Facing Fear (2013)
"A rare, disturbing glimpse into white supremacist culture, and issues of anger mismanagement, remorse, apology and the complicated process of self-forgiveness. And the convergence of anger addiction, rage recovery, and how society and the media kick in."
Labor Day (2014)
"Surprises and impresses as a defiant romance. And a woman once solely valued as a mother, a convict whose guilt confounds with unsettling gray areas and a child finding a surrogate father, give 'birth' to a greater nontraditional family emotional truth. "
"Sweetwater does have inspired moments of wild wit, heady heartland humor, and sobering social satire touching on religious fanaticism in particular. Though far too intermingled with SNL style flaky slapstick. "
Detroit Unleaded (2013)
Red Shirley (2010)
"Few are aware that towards the end of his life, the late eminent music legend Lou Reed was also an aspiring filmmaker. And Red Shirley is an affectionate bio-doc in tribute to his fiery labor rebel cousin, on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 2010. "
Great Expectations (2013)
"The immortal classic could not be more relevant in its ironic title alone, to this age of economic crisis in capitalism and the trauma of downward class mobility. And with class uncertainty unleashed back then in both brutal and comical storytelling. "
"Savagely satirizing evangelical culture while pretty much not substituting anything else - unless you count Vegas as the proposed cure in question - in Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody's directing debut. In other words, sorry Paradise, you're no Juno. "
When I Walk (2013)
Forced March (1990)
"Curiously of interest in this re-release, is Hollywood butting heads with the Holocaust. And the warped values of Hollywood ideology playing out dangerously in US society as the 'exceptionalism' of winning and dominating moral discourse at any cost. "
"Sometimes it can be said that a documentary is exemplary for not accomplishing what it set out to do. And this Julian Assange Wikileaks production may have succeeded in not doing just that. A rocky road movie to nowhere, but in a parallel press universe."
Winnie Mandela (2013)
"Sometimes it can be strangely said that it's a miracle when a certain film even exists, warts and all. So let's cut to the chase, and what really matters in this immensely important movie. Not the least which is, 'Strike a woman, and you strike a rock.'"
"Reluctant rebel moms in love. With much meaty food for thought, even if a bit philosophically tough and raw to chew on when at its most visually lyrical. And likely as much into shaking up narrative conventions, as subverting gender perspectives. "
"Multi-layered, eloquently crafted, and both heartfelt and harrowing, Inch'Allah might also be described as the most extraordinarily powerful horror movie this year. And in its own politically and by extension narratively subversive way. "
"A formidable creative force fueled by massive contradictions, Ungerer is a kind of self-analytical shrink here. Conflicted yet inspired by identity issues, political injustice art, and a weirdly beloved treasure trove of headless sex slave barbie dolls."
Handmade Cinema (2013)
"Mulls how these film craftspeople may exist somewhere in the enigmatic realm between artisan and artist. And what all of this may or may not have to do with Fellini, Pasolini, Scorsese, Spike Lee, Sophia Loren's hair, and Leonardo Da Vinci at the bodega."
The Girls in the Band (2013)
"A euphoric, triumphant documentary, in which these unsung female jazz musicians get the last word too. As when one recalls when asked by a reporter, 'what's it like to be a female composer' she replies, 'what's it like to be a male journalist.'"
The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2013)
"A film unfortunately characterized by as much cake-and-eat-it ambivalence as those commitment challenged lovebirds. And with an ideological resolution wavering between two extremes, and in the end neither of them."
"Faux feminist quotes ridiculously compare the porn stars to Anais Nin, Joan of Arc and yes, Eleanor Roosevelt. As Anderson cheers them while they get gussied up for oral, anal and mock rape scenes, exposing their souls way less than flashing flesh."
Hava Nagila: The Movie (2013)
"Porfirio's own perverse bid, via an eager filmmaker, to impress us that he may be disabled and feeling on the emasculated side. But some in-your-face unsimulated sex can still show the world what a macho stud in bed he can be. The pleasure is all his."
Price Check (2012)
"The latest stinging entry into the reality check stream of movies tackling the financial fallout of the Great Recession in one way or another. But too bad it's an entry into the stream of movies with buffoonish bashing of powerful women as well."
The Sessions (2012)
"Revisits a time when 'satisfaction' was more about rebel labor of love music than media attention, before it all became corporatized. Along with a discomfort with fame once upon a time, that has now ironically evolved into anxiety when one is without it."
High Ground (2012)
Simon and the Oaks (2012)
Alex Cross (2012)
"The crash sequences are nothing less than visually and viscerally electrifying. Along with Denzel's complex portrayal of a boozed up cokehead caught up in a complicated moral quandary, that is simultaneously dramatically explosive and nuanced."
