Drama

Movie Review: Are You Glad I’m Here (2018)

Are You Glad I’m Here is the first feature film directed by Noor Gharzeddine, a Lebanese-American director who appears equally at home in presenting Kirsten (Tess Harrison), a 24-year-old American who has found herself working as an English teacher in Beirut as she does in portraying the middle-class Lebanese family that lives next door. It…

Movie Review: 211 (2018)

You know how, when you draw a bath and the water’s too hot to get into, so you let it sit there for a while but when you come back it’s too cold to get into, thus rendering it kind of useless? That’s what 211 is like. It’s tepid, lifeless, waste of time (if not…

Movie Review: The Last Witness (2018)

The Katyn Massacre was a series of mass executions of Polish nationals carried out by the Soviet secret police in April and May of 1940. Though the Soviet Union claimed that Nazi Germany had orchestrated the slaughter in 1941, it officially acknowledged responsibility for the killings in 1990, after decades of state-sponsored cover-ups. Piotr Szkopiak…

Movie Review: Disobedience (2017)

The desire to transcend the environment in which you were raised and choose your own direction in life is central to Disobedience, a clash between religious orthodoxy and the desire for sexual freedom. Adapted from Naomi Alderman’s novel of the same name, it is the first English-language effort for Chilean director Sebastian Lelio whose critically…

Movie Review: Wonder Wheel (2017)

Despite the way Wonder Wheel crashed and burned during the awards season, I figured it had potential due to it being a Woody Allen production. Although Woody’s a crapshoot for me these days, I never put much faith in the critical consensus around his recent movies (plus this one is about 1950’s Coney Island as…

Movie Review: Haven (2017)

Slice-of-life drama is rarely cut so narrowly as it is in Kelly Fyffe-Marshall’s quietly devastating short Haven, about a mother (Tika Simone) and daughter (D’Evina Chatrie) wiling away the hours until a dark secret is suddenly unearthed. This isn’t even a slice; it’s a sliver. The short clocks in at approximately four minutes in total…

Movie Review: Tully (2018)

Each time that screenwriter Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman team up, they create a singular female character that walks onscreen feeling fully formed and armed with lots to say. First it was Ellen Page’s precocious pregnant teen in “Juno,” then it was Charlize Theron’s perpetually perturbed author Mavis Gary in “Young Adult,” and now…

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