"One could dismiss Denial as 'just another film about the Holocaust', but I sincerely believe that would totally miss the point ... What is actually on trial is nothing less than truth, human reason, and the very meaning of the word 'fact.'"
Certain Women (2016)
"Kelly Reichardt's new film braids together the lives of three women living in and around atown in central Montana. Scene-after-scene of almost wordless intimacy come together to create a haunting peekinto real American lives so often ignored."
American Pastoral (2016)
"Ewan McGregor's new adaptation of Philip Roth's Pulitzer Prize-winning novelAmerican Pastoralis a noble failure...The only actor able totranscend this mess isDakota Fanning who plays Swede's daughter Meredith."
"Fishko has it all. In fact, the miracle is how she ever managed to take Smith's enormous legacy of images, sounds, and words, and distill all of theminto a film so lucid and compelling. I honestly don't know how she did it, I'm just thrilled she did!"
Howards End (1992)
"I left my screening of Indignation with, yes, indignation. I felt that the filmmaker had wasted his cast and crew, while I had wasted my time. I could go on and on but why bother? [It's] just same old/same old from Philip Roth. "
Inside the Chinese Closet (2015)
Hooligan Sparrow (2016)
P.S. Jerusalem (2015)
Ovarian Psycos (2016)
When Two Worlds Collide (2016)
Adult Life Skills (2016)
"When his father expressly requests a visit, a Jewish man from Buenos Aires returns home after decades abroad. Burman has created a highly-esteemed body of work and [now] you have the opportunity to see one of the best films of the year in The Tenth Man! "
Summertime (La Belle Saison) (2016)
"All of the characters are three dimensional, none of their predicaments are simplified, & the denouement is almost unbearably poignant. Actresses Cécile De France & Izïa Higelin are both superlative. Their love story is intense, passionate, & revelatory."
"In one of the biggest gambles in the history of the multiplex, the fun lies in the interactions--the little quips and asides that make each one of the main characters unique and endearing. Is it manna from heaven? No. Is it fun? Yes. Mission Accomplished!"
"It felt like a test. A filmmaker lusting for fame had chosen ... his theme, then dared the audience to walk out midway, already disgusted but still thinking they had 'missed something.' I am a good student. I stayed in my seat, but I did not applaud."
"Benoît Jacquot's new adaptation of Octave Mirbeau's novel is likely the most faithful to date, but that doesn't make it much fun to watch and none of the details are sufficiently coherent. By failing its audience, Jacquot & Zimmer have failed Mirbeau too."
Eva Hesse (2016)
"On paper, artist Eva Hesse's biography reads like a 20th century nightmare. And yet, on screen, filmmaker Marcie Begleiter has turned this bleak life into something luminous, [showing] Eva Hesse as an indefatigable woman with unforgettable incandescence. "
"Viktoria is a stunning film from Bulgaria which begins as a political parody and ends as a feminist parable. Every scene is filled with metaphor and nuance. Kudos to filmmaker Maya Vitkova for her extraordinary vision and execution. "
The Fits (2016)
"Anna Rose Holmer, already well-known as a documentary film director, hits a home run with this outstanding feature film debut. And in her first screen performance, Royalty Hightower carries the whole film on her slim but agile shoulders."
"Weiner is back. This time he has no independent ability to shape the story. He is an object of scrutiny rather than an agent of change, and his public demise-brilliantly captured in the award-winning new documentary Weiner-is a tawdry tale of our times."
"A Monster with a Thousand Heads is not only brilliant in itself, but a riveting metaphor for our times. From the moment Sonia decides to chase the doctor down to the parking lot, the film lunges forward with relentless speed and intense narrative drive. "
1920 London (2016)
"Ada Ushpiz's brilliant new documentary is an audacious attempt to completely reframe the legacy of Hannah Arendt... Ushpiz certainly convinced me, thereby making my own emotional investment in this difficult subject matter well worth the effort."
"Delpy has created another perfect role for herself as a dog being wagged by its own tail. She is adorable in her befuddlement as the stakes get ever higher. And Dany Boon as Jean-René and Vincent Lacoste as Lolo make great comic partners."
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)
"Ditzy, delightful new sequel to Nia Vardalos' 2002 surprise hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding. If you loved MBFGW #1--as I surely did--then by all means treat yourself to a second helping of flaming spanakopita: Opa!"
