seeming work never transcends the conventions of approachable Italian art cinema, but works engagingly in its own terms. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2019
92% Tel Aviv on Fire (2019) Following a soap opera that muddles through the day to day, Sameh Zoabi's film is lightweight and a little repetitive, but its valuable insight is that in many senses, political reality works in rather the same way. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
60% Chalk (1996) Chalk is an exciting rediscovery-a crackling, nervy gem from what now seems like a very distant era. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2019
No Score Yet Butterfly Kisses (2017) A striking feature debut for director Rafael Kapelinski ... - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2019
95% I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians (Îmi este indiferent daca în istorie vom intra ca barbari) (2019) Director Radu Jude presents a simultaneously playful and intense meditation on the ways in which recreating the past can obscure history's meaning as one gets caught up in the making of illusion. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 22, 2019
96% Rojo (2019) Rojo uses both familiarity and distanciation to depict a society that never appears that different from the world we know, a mystery thriller of sorts that's both about its moment, and disturbingly timeless. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
79% Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) Nick Broomfield's documentary Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is about a relationship that isn't necessarily tragic, but this delicate, elegiac film still tells a sad story of artist and muse - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2019
63% Yesterday (2019) This finally feels like a rather small, forlorn movie... Yesterday, for all its sly, often smart irony, is closer to cinematic Coldplay than it realizes. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2019
71% The Plagiarists (2019) The Plagiarists is an elusive, alluring, sometimes maddening thing-and not so much a narrative film in conventional terms. Rather, it's a curious micro-budget provocation that offers plenty to chew over. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
88% Give Me Liberty (2019) Kirill Mikhanovsky's Give Me Liberty is relentless and altogether exhausting-but it's also a joyous, tender blast, a film that's entrancingly generous and democratic. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
80% Late Night (2019) Late Night is very aware of needing to earn the privilege of our time, but it doesn't quite earn the privilege of our laughter. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
98% The Lighthouse (2019) The interplay between the two men plays out teasingly, with an Oedipal tension between tyro and patriarch that plays out at times like a maritime, rum-soaked version of Steptoe and Son. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
No Score Yet Bacarau (2019) There's lots to admire here, in the performances and the visuals, and the way that widescreen makes the vast, cactus-rich landscapes a perfect backdrop for the bizarre mix of genres... But Bacurau ultimately wasn't to my taste. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2019
89% Rocketman (2019) Rocketman is a cannily honed machine, absolutely sure of its purpose, so you rather feel you've been sold a complete deluxe package... at times, consumer satisfaction is taken care of a little too aggressively for you to really feel involved. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2019
55% Oh Mercy! (Roubaix, une lumière) (2019) Oh Mercy is clearly the film where writer/director Arnaud Desplechin explicitly comes to terms with the world, and he does so in a very personal way. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2019
83% The Halt (Ang hupa) (2019) Devoted Diaz fans will find it a satisfying venture into somewhat new territory. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
17% Summer of Changsha (Liu yu tian) (2019) A disappointingly lacklustre affair whose procedural thrills get increasingly bogged down in a morass of tepid psychodrama, with transcendental trimmings. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
27% Chicuarotes (2019) Chicuarotes has energy to spare, but shaky dramatic strategy, skipping awkwardly between goofy comedy, hard-nosed violence and wildly overplayed melodrama. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
100% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) A vigorous and tightly controlled comedy that sees [Bong] back on top form, with a story that's both rigorously achieved and very specifically Korean. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
65% Frankie (2019) Sachs doesn't exactly come a cropper here, but this melancholic drama is markedly less distinctive and piquant than recent titles of his such as Love Is Strange and Little Men. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
No Score Yet You Deserve a Lover (Tu mérites un amour) (2019) Herzi proves extremely good at getting relaxed, spontaneous performances from her cast, and from herself. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2019
90% The Wild Goose Lake (Nan fang che zhan de ju hui) (2019) Laces slow-burn atmospherics with abrupt outbursts of staccato action, and boils down characterisation to the leanest of bare bones, making for minimalist existentialism in the style of Jean-Pierre Melville. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2019
47% Joan of Arc (Jeanne) (2019) Even with a subject as eternally popular as Joan, it's hard to imagine the film making waves with a mainstream audience or bringing new revelations to Dumont's long-term followers. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2019
33% Heroes Don't Die (2019) This film doesn't entirely persuade us that it knows where it's going or why. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
100% The Climb (2019) This inventive, accomplished piece is certain to be a festival crowd-pleaser, and is likely to score with international audiences who like their indie comedy with a harsh, somewhat Seinfeld-ian edge. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
