Stephen Saito

Stephen Saito
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
No Score Yet Small Body (2021) There's something agreeably old-fashioned about how Piccolo Corpo unfolds in such a straightforward and emotionally direct way, but the film feels entirely contemporary in its perspective. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2021
100% La Civil (2021) Bears the unusual trio of the Dardenne Brothers, Cristian Mungiu and Michel Franco as co-producers and to its director's credit actually feels like a film that any one of them would've been interested in making themselves. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2021
100% Zero Fucks Given (Rien à foutre) (2021) As emotions sneak up on [its lead], they are bound to do so on one watching this wily, seriocomic drama, which is never as brash in conceit as you might expect from the title, but formally daring. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2021
100% Evolution (2021) A potent reminder that this history should never be forgotten, but revealing of how those connected to it are never allowed to forget. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2021
86% Medusa (2021) If the constant threat of blackouts and potential rationing looms in Medusa, the director know where to shine the light, often in arresting fashion. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2021
No Score Yet Neptune Frost (2021) The ingenuity of the filmmaking and the ability to marshal so many disparate elements as part of a greater whole becomes so relatable and moving. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2021
No Score Yet Streetwise (Gaey wa'r) (2021) While Streetwise contemplates feelings of isolation, it evolves into an unusual crowdpleaser. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2021
100% Prayers for the Stolen (Noche de fuego) (2021) Leaving the villains largely off-screen, Prayers for the Stolen instead captures the warped reality they have created that threatens to make them out of even those with the best intentions. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2021
86% A Radiant Girl (Une jeune fille qui va bien) (2021) Making the most of a moment isn't only a skill of Kiberlain's, but a means of survival in A Radiant Girl when it's clear there's no assurances of how long it'll last. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
No Score Yet Olga (2021) A compelling character study. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
83% Peace by Chocolate (2021) With Antigonish coming to appreciate what their new Lebanese neighbors can bring, the Canadians behind Peace by Chocolate offer plenty of local flavor of their own, making the film a real delight. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2021
85% Brighton 4th (2021) It may be a rare event when the sun breaks through in Brighton 4th, but as a film it's resplendent nonetheless. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2021
100% Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres (2021) Joe Kai gets her arms around a story of someone who constantly put the collective good before himself, making this spotlight perhaps a bit uncomfortable for its subject but quite illuminating and entirely deserved. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2021
86% All These Sons (2021) In the deeply affecting doc, Liu and Altman show how simply labeling the issue as a tragedy is a distraction from taking meaningful action. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2021
100% All My Friends Hate Me (2021) A weekend retreat for a quartet of college friends makes one want to crawl out of their skin in a brilliant black comedy. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2021
67% Queen of Glory (2021) [Nana] Mensah couldn't have crafted a more impressive display for her many talents, but it never feels showy. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2021
78% Storm Lake (2021) A galvanizing depiction of what is gained from having strong community coverage that happens to double as a lovely portrait of a charming family business. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
78% The First Step (2021) When progress is usually messier as it's happening than when it's remembered, the ability of The First Step to engage with the moment that it's in is invaluable. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
87% 7 Days (2021) 7 Days beautifully conveys the value in having respect for the history that's come before while knowing when it's time to break free from it. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
87% Poser (2021) A the biting satire that is an impressive showcase for a truly exciting collection of artists while telling a story of someone with a deep case of imposter syndrome amidst countless acts that are fooling themselves with pretentious ideas about their art. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
100% as of yet (2021) As of Yet is impressively casual for how thoughtfully executed it is, with Garron not only being a naturally engaging presence in front of the camera, but handling everything with a light touch storywise. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
No Score Yet No Running (2021) In his energetic feature debut, Delmar Washington flirts with sci-fi, but primarily uses the notion of other life forms light years ahead of us to suggest how our own species has remained stuck in the past. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
89% Roaring 20's (2021) There really does seem to be wonder around every corner when each step is an opportunity to see beyond one's own experience to feel as if you're a part of someone else's. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