Colliding Dreams (2016)
"A new documentary about the history of the Arab/Israeli Conflict from the Jewish-American point of view, comes to us from two filmmakers with superlative credentials. Together they have taken a leap of faith, crafting an epic drama worthy of its subject."
"Bracket off the first two 'memories,' and My Golden Days is a slog ... [I was] bored to tears by yet another beautifully mounted but totally phallocentric 'coming of age' story that I've basically seen a million times already."
About Scout (2016)
"Three accomplished, engaging actresses quickly capture our hearts, and filmmaker Laurie Weltz-collaborating on this screenplay with her with daughter/lead actress India Ennenga-has us in the palm of her hand. But Weltz doesn't quite know what to do next."
"Valérie Donzelli's new costume drama is set in multiple time frames. Gorgeous and passionate, I wanted to love it. But the meta-exercise has no follow-through, so ultimately it becomes more confusing than engaging."
Carvalho's Journey (2015)
"This wonderful new documentary interweaves three powerful stories. I am here to tell you that Carvalho's Journey, in addition to all its other virtues, may well be one of the greatest love stories in Jewish American history. "
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (2015)
"In her superlative new documentary 'Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict,' filmmaker Lisa Immordino Vreeland introduces her subject with quotes from talking heads who are often quite snide and yet 95 minutes later, her heroine has triumphed."
"By the third story, I was out of patience. Already thwarted twice, I had no energy left to invest in a third set of characters even when I saw the possibility of some overlap. OK, I get it: Boys will be boys ... But me? I was bored to death."
Other People's Children (2015)
"This is director Liz Hinlein's first feature film, and screenwriter Adrienne Harris's second. So I wish I could say positive things to encourage them. But the film has only one thing going for it: a charismatic performance by Chad Michael Murray as P.K."
"Fey and Poehler fit together like two halves of a whole. Screenwriter Paula Pell knows her stars perfectly, and director Jason Moore knows how the keep the whole dizzy, ditzy ensemble from going over the edge. Sisters is a big, broad, bawdy delight."
The Winding Stream (2015)
"Beth Harrington has directed with skill and smarts and Mike Olson contributes terrific photoanimations to make the pre-Selfie Era come alive on screen. Once Johnny starts singing--alone, with June, and/or with anyone else--the soundtrack is pure pleasure."
"Superb film directed by Sarah Gavron with a screenplay by Abi Morgan. This is my team--the 50% of humanity born female--and seeing our history told so eloquently from our POV is a rare and thrilling experience!"
The Girl in the Book (2015)
"Filmmaker Marya Cohn--directing a terrific cast-- deftly manages the flashback sequences [and] adds unexpected depth and empathy to some situations which are unfortunately already all too familiar. Brava! "
The Big Short (2015)
"The best film of 2015. I say 'the best' with confidence because I have now seen almost all of 2016's Oscar contenders. Steve Carell [delivers] a transformative performance that raises him to the rank of one of the greatest actors of his generation."
"Carol left me icy cold. Great performances by name actors, [but] director Todd Haynes and screenwriter Phyllis Nagy have made a new film that is all parts but no whole ... Predictable plot. Perfunctory character development. THE END"
The Keeping Room (2015)
"A spare, intense drama set at the tail end of the Civil War in which three young women learn to cope with lives very different than the ones they were raised to expect ... In the end, the commanding presence in The Keeping Room belongs to Brit Marling."
Felix & Meira (2015)
"Two sad-sacks meet one day in the middle of a slushy Montreal winter and begin a life-altering relationship ... but with no backstory and minimal character development, it's hard to care. Sorry to say, I couldn't get a handle on this moody mess. "
"This was a highly compelling reenactment--so much so that I began feeling like one of the prisoners who was desperate to flee--but director Kyle Patrick Alvarez and screenwriter Tim Talbott should have included a few moments of context. "
"Award-winning documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner's triumphant new BioDoc Rosenwald introduces us to a Jewish-American philanthropist who used his fortune to make a permanent impact on African-American life for generations past and generations to come."
"Excellent performances from Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, and Hugo Weaving are undone by a weak screenplay which totally collapses in the third act. Director Kim Farrant shows great promise, but Strangerland promises more than it can deliver."