The Son of Joseph

REVIEW: ‘The Son of Joseph’ (2016)

‘Pretentious’ is a very dangerous word to use in criticism, if only because its true meaning has been systematically diluted.  A general audience tends to use the word to describe any work of art they…

Mudbound

REVIEW: ‘Mudbound’ (2017)

Mudbound tells the story of two families—one black, one white—living on the same parcel of land in 1930s Mississippi.  One son from each family goes off to fight in WWII; when they return, both experience…

The Shape of Water

REVIEW: ‘The Shape of Water’ (2017)

Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is a Very Strange Film.  It tells a story in the dark fantasy/science fiction realm, one that would fit quite at home in a dime store comic book,…

BPM

REVIEW: ‘BPM (Beats Per Minute)’ (2017)

Robin Campillo’s BPM (Beats Per Minute) starts with a bang.  A group of protesters storm a stage and commandeer the microphone.  This mystifies the speaker, stunned at having so suddenly lost control of his event. …

Princess Cyd

REVIEW: ‘Princess Cyd’ (2017)

At some point during Princess Cyd, I had to admit to myself that I simply wasn’t a fan of its director, Stephen Cone.  Frankly, I hated this realisation about myself.  Cone seems like a nice…

The Disaster Artist

REVIEW: ‘The Disaster Artist’ (2017)

If you’ve never heard of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, I’d love to know how this is possible.  Chances are, it’s playing near you sometime soon; midnight showings happen in my city on a bi-monthly basis. …

The Square

REVIEW: ‘The Square’ (2017)

‘The Square is the most divisive film of the year!’  There: I’ve provided a nice blurb for anyone who wants it about Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winning film.  But the blurb may not mean exactly what…

Wakefield

REVIEW: ‘Wakefield’ (2017)

Robin Swicord’s Wakefield exists for one reason and one reason only: to give Bryan Cranston the opportunity to deliver a tour de force performance.  He plays Howard Wakefield, a suburban man so bored with his…

Loveless

REVIEW: ‘Loveless’ (2017)

Andrey Zvyagintsev convinced me that his new movie, Loveless, was great pretty early in the first reel.  We’ve seen a married couple, Boris and Zhenya, fighting in their apartment, and it’s clear they despise each…

Girls Trip

REVIEW: ‘Girls Trip’ (2017)

Girls Trip follows in the footsteps of recent movies like Bridesmaids and Bad Moms, in that it follows a coterie of women ‘behaving badly.’  By ‘behaving badly’ I mean things like heavy drinking, partying, discussing…

Person to Person

REVIEW: ‘Person to Person’ (2017)

A film like Person to Person sends me into a dark depression as I watch it.  Someone actually wrote this screenplay.  That is, a human being, by the name of Dustin Guy Defa, typed up all…

Detroit

REVIEW: ‘Detroit’ (2017)

Kathryn Bigelow clearly tries to use the city of Detroit as a synecdoche for America’s race relations.  Her film begins with an animated prologue, detailing how the lure of factory jobs before WWI caused a…

Columbus

REVIEW: ‘Columbus’ (2017)

It feels like such a hopeless cliché to say that a film is ‘at war with itself.’  But I’m at a loss to find a better phrase to describe why Columbus, the debut film from…

Coco

REVIEW: ‘Coco’ (2017)

If you’re a parent, and I tell you that Coco is a Pixar movie, well, that’s pretty much it, isn’t it?  You’ll take your kids, they’ll like it, and you’ll have spent a great two…

Beach Rats

REVIEW: ‘Beach Rats’ (2017)

When we first meet Frankie, he’s cruising for penis.  Clicking through the live cams on a website called Brooklyn Boys, he looks for older men, asking to see the goods before meeting them for surreptitious and largely…