"Most provocative is the online communique networking in pursuit of information liberation and global justice, precipitating Occupy movements and the Arab Spring uprising. And as much of a surprise to the Anonymous collaborators as viewers of this movie."
Hotel Noir (2012)
"Though the kooky tale could have been more focused with fewer punchlines, all that seems to be missing is the dame called toots perhaps remarking to her latest possible infatuation: Is that a Kalashnikov in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me."
"If anyone thinks Obama's statement about rural whites in this country clinging to their guns and religion as the hands down, way over the top winning quote in riling up the rubes, they haven't seen this movie buttering up the blue states."
Life of Pi (2012)
"A manipulative faith-based tall tale intimating the question, can the bells and whistles of a Hollywood movie make you believe in God? Time to put out a call for the separation of Church and Hollywood. The Verdict: Richard Parker, you're no Moby Dick."
2016: Obama's America (2012)
"As questionable as right wing D'Souza's lack of unbiased assertions, is the seeming lack of anyone out there who can rise above being either a red state or blue state movie critic, when it comes to political documentaries in such a divided nation."
El Edificio De Los Chilenos (2012)
"A chronicle of motherhood, mass resistance and the sacrifice of children. Candid, ironic and replete with raw feelings, the film vividly poses solemn questions about the price of struggle for dreams, but without ever quite relinquishing political hope."
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
"An unusual love triangle materializing between dodging bullets, and radically redefining the doctor patient relationship, seemingly ensues between Weisz, Renner and his chems. Giving a whole new meaning to the notion of action thriller shoot 'em ups."
"To what degree the seductive senior siblings for sale are leveling with audiences is up for grabs, but certain truths vividly come into play. Namely, their refusal to act old, along with challenging the cultural norms of what it means to be beautiful."
"The Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe, anyone? But where the film leads as if by chance in a surprising second direction, is an ideological conflict running parallel to racial issues. Namely, this mom's post-Soviet longing for allegiance to the collective."
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
"What does amaze along the way, with comical pit stops like Peter's sudden yen for pigging out on quite frozen mac and cheese, is the distraught young male world of powerless patriarchs and bad dad role models. Sometimes I feel like a fatherless child."
Madea's Witness Protection (2012)
"Perry sustains an infusion of tangy wit, as he mines the cultural and economic but primarily racial disconnects and divides of this nation. With a charmingly sweet and sour, more buoyant than boisterous Perry this time around, playfully at the helm."
Dark Horse (2012)
"Somewhat of a sinister Hyde to Woody Allen's Dr Jekyll, counting inner aura and image, Solondz taps into pervasive suburban despair that could qualify as one of Dante's Circles of Hell, by way of the Long Island Expressway. Love In The Time Of Hepatitis."
The Magic of Belle Isle (2012)
"A solemn poetic tale, but not without moments of tenderly wrought humor resisting the consuming darkness. Owing to the film's always truthful, naked emotion, and the depth and richness of Freeman's performance and of Virginia Madsen's as well."
To Rome with Love (2012)
"A cast of familiar but never tedious Woody characters sprung from his humble, neurotic imagination, that he is never shy about sharing. And seemingly eager as always to engage the audience as his personal metaphorical shrink. Woody takes a guilt trip."
"Religious zealots and nonbelievers alike run amok, as discussions abound about post-mortem polygamy and romance materializing in outer space in the afterlife This, as erotic police handcuffs and Mitt Romney intimations kick in. Sex, Lies and Mormons."
The Dictator (2012)
"Sacha mixes rowdy with ridiculously regal as the cuddle-deprived dictatorial jaded stud, fleeing for his life to Brooklyn. And discovering via the new and different boyish babe Anna Faris, sexual self-entertainment and how erotic hairy armpits can be."
Dark Shadows (2012)
"Stylishly surreal, gleefully macabre and visually daring with a trippy Depp/Green sex scene kicking in, this generation gap vampire romp runs on youthful rebellion in perpetuity. In other words, don't trust anyone over two hundred. Twilight on acid."
Girl In Progress (2012)
"A plot with a far too self-conscious main character functioning more as tour guide than dramatically spontaneous protagonist. And a narrative running on a perpetually pouting young teen's social calendar checklist, dragging its way to the finish line."
The Perfect Family (2012)
"Religion butts heads mercilessly with romance in this ironically titled dysfunctional family values dramedy. But the premeditated plot points are simply too blatantly stacked against traditional matrimonial tribes, in favor of idealized same sex unions."
Monsieur Lazhar (2012)