Cinema Scope

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Fausto (2018) Demitra Kampakis This metaphysical fixation with shadows helps explain the film's obsession with obstructing our visual clarity-subjects too are often barely illuminated by candlelight-by forcing us to reconsider what is literally in front of our eyes. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
Present.Perfect. (2019) Jesse Cumming Assembled out of some 800 hours of footage that Zhu recorded live, the project offers an alternative concept of (self-)observation as mediated by digital technologies. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
Drift (2017) Phoebe Chen Crucial to Drift's evocation of place is Nika Breithaupt's remarkable sound design, which signals movement and spatial boundaries as much as do the film's visuals. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
Scary Mother (2017) Ela Bittencourt Scary Mother proves delightfully off-kilter, the dead seriousness of the social setting and the family conflict pierced by humorous or absurdist moments. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
Our Time (2018) Blake Williams There's an uneasiness in the film, and it stems from the follow-through-that return to innocence and purity that reinstates the divine. And this may be a matter of length. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
Fotbal Infinit (2018) Adam Cook Infinite Football is the best testament yet to Porumboiu's genius, as he moulds seemingly artless parts into an unexpectedly profound whole. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
A Land Imagined (2018) Lawrence Garcia From the site's endless mountains of sand, framed like looming burial sites, emanate an impression of human disposability. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
Nervous Translation (2017) Erika Balsom Where so many films concentrate on how private lives become embroiled in historical events, Seno focuses on what is undoubtedly more common: those instances when private life seems to continue as usual, indifferent to the warp of political change. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
Green Book (2018) Angelo Muredda Like its (white) protagonist, Green Book is limited by its own blinkered perspective. Some will no doubt find its revelations minor at best, or pointless at worst; but as a character study... it's surprisingly frank. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
The Favourite (2018) Courtney Duckworth Often accused of ham-fisted endings, Lanthimos triumphs here. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
Disappearance (2017) Ethan Vestby Maybe the film needed more of that hilariously overwrought quality to actually hold the viewer's attention. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2018
The Land of Steady Habits (2018) Steve Macfarlane While Nicole Holofcener (adapting a 2014 novel by Ted Thompson) uses sometimes pat templates to explore the heart of bourgeois darkness, it must be said the end product is far less neutered than one would expect. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2018
The Vice of Hope (Il vizio della speranza) (2018) Michael Sicinski While dealing with actual social problems of criminality and gendered poverty, The Vice of Hope manages to avoid the dull, prescriptive social realism so typical of "issue pictures." EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2018
The Wind (2018) Madeleine Wall The shortcomings of The Wind, however, are so typical of the genre that one wonders why such films are still being made. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2018
Summer Survivors (2018) Michael Sicinski In a lot of ways, Summer Survivors is as generic as they come... But there is a quiet melancholy that pervades the film, particularly in its thoughtfully shaded character work. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2018
The Stone Speakers (2018) Pedro Segura By breaking time barriers with narrative mechanisms, The Stone Speakers places the past in the present to reveal the invisible and permanent subtext inherent in the transitory space. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2018
Les routes en février (2018) Josh Cabrita To Jerkovic's credit, this dramatically fertile setup is dutifully underplayed as these women participate in cordialities expected of mother and granddaughter after such a long time apart. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2018
Napszállta (2018) Dominik Kamalzadeh During the rather external experience of the upheavals around the company, the drama oozes away under the pavement. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2018
Before the Frost (Før frosten) (2018) Michael Sicinski This is a film about uniquely fin-de-siècle problems, even if they do pertain to a somewhat wider human condition. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2018
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2018) Adam Nayman Xavier Dolan's film is a mess, maybe even a hot one, and I can't say I had a bad time watching it-which is not the same thing as suggesting it works. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2018
Maya (2018) Lawrence Garcia As in L'Avenir, the expected story art is continually actively overturned. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2018
Redemption (2018) Michael Sicinski Redemption is filled with small grace notes and undertones that set it apart from the usual fare. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2018
The Standoff (2016) Elena Lazic One might wish for the bolts of this well-oiled machine to pop out once in a while, but Standoff remains a confident, engrossing, and memorable effort. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2018
Vision (2018) Michael Sicinski Despite the presence of an international superstar (Juliette Binoche) for the first time in Naomi Kawase's filmography, Vision will not convert anyone to the Kawase cause. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2018
The Standoff at Sparrow Creek (2018) Elena Lazic One might wish for the bolts of this well-oiled machine to pop out once in a while, but Standoff remains a confident, engrossing, and memorable effort. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2018
