Seventh Row

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
() Alex Heeney Maïmouna Doucouré's Cuties is an often compelling crowd-pleaser, if somewhat under-baked, which looks at how girls end up becoming over-sexualized at a young age. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
Surge (2020) Orla Smith The sound design in Surge submerges us in a fractured mind, but that doesn't save the film from feeling like Ben Whishaw's discarded Joker audition tape. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
() Alex Heeney Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson's Summer White is a haunting story about a toxic mother-son relationship that gets interrupted by her new beau. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
() Alex Heeney It's a stunning piece of work that reminds you of the wonder and beauty of nature, and serves as a tacit call-to-action to protect this remarkable ecosystem. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
Jumbo (2019) Orla Smith Noémie Merlant shines as a woman in love with a fairground ride, but Jumbo lacks psychological insight into the real phenomenon of Objectum Sexuality. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
() Alex Heeney The give and take between Elina and Alice becomes the heart of Charter, and Kernell subtly charts how they become more physically close to each other in the frame, even touching, the more emotionally close they become. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2018) Alex Heeney What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael is frustratingly opaque about the context in which Kael was writing and the legacy she has since left. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2020
Fin de siglo (2019) Alex Heeney End of the Century starts out like an Iberian sequel to Weekend, only to become a kind of post-modern exploration of love, sex, intimacy, and possible lives. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
High Flying Bird (2019) Alex Heeney In typical Soderbergh fashion, High Flying Bird is a film about basketball featuring no games of basketball, and a thriller that derives its suspense from the fast-paced, rhythmic dialogue of Tarrel Alvin McCraney. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Cunningham (2019) Alex Heeney Cunningham attempts to make sense of...disorder - not as it works in an individual [Cunningham] piece, but how it served as an organizing principle throughout Cunningham's career. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
1917 (2019) Alex Heeney 1917 is breathtaking in every way. A chamber drama tucked inside an exquisitely rendered war epic, 1917 is more heartstopping thriller than traditional war movie. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Deerskin (2019) Orla Smith It's best you discover the absurdity of Deerskin for yourself - because it truly is absurd...a deadpan delight, led by two brilliant comedic actors in Dujardin and Haenel. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Blood Quantum (2019) Alex Heeney Blood Quantum falls into [a] trap: a zombie movie with a thoughtful if blunt-force metaphor that has entertaining blood and guts but inchoate ideas and undercooked characters. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Top End Wedding (2019) Alex Heeney Wayne Blair's Top End Wedding is a conventional crowd-pleasing getting married comedy with some surprisingly profound insights about how easy it is to lose ties to your culture when it's not the dominant one. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Vai (2019) Alex Heeney Taken together, the films paint a picture of the dominating influence of New Zealand and the importance of local culture and ritual, but also the increasing importance of education and the precarity of life on the land EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Un amour impossible (2018) Alex Heeney Un amour impossible is a tough watch, but oh, what a beautiful film. The period costumes are not only gorgeous but the textures are rendered with such precision you feel like you could reach out and touch them. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Pupille (2018) Alex Heeney Jeanne Henry's Pupille (In Safe Hands) offers a look inside the adoption system through the lens of multiple stakeholders, bringing humanity to an often invisible system. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Jeune Juliette (2019) Alex Heeney Jeune Juliette is an absolutely delightful and body positive teen comedy about 14-year-old Juliette, a smart and savvy outsider who is coming to terms with her own identity and how people treat her because she is plump. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
La Llorona (2019) B. P. Flanagan Bustamante's mixes styles to draw out the parallels between the folkloric and the literal ghost stories, and does it skillfully enough that the film never feels like it's talking at you. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Lingua Franca (2019) B. P. Flanagan Its tale of a transgender carer without her immigration papers, and the working class guy with whom she forms a relationship, applies Akerman's high art with broad politicism, and dumbs them both down. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
The Lodge (2019) B. P. Flanagan It's ultimately disposable, stylish nonsense that aims for so many things that it ends up entirely mishandling its depiction of the mental health issues that plague so many of the characters. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Rose Plays Julie (2019) B. P. Flanagan It's a slow-paced, slippery beast, hiding its more lurid impulses behind a contemplative tone. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Monos (2019) B. P. Flanagan Monos aestheticises child soldiers to a degree that's irreconcilable with the film's anti-war sentiment. After a point, it loses itself through repetition: characters keep trying to escape before being caught, and so on. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Honey Boy (2019) Orla Smith Honey Boy avoids the trappings of kitchen-sink realism by blending a handheld documentary style with moments of surrealism EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
63 Up (2019) Brett Pardy Because of Apted's long relationship with these people, such discussion does not feel exploitative; instead, we glimpse a rare, pure emotional honesty that may not even be shared with friends. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Nomad: In The Footsteps Of Bruce Chatwin (2019) Brett Pardy The result of engaging with Chatwin's ideas while allowing the viewer to re-evaluate them is one of Herzog's more thought-provoking films in years. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Zombi Child (2019) B. P. Flanagan It feels like the first act of a slasher film, where the biggest incidents are white school friend Fanny's increasing, exoticised interest in Mélissa. Fanny believes Mélissa has some Voodoo tradition that can help her win back a lost love. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
