Gay City News

Gay City News is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Brandon Judell, David Ehrenstein, David Noh, Gary M. Kramer, Steve Erickson
Rating Title/Year Author
The Times of Bill Cunningham (2018) Gary M. Kramer With the release of Mark Bozek's affectionate documentary, "The Times of Bill Cunningham," fans can revisit this humble man who still feels like an old friend.... Bozek's film honors an original, whose work remains as influential as it is inspiring. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
The Assistant (2019) Steve Erickson Leslie Schatz's sound design is the true star of The Assistant. Kitty Green's film is at least as much an audio experience as a visual one. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2020
The Traitor (2019) Steve Erickson The Traitor has the same epic sweep [as The Godfather] and even includes a crime family called the Corleones, but [director Marco] Bellocchio avoids operatic excess, keeping emotion at a remove. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2020
Les misérables (2019) Steve Erickson It's too bad that the results feel so compromised... EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
Little Joe (2019) Steve Erickson It creates a beautiful world, but no matter how many ideas it throws up, they feel disconnected and do little to stir thoughtful reactions. The film could've benefited from getting high on a bit of Little Joe's pollen itself. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
Midnight Family (2019) Steve Erickson Midnight Family is filled with an offhand beauty. Lorentzen walks a fine line. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
Knives Out (2019) Steve Erickson Knives Out is loaded with flashbacks, sudden revelations, and reversals. Its greatest pleasure lies in storytelling about storytelling, planting clues that pay off an hour later. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
Atlantics (2019) Steve Erickson Atlantics doesn't have much interest in explaining itself, but its romanticism resonates long after the film ends. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
Varda by Agnès (2019) Steve Erickson Even if it's flawed, it reveals [Varda's] constant re-invention. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
Synonyms (2018) Steve Erickson It's willing to be a mess at times. But it also avoids becoming a simple synonym about Israeli or Jewish identity. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
In My Room (2018) Steve Erickson ...this film's strength lies in its combination of slipperiness and allegorical riches. The freedom it finds in the apocalypse extends to the spectator. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019
Young Ahmed (2019) Steve Erickson There's no real conflict or argument to the film, because it uses the mix of austerity and melodrama that has served the Dardenne brothers in the past to reduce Ahmed to a symbol of thoughtless violence rather than a three-dimensional teenager. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2019
Zombi Child (2019) Steve Erickson Thankfully, its inquiry into desire and freedom plays out more like a fever dream, with this year's best musical number! EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2019
Ad Astra (2019) Steve Erickson The laser-pointed focus and beautiful style bring true emotion and poetry to a simple, well-worn story. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
() Steve Erickson ...the last images suggest the resilience of serenity and beauty. Like Redistribution, the future is still unfinished. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
The Load (2018) Steve Erickson It's not concerned with action. It prioritizes mood instead. Indeed, it might be closer to Theo Angelopolous' slow cinema road movies. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Before You Know It (2019) Gary M. Kramer [T]he characters in "Before You Know It" are not in a situation comedy, but rather a frustration comedy. This film, co-written and directed by Utt, never lives up to its potential. Few of the jokes land, and it come alive only in its big dramatic moments. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
What You Gonna Do When The World's On Fire? (2018) Steve Erickson The film's mixture of political rhetoric and a respect for its subjects' experience of everyday life, while showing the connections between the two, offers some implicit hope. So does the way it finds beauty in situations guaranteed to cause trauma... EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Vision Portraits (2019) Gary M. Kramer "Vision Portraits" offers the uplifting message that visually-impaired artists can create work meaningful to themselves and to viewers. Evans has done that very thing with this remarkable documentary. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2019
The Nightingale (2018) Steve Erickson [The Nightingale] tries hard to be as bleak as possible, but winds up feeling rather one-note. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2019
Esto no es Berlín (2019) Gary M. Kramer A compelling queer coming-of-age drama... an affectionate portrait of youth-gay and straight-as they share heady first experiences with sex, drugs, and punk music. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2019
Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) Steve Erickson Tarantino lets Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood sprawl to the point of bloat. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
Rojo (2018) Steve Erickson El Movimiento and Rojo show Naishtat's talent for building tension through dialogue. But while the earlier film built toward violence in long, talky scenes, Rojo doesn't offer that grim release. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
Ray & Liz (2018) Steve Erickson Billingham isn't interested in pretty images, but he does create striking ones. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