What Is Democracy? (2018) Michael Sicinski One gets the sense that What is Democracy? might have been edited in a different form, one that clarified its purposes a bit more deliberately. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
Sew the Winter to My Skin (2018) Robert Koehler Qubeka displays instincts for both political allusion and big-screen entertainment. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
Rafiki (2018) Sarah-Tai Black It is fitting then that, with Rafiki, the director has produced a wholly new vision of African filmmaking that is vibrant, compassionate, and joyous. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
Never Look Away (2018) Grissemann Stefan A film that is as anti-intellectual-friendly as it is glaringly, pathetically melodramatic. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
Meeting Gorbachev (2018) Michael Sicinski Still, Herzog is quite correct in his characterization when he cites the Greek concept of kairos: the right man for the right moment. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
The Most Beautiful Couple (2018) James Lattimer Without the joys of coincidence and bad decision-making, The Most Beautiful Couple would barely have a plot, even if the film fails to commit to them sufficiently to go all-out trashy. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
Freedom Fields (2018) Madeleine Wall Though the focus of Arebi's film is predominantly intimate profiles of the players, the world around them is always within reach, primarily mediated through technology. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
Hidden Man (2018) Shelly Kraicer In the end, Jiang Wen is exactly and only Jiang Wen, and so is everyone else in the film: every character plays like a dispersed, splintered psychological manifestation of Jiang Wen writ large. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
Baby (2016) Shelly Kraicer Liu's film doesn't waste a second. Its brisk efficiency keeps things moving relentlessly forward, even as overly emotive confrontations are kept to a relative minimum. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
Ahlat Agaci (2018) Ian Barr [Ceylan] has succeeded in translating to screen the experience of being engrossed by a particularly discursive, verbose, and occasionally hubristic novel. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
Twin Flower (2018) Josh Slater-Williams As a plot device, Anna's silence can vex, but the strongest scenes revolve around the pair quietly exploring the locales of their hideouts without the need for words... It's a shame when the stale thriller narrative butts back in. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
Through Black Spruce (2018) Angelo Muredda It's as self-effacing as directorial cameos get, but it's also a bit sad: if McKellar knows that both his material and his subject position are dodgy, why bother? EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
The Third Wife (2018) Mallory Andrews It is commendable that Mayfair deftly enables May and her sister-wives to explore their own agencies and sexualities without ever using their suffering as window dressing to illustrate the film's gritty authenticity. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
That Time of Year (Den tid på året) (2018) Michael Sicinski No cliché is left off the menu. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
Screwdriver (Mafak) (2018) James Lattimer With Zid presumably meant as an exemplar of sorts, the story exudes a righteous anger which frequently curdles into over-directness. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
Rojo (2018) Adam Nayman The actual outcome speaks to Naishtat's resourcefulness as a storyteller; that his faux-Columbo fails to emerge as a hero cinches his film's deep and all-too-recognizably realistic cynicism. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
Phoenix (Føniks) (2018) Madeleine Wall It's clear that the filmmaker has considerable intimacy with mental illness, and with strong performances from both lead actors, there's sympathy and patience with Astrid's struggles. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
Our Time (2018) Dominik Kamalzadeh Our Time is essentially a film about masculinity in crisis: Juan tries to rationalize his uneasiness, and at the same time his compulsive behaviour makes it impossible for him to detach from it. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
One Last Deal (2018) Mallory Andrews His eventual redemption in the eyes of his family (and God?) is predictable. In other words...meh. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Robert Koehler Redford could've done a whole lot worse than exiting with The Old Man, but it's unlikely he could've done much better. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
La Miséricorde de la Jungle (2018) Sarah-Tai Black Rather than a distanced narrative eye, the director's balance of interiority and interconnected flows of external, political conflict is refreshing in its commitment to a world-based subjectivity. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
() Lorenzo Esposito Wiseman, who shoves everywhere and observes everything with his usual mix of humour and astute political criticism, eventually finds small traces of humanity where they seem to have disappeared. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
Kraben rahu (2018) Jennifer Lynde Barker Aroonpheng's background as a cinematographer and painter is clearly in evidence in the film, which is a visual feast whose striking images are serene while in continuous motion-like water rippling in a canal. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
Mademoiselle de Joncquières (2018) Madeleine Wall That the fact of the whore pretending to be the virgin reveals more about the surrounding society than the deception itself is fascinating, yet it happens too late-and the film is a bit too taken with itself to notice. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018
Loro (2018) Robert Koehler There's also a proper emphasis on the astounding Toni Servillo, an actor of uniquely theatrical physical and vocal gifts-the closest thing among current movie actors to someone who can be fairly termed a force of nature. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2018