Paddington 2 (2017) Orla Smith Paul King made a thrilling, funny, heartwarming film with Paddington 2, one that easily outclasses its predecessor. [TOP 50 FILMS OF THE DECADE] EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
Timbuktu (2014) Alex Heeney As the story of a cross-section of the people living under the occupation of misogynistic Islamist extremists, you might expect Abderrahmane Sissako's Timbuktu to be bleak . It's the opposite. [TOP 50 FILMS OF THE DECADE] EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
Wadjda (2012) Alex Heeney For years, aspiring feminists had Jo March; now, we have Wadjda. [TOP 50 FILMS OF THE DECADE] EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
Tomboy (2011) Orla Smith For much of the film, Mikhael is prevailingly happy. They have no label for their new gender presentation, and perhaps it's too early to define it, although as an adult, modern audience we may see them as trans or non-binary. [TOP 50 FILMS OF THE DECADE] EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
Support the Girls (2018) Orla Smith Leaving the cinema after Support the Girls, I felt different. I looked at the people around me differently, with a keener sense of empathy. The world felt somehow warmer. [TOP 50 FILMS OF THE DECADE] EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) Orla Smith Desiree Akhavan's first film, Appropriate Behaviour, was a ramshackle joy, and her follow-up, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, is even better. Already, Akhavan seems to have come into her own as a filmmaker. [TOP 50 FILMS OF THE DECADE] EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
Enough Said (2013) Alex Heeney Holofcener finds the comedy in mid-life troubles without exploiting or making light of them, or being too bleak, and in so doing creates a very realistic portrait of a group of adults on the brink of major changes. [TOP 50 OF THE DECADE] EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
Clouds of Sils Maria (2014) Orla Smith Sils Maria is the ultimate hangout movie. Maybe when I say hangout movie you think of Richard Linklater or Kevin Smith, but I'd take Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche spending quality time on a mountain over those any day. [TOP 50 FILMS OF THE DECADE] EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
Private Life (2018) Orla Smith The time and effort Jenkins puts into her projects shows in every detail. Besides having three perfect performances, Jenkins' direction of fertility drama Private Life looks effortlessly perfect. [TOP 50 FILMS OF THE DECADE] EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
Dreams of a Life (2011) Orla Smith It's a film that causes you to reflect on your own life. If I died, how long would it take for me to be found? Who would come looking for me first? But it's also a reflection on the unknowability of other people. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
() B. P. Flanagan Zonana's righteous anger doesn't manifest in hand-wringing. Rather, in the Neo-Realist tradition, it's greed and hubris that results in tragedy: the Greek Gods here being the capitalist system which forces its denizens always to aim upwards. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
The Whistlers (2019) B. P. Flanagan What makes the film linger in the mind is the sadness at the characters' lack of awareness; they fit so snugly into archetypes, but they're never aware enough to say "Hey, I'm in a movie!" EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
Talking About Trees (2019) B. P. Flanagan Director Suhaib Gasmelbari depicts their struggle to screen films in Khartoum, get the right paperwork in, and just hang out. They just want to hold a screening of Django Unchained (Tarantino, 2012). Lower-tier Tarantino could be a signal of liberation. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (2019) B. P. Flanagan Bertrand Bonello's films divide. They often take two simultaneous ideological stances on hot-button issues, operating like an essay, each scene a counterargument to the previous one. ...With his latest, Zombi Child..Bonello turns to race EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (2019) Alex Heeney With Making Waves, Midge Costin does something similar for sound in cinema [as Side by Side did for digital filmmaking], charting its history and innovations, many of which were tied to major sci-fi blockbusters. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
MS Slavic 7 (2019) Justine Smith Intimate and reflective, [MS Slavic 7] examines the threads that bind us to our family histories. What happens when those lines are frayed? What place do we have within that lineage? EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
Dolor y gloria (2019) B. P. Flanagan In Pain and Glory, Almodovar brings together fiction and biography to create a knotty self-portrait...[It is] the latest chapter in what has become an autobiography of anxieties and obsessions. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
Bacurau (2019) Alex Heeney Much of the pleasure of Bacurau is the deliberate precision with which Mendonça Filho and Dornelles slowly build up this tension. We see the signs of violence -- bullet holes in the water truck, a too-quiet town -- before we see the blood. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
() Orla Smith Frida uses her physicality to show how uncomfortable Mirjam feels, shifting her limbs and holding herself awkwardly. You can tell she'd do anything to get away from here, but she doesn't know how or what 'away' even means. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
Marriage Story (2019) Orla Smith The characters in the film are angry and bitter, but Marriage Story, is not bitter but confessional -- apologetic, even...What results is a grueling but ultimately optimistic film about the horrors of divorce and how hard it is to...move on. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2019
Judy (2019) Alex Heeney The film is often about how much Judy The Legendary Performer is something other people constructed, while Judy Garland is a regular woman with regular concerns: bills to pay, children to feed... Zellweger's performance toys with this dichotomy, too. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2019
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Alex Heeney Céline Sciamma's gorgeous, heart-wrenching Portrait of a Lady on Fire screened on the first day of TIFF, and it became the gold standard by which I evaluated all other films. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2019
() Alex Heeney Ema is a bizarre, colourful, pulsing, bonkers, and utterly invigorating cinematic experience. Part melodrama, part dance film, it defies categorization and even explanation: like dance itself, it has to be experienced to be understood. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019