90% Zombi Child (2019) An unashamedly cerebral study of multiple themes - colonialism, revolution, liberalism, racial difference and female desire - with its unconventional narrative structure taking us a journey that's as intellectually demanding as it is compelling. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
100% Beanpole (Dylda) (2019) The film displays intense emotional seriousness and is finely performed and directed; but further shaping could have revealed the more focused work that's begging to emerge. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
74% Les Misérables (2019) For all its familiarity, Ly's film is executed with enormous confidence and energy, building up to an apocalyptic ending that delivers on a gradual build-up of nervous tension. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
75% Dragged Across Concrete (2019) What makes the film, which clocks in at 159 minutes, seem less calculating and cynical is the way that slow buildup is steeped in a melancholy that never lets up even through the subsequent violence. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
93% Diane (2019) We usually expect that a film named after its protagonist will sooner or later reveal everything about that person, give us the whole woman; Diane, by contrast, comes in pieces - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
81% The Wind (2019) In its quieter, sparer moments, however, The Wind begins to live up to the unstated obliqueness of its title. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
93% Long Day's Journey Into Night (Di qiu zui hou de ye wan) (2019) ...[It] is an all-enveloping experience that genuinely approaches the condition of hallucination: one steeped both in anxiety and in rapturous eroticism. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
100% Erased, Ascent of the Invisible (Tirss, rihlat alsoo'oud ila almar'i) (2018) Erased... offers some fascinating thoughts on the question of memorialization and of the official function of forgetting, when that serves a regime better than true remembering. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
89% Meeting Gorbachev (2019) A little soft soap is perhaps necessary in some cases to soften politicians up and get them on side, but it's rather too apparent here - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
78% Pasolini (2019) Ferrara's Pasolini is sincere, even scholarly; as a film, it feels too stilted and reverent to capture much of that sense of danger. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
100% For Sama (2019) Hardcore current affairs reporting and intimate personal testimony merge to compelling effect in For Sama, a documentary about one family's experience of the Syrian conflict. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
99% Ash Is Purest White (2019) Mesmerisingly played by Jia's regular star Zhao Tao, Qiao is not just one woman, but passes through multiple guises. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
56% Marie Antoinette (2006) ...an ambitious, affecting, truly distinctive piece of work, albeit one that will tell you more about 1780s footwear than about the causes and effects of the French Revolution. - Independent on Sunday EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2019
56% The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) Orson Welles said a film studio was the best train-set a boy could have, but The Life Aquatic is something else: Anderson uses the sound stages of Cinecittá like a kid playing with toy boats in the bath. He makes one hell of a splash. - Independent on Sunday EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2019
37% Glass (2019) You have to admire the nerve of Shyamalan for attempting something like this-and indeed, for choosing Glass as the title for a film so unashamedly non-transparent. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
44% Jessica Forever (2018) Jessica Forever isn't primarily about effects or action-it's largely about feelings, and surprisingly delicate feelings at that. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
100% Los Reyes (2019) Like the best films about the everyday, Los Reyes makes us reassess our ideas of what is and isn't interesting in the world. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
92% Between the Lines (1977) Between the Lines is barely about a newspaper at all, more about a bunch of youngish people whose energies are running out, as American counterculture itself had run their course, with the '80s and its hard-nosed principles about to kick in. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
94% Transit (2019) Ironically, a film with this title is about people locked in stasis: people are always too early or too late for the boats that would transport them. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
95% An Elephant Sitting Still (Da xiang xi di er zuo) (2019) One thing that you shouldn't expect from An Elephant Sitting Still is some artless, ragged cry of rage: despite its bleakness and its visual and tonal austerity, this is a film of extraordinary beauty, invention, and grace. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
100% Combat Obscura (2019) This remarkable film comes across as war's backstage story-it's about the stuff they leave out of the official coverage. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
No Score Yet O Beautiful Night (2019) Böhm's film is steeped in after-hours low-life chic, yet comes across as laboriously gauche, a ghost train ride that quickly wears out the passenger's patience. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
93% What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2018) Garver's film is above all a celebration of the pleasure of intellectual and emotional response to art... and a picture of a style of thinking that might be seen as distinctively but non-stereotypically female. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2019
83% Marighella (2019) Marighella is an urgent film in its commitment and cinematic intensity, and it could hardly be more timely. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2019