Georgia Straight

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Before You Know It (2019) Ken Eisner They turn a potentially complex family journey into silly farce and still expect you to care. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
Monos (2019) Ken Eisner It's hard to parse much of this since the story is buried in a surfeit of sensationalistic style that makes the film feel more like a 100-minute trailer-an impressive one, to be sure-than a coherent movie. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
For Sama (2019) Janet Smith This isn't polished stuff...but no other documentary out there has captured the human cost of the Syrian crisis with such clarity. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) Ken Eisner The title of this timely documentary was once uttered by one Donald Trump, who learned his entire legal strategy-"Attack, attack, attack!"-on Roy Cohn's knee. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Ken Eisner This is the Eddie Murphy comeback we've all been waiting for, made sweeter by the fact that his character is never swamped by Eddie Murphyness. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Ken Eisner Oscar-winning directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman have tackled complicated subjects before...Maybe they're just overawed by the subject, although they do have plenty of good material to work with... EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Matthias & Maxime (2019) Ken Eisner M&M...is shot on film to rather grey effect, with clunky, handheld camera moves further dulling down a story that never gives us enough rooting interest in its protagonists to actually care about the ampersand between their names. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
The Laundromat (2019) Ken Eisner As you can imagine, this onslaught of fact, anecdote, and educated conjecture becomes rather unwieldy, even (or perhaps especially) when whittled down to a fast-moving 95 minutes. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Judy (2019) Ken Eisner A knockout performance by Renée Zellweger. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (2019) Ken Eisner The articulate 76-year-old guitarist dominates the screen, and his story unfolds like a trial with only one witness. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Wo bu shi yao shen (2018) Ken Eisner Dying is still remarkable for frankly addressing a serious issue from the ground up. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) Ken Eisner The montage-heavy doc is reasonably comprehensive, but even at two hours, much is excised... EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Song Wo Shang Qing Yun (2019) Ken Eisner This sounds like grim stuff, but first-time feature-maker Teng Congcong...has a sly sense of humour and keeps wringing laugh-out-loud comedy from tense situations. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
Ingrid (2018) Ken Eisner Charged with soft feelings, for the land and the subject, and it's enlivened by a soft-focus, mobile camera, breathtaking drone shots, and meditative original music. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Becoming Nobody (2019) Ken Eisner The effect is curiously cheerful, as any viewer can share the wizened teacher's obvious pleasure at breaking one last taboo. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
The Proposal (2018) Ken Eisner Well-shot doc, both breezy and contemplative at under 90 minutes... EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017) Ken Eisner Tigers Are Not Afraid has much to recommend it in terms of style, mood, and serious intentions. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
This Changes Everything (2018) Ken Eisner The fast-moving doc is most illuminating when it goes back to the dawn of cinema, when the fledgling art form was loaded with female directors and (especially) screenwriters. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (2019) Ken Eisner For this affecting doc, writer-director Max Lewkowicz compresses into a tight 90 minutes the saga of how Fiddler on the Roof was created, and why it continues to resonate with audiences... EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Ken Eisner A generally amiable tale of runaways and redemption...the visual storytelling here offers a raft of subtle pleasures. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2019
Aquarela (2018) Ken Eisner Aquarela exerts a mesmerizing physical power, but it's of a sort that makes you want to find the right drugs, shuffle the scenes, and supply your own music. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2019
After the Wedding (2019) Ken Eisner A tale that's far more soap than substance. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2019
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) Ken Eisner This rousing documentary celebrates the acts of writing and reading, and of language itself as an immortal expression of innate humanness. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019) Ken Eisner Catnip for conspiracy theorists of all stripes... EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
Fast Color (2018) Janet Smith It's a strange and enticing mix: a superhero origin story and sci-fi paranormal effects mix with apocalyptic allegory. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
The Queen (1968) Janet Smith The movie is by turns a historic document, a milestone of queer filmmaking... EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Ken Eisner What emerges, in a spectacularly edited 90 minutes, is a troubled soul who never lost faith in the power of human communication, while sometimes getting caught up in the drama that can cheapen the job. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2019
Little Forest (2018) Ken Eisner Openhearted but still sharp-minded and quietly mysterious, this may be the least carnivorous movie of the year. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) Ken Eisner Crosby's memories of lost loves are fascinating...but viewers may weary of the self-pitying tone attending the saga of CSN (& Y). EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
Honeyland (2019) Ken Eisner Honeyland digs into hidden chambers of life, and doesn't employ any additional sweeteners. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
Free Trip to Egypt (2018) Ken Eisner As with lunch, nothing is really free, but the trip here is still worth taking. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas (2018) Ken Eisner It's a measure of how much influence he had that the surrealistic dream scenes here are the only boring bits. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
Watergate (2018) Adrian Mack The sordid tale is a deftly structured true-crime saga, with writer-director Charles Ferguson narrating. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
() Adrian Mack Although a tad threadbare in the talking-head department (here comes Eric Burdon, again), this cheerful history of the British music weekly Melody Maker has enough inside dope to maintain interest. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2019
Propaganda: The Art of Selling Lies (2019) Ken Eisner A film so timely, it could almost include the feed on your current smartphone, Propaganda: The Art of Selling Lies is a neat overview of how information is twisted, repeated, repackaged, and otherwise auctioned on the open market of un-made minds. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
Maiden (2018) Ken Eisner A fascinating tale is sleekly drawn in Maiden... EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (2018) Janet Smith Hamilton is a fearless risk-taker...the film about her? Not so much. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
Peterloo (2018) Adrian Mack When that climax comes, helped along by a hasty reading of the riot act, ale for the troops, and the provocateuring of Home Office spies, Peterloo explodes into epic cinema-and epic rage. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2019
Jiao qu de niao (2018) Ken Eisner Deliberately paced as it is, the two-hour tale has a tough streak of poetic humanism that weaves its own mesmerizing spell. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2019
() Ken Eisner An unusually clear-headed documentary that sticks to one financial subject: real estate. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2019
Crawl (2019) Steve Newton All in all, Crawl is a hoot for horror fans, although I doubt it'll impress the Everglades Tourism Board much. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
The Farewell (2019) Ken Eisner It's immensely entertaining to watch. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
The Art of Self-Defense (2019) Ken Eisner The story can be surprisingly brutal at times, but it's also funny enough to knock you off your feet. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
Rojo (2018) Ken Eisner The effect is disorienting, sometimes disturbingly witty, and filled with portents of weird eclipses to come. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
The Serengeti Rules (2018) Ken Eisner It's obviously a labour of love. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2019
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) Ken Eisner The beautifully shot movie has its own sense of humour, although the predominant tone (perhaps overstretched at two hours) is elegiac, if not quite mournful. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2019
Ray & Liz (2018) Ken Eisner The movie is beautifully shot (in a squarish 16mm format) and offers both claustrophobia and a muted but insistent respect for the human need to do more than survive. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2019
Tarde para morir joven (2018) Ken Eisner Too Late weaves its own spell, one that will resonate with many people who were once young and are starting to forget what that was all about. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2019
Because We Are Girls (2019) Ken Eisner The film's innate humanism, and the thoughtful qualities of its sisterly subjects, emphasize their disturbing past without sensationalizing it. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2019
Buddy (2019) Ken Eisner Makes you wish the Peruvian-born director, well known for ferreting out telling ironies, would have dug deeper or perhaps gone broader in her overview of these symbiotic relationships. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019