Reviews

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BAD DAY FOR THE CUT (dir. Chris Baugh): Philadelphia Film Festival review

The right amount of craftsmanship can elevate even the lowest budget film into something special,

The Square Ruben Östlund

THE SQUARE (dir. Ruben Östlund): Philadelphia Film Festival review

The Square uses awkward humor to explore the ridiculousness of ‘high class’ expression.

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TOUCHTONES (Arden): This must be a bad connection

Naughty and nice collide in TOUCHTONES, a musical fantasy in world premiere at the Arden.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (dir. Martin McDonagh): Philadelphia Film Festival review

“Raped while dying,” the first billboard reads. The next, “And still no arrests,” and finally, “How come, Chief Willoughby?”

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DRACULA: A GOTHIC MYSTERY (Mechanical Theater): Magnificently mesmerizing at Laurel Hill Cemetery

The Mechanical Theater has succeeded in reviving Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

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IN THE FADE (dir. Fatih Akin): Philadelphia Film Festival review

In the Fade is less concerned with the catharsis of vengeance than it is the ethical questions that revenge naturally raises.

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THELMA (dir. Joachim Trier): Philadelphia Film Festival review

Easily one of my favorites of the fest so far, Thelma is one of those rare movies that is so rich, so stylish, and so thematically dense that it merits…

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THE ENDLESS (dir. Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead): Philadelphia Film Festival review

Among genre fans, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have become synonymous with a “microbudget sci-fi drama.” Each of their films uses a Twilight Zone-esque concept to put characters through the subversions of typical…

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SPOOR (dir. Agnieszka Holland & Kasia Adamik): Philadelphia Film Festival review

Spoor has all the makings of a great movie, but fails to pull them together in a satisfying way.

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UNDER THE TREE (dir. Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurosson): Philadelphia Film Festival review

Although it’s not a terrible film, this is the first of the fest that I’d call a disappointment. Maybe I was tired, maybe I internally overhyped it … but maybe…

Darkest Hour (dir. Joe Wright)

DARKEST HOUR (dir. Joe Wright): Philadelphia Film Festival review

We’re not reinventing the wheel here, but it’s a well-made wheel, and it rolls forward just fine.

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WONDERSTRUCK (dir. Todd Haynes): Philadelphia Film Festival review

It’s pure delight for a film nerd to bask in Haynes’ seamless blend of homage,

Most Beautiful Island (dir. Ana Asensio)

MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND (dir. Ana Asensio): Philadelphia Film Festival review

Asensio writes, directs, and stars in this slow-burn thriller which took home top honors at this year’s SXSW festival.

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TOUCHTONES (Arden): 60-second review

This treacly throwback neither titillates nor liberates.

LA PIROTÉCNICA DE TULTEPEC LLEGA A FESTIVAL DE CINE DE TORONTO

BRIMSTONE & GLORY (dir. Viktor Jakovlesly): Philadelphia Film Festival review

Films like this are why I go to festivals. There is truly nothing else quite like it.

Alexis Pozonsky as Amanda in BUT NEXT NOT THIS.

BUT NEXT NOT THIS (Hella Fresh Theater & Hum’n’bards): A bi-coastal experiment

A great idea for an experiment, but I’m not convinced that the reality plays out as well as the concept.

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LADY BIRD (dir. Greta Gerwig): Philadelphia Film Festival review

What can I say? Gerwig knocks it out of the park.

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GEMINI (dir. Aaron Katz): Philadelphia Film Festival review

There’s something to be said about a mystery that simply crumbles once its secrets are revealed

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THE FLORIDA PROJECT (dir. Sean Baker): Philadelphia Film Festival review

The Florida Project is easily Philadelphia Film Festival’s most buzzed about exhibition.