100% Ascension (2021) A bigger economy is bound to exclude more and more from this prosperity moving forward, but with such an arresting film, Kingdon doesn't leave them behind. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
100% The Justice of Bunny King (2021) When describing her look to a Dress to Impress worker as "homeless squeegee bandit, but sexy" [Essie Davis] gives a pretty good idea of the wily and tender movie to come. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
No Score Yet Bernstein's Wall (2021) Despite its title, Bernstein's Wall doesn't bring a feeling of closure so much as an excitement to go out and engage more. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
No Score Yet Wild Men (2021) No one in the Danish dark comedy would call themselves happy, though their misery can't help but be amusing for audiences. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
45% Italian Studies (2021) Drawing on all the senses, Italian Studies makes you feel alive. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
100% The Last Out (2020) It may be dizzying to see everything that's thrown at Oliveros, Gonzalez and Baro, but the filmmakers catch all of it with considerable grace. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2021
66% Crisis (2021) When there's no urgency seen at the top, Crisis brings it out at the individual level, impressively feeling personal even when it isn't particularly emotional. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2021
73% The Drover's Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson (2021) An intriguing spin on the genre. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2021
100% When Claude Got Shot (2021) A potent look at breaking cycles of injustice in communities of color. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2021
83% Spring Valley (2021) A disarming look at how deeply engrained racial inequality is to the application of laws. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2021
100% Fruits of Labor (2021) Shows how immigrants may seek out a better life but can never enjoy actually living it. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2021
80% Inbetween Girl (2021) A cunning coming-of-age comedy. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2021
No Score Yet A Hard Problem (2021) A Hard Problem may arrive at no easy answers, but it is a stimulating pleasure to take in. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2021
71% Violet (2020) Invigorating when countering the dangerous ideas that govern [Violet's] path in the world with an exciting sensation of danger in its own right. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2021
88% The Hunt for Planet B (2021) An engaging and inspirational film where even if the results of the mission doesn't put a new planet within human grasp, The Hunt for Planet B puts the idea of it within the reach of any viewer. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2021
96% See You Then (2021) The craft emerges in every line and every frame where seemingly benign remarks are often revealed to be indicative of something much deeper. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2021
78% Kid Candidate (2021) While Pedigo's appeal as a politician may depend on your personal politics, he's undeniably endearing as a subject and just one reason Kid Candidate is ultimately so winning. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2021
80% Ludi (2021) A starmaking turn from Shein Mompremier drives this compelling drama. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2021
80% Through the Plexi-Glass: The Last Days of the San Jose (2021) The film uses the remarkable perspective of the time that's passed to show what leaves when the physical architecture that gives shape to communities disappears. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2021
67% The End of Us (2021) If you were going to be stuck with someone during the pandemic, you could do a lot worse than the endearing exes at the center of Steven Kanter and Henry Loevner's charming comedy. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2021
100% Soy Cubana (2021) Harmony may come naturally to the Vocal Vidas and after watching Soy Cubana, the idea of it seems a little easier to believe in happening in the world over. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2021
44% Our Father (2021) Wickedly funny when it wants to be and keenly observant. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2021
100% United States vs. Reality Winner (2021) Taking the long view that Winner's case is hardly an aberration, the director seems to inhabit the role of whistleblower as well, upending an ongoing narrative put forth by those outside the government that continues to see that true justice isn't served. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2021
100% Not Going Quietly (2021) While it profiles a man of extraordinary will, the film is moving because it shows him putting his own considerable achievements within reach for others so long as they're willing to engage. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2021
95% Language Lessons (2021) Language Lessons find the ways in which words can fail us in times of uncertainty, but expresses itself with impressive clarity. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2021
98% City Hall (2020) Galvanizing... - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2021
88% Homeroom (2021) When Homeroom celebrates those fighting for a place they believe in, the film demonstrates both in observation and by example what awesome might that can have. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2021