The Chambermaid (2018) Steve Erickson These moments have a political resonance, but no obvious message. The Chambermaid stays away from a facile, conservative version of humanism, where a filmmaker serves up poor people's lives for a middle-class arthouse audience to pity. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
Diamantino (2018) Gary M. Kramer "Diamantino" is a fun, thrilling ride. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2019
The Dead Don't Die (2019) Steve Erickson The film grasps for political subtext in a lazy, secondhand way. In the end, its zombie apocalypse is quite cozy. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
The Raft (2018) Steve Erickson If the Acali's voyage was an experiment that happily failed the expectations of its creator, The Raft brings the hybrid documentary back from festival cinema cliché. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2019
Netemo sametemo (2018) Steve Erickson The story remains fairly banal, and neither the direction nor performances lift it above. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2019
Charlie Says (2018) Steve Erickson For a film about the Manson family, the most surprising thing about Mary Harron's Charlie Says is that it's actually pretty bland EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
Double Lives (2018) Steve Erickson Full of a postmodern self-referentiality that feels smart but goes nowhere. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
Us (2019) Steve Erickson Peele knows how to make a straightforward horror film. The middle section of Us uses jump scares and sudden stabs of music. But it's closer to Michael Haneke's Funny Games than Jaws, despite the T-shirt Jason wears. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
Ash Is Purest White (2018) Steve Erickson A solid film that burns slowly but evenly, Ash Is Purest White doesn't break any new ground. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
Da xiang xi di er zuo (2018) Steve Erickson An Elephant Sitting Still" heats up to a series of amazingly blunt, cruel confrontations. Hu didn't hold back about the essential selfishness and spiritual emptiness of the world he depicts. But his film isn't nihilistic. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
Sorry Angel (2018) Gary M. Kramer Lean into the offbeat rhythms of out gay writer/ director Christophe Honoré's sophisticated new film "Sorry Angel" and absorb all its romantic splendor....This melancholy romance will surely draw many into the deep emotions conveyed. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
Pájaros de verano (2018) Steve Erickson I'm not sure that ultimately there's much to Birds of Passage other than being a well-made gangster film that attempts to approach its subject from an unusual perspective... Fortunately, there are more valuable qualities... EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
Todos lo saben (2018) Steve Erickson It could've been made by a talented but uninspired director influenced by Farhadi. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
The Image Book (2018) Steve Erickson Like most major art, The Image Book is greater than the sum of its parts. It's also deeply mysterious: anyone who claims mastery over it after one viewing is lying. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
Touch Me Not (2018) Steve Erickson [Touch Me Not] finally expresses a real vision of physical and emotional liberation after two hours of words and images grappling gingerly but almost obsessively with the subject. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2019
Vice (2018) Steve Erickson The reliance on cheap shots would be more justifiable if the film had enough artistry to make its rage hit home. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
The Wedding (2018) Gary M. Kramer Films like "The Wedding," written and directed by Sam Abbas, often get overlooked because they are made on a shoestring with an unknown cast. But this auspicious feature debut by the Egyptian-American Abbas demands attention. It's a gem. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
The Charmer (2017) Steve Erickson It would've been easy for The Charmer to tell a simplistic story about an Iranian immigrant... Instead, The Charmer explores Esmail and Sara's differences, presenting a world where his code-switching never stops. EDIT
Posted Nov 30, 2018
Boy Erased (2018) Gary M. Kramer "Boy Erased" is a clunky redemption tale that tries too hard to be crowd-pleasing and as a result glosses over the issues at stake, particularly for the vulnerable teens who suffer at quack science's hands. EDIT
Posted Nov 30, 2018
Les garçons sauvages (2017) Gary M. Kramer "The Wild Boys" is full of inventive and imaginative elements, which counterbalance the lack of plot.... Mandico focuses on creating a heady, dreamlike atmosphere that is both beautiful and disturbing. EDIT
Posted Nov 30, 2018
Tyrel (2018) Gary M. Kramer [A] compelling comedy-drama that, like all of the filmmaker's work, will get under a viewer's skin. EDIT
Posted Nov 30, 2018
Of Fathers and Sons (2017) Steve Erickson Every scene in Syrian director Talal Derki's Of Fathers and Sons is carefully placed to make a point. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2018
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Steve Erickson The film is a decidedly mixed bag, feeling thoroughly confused, but ultimately it manages to honor Mercury's talent. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2018
Life and Nothing More (2017) Steve Erickson Life and Nothing More both captures an American reality and pulls it apart to make a point, without dishonoring the people whose lives it's based on. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2018
Bitter Melon (2018) Gary M. Kramer Mendoza adroitly sneaks in other messages, such as thoughtful discussions of both racism and effeminacy in the gay community. The cast is uniformly strong with Schneider particularly appealing as Declan, the perhaps-not-so-moral center of the family. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2018
The Price of Everything (2018) Steve Erickson This film respects the potential for beauty and social reflection contained in art. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2018