Articles by Alan Gerstle

The Critical Movie Critics

Alan Gerstle is a fiction writer and essayist who also teaches film and creative writing. He lives on the East Coast of the United States.


Movie Review: The Virtuoso (2021)

The Virtuoso, an edgy, slow-burn thriller directed by Nick Stagliano, hosts an impressive cast of pedigreed actors recognizable from a breadth of film and television appearances. We’re treated to Sir Anthony Hopkins, who, now acting in his 80s, has remarked that he’s having a lot of fun nowadays, choosing from a bin-load of scripts that…

Movie Review: Senior Moment (2021)

William Shatner, who in real life recently turned 90, should be commended for playing the lead in any feature film. That said, Senior Moment, a bit of cinematic fluff directed by Giorgio Serafini, is not the best vehicle for him to show off his acting chops. The script is not developed sufficiently for him or…

Movie Review: The Father (2020)

Within a few minutes of watching The Father, you may get the sense that this is a dialogue-intense film that seems to bear a resemblance to a stage play. This perception is enhanced by the closed space in which the action occurs — a suitable, lived-in apartment of an educated man with décor that includes…

Movie Review: Fantastic Fungi (2019)

Earth’s delicate balance is a theme that pervades the modern ecology movement, and the potential disruption of this balance is the prime factor behind the fear of global warming and overall climate change among professional biologists, amateur naturalists, and concerned citizens. Fantastic Fungi, an 80-minute documentary, attempts to contribute to the public discourse by presenting…

Movie Review: Once Upon a River (2019)

“You can kill me if you want. I kind of wish you would.” Once Upon a River is a 92-minute, independent film that marks Haroula Rose’s debut as a feature film director, and an impressive first feature it is. Based on the novel published in 2011 by Bonnie Joe Campbell, a writer who has been…

Movie Review: Robin’s Wish (2020)

The film Robin’s Wish is a 77-minute documentary about Robin Williams, who died tragically by suicide in 2014 at the age of 63 as a result of the brutal disease called Lewy Body Dementia. The catalyst for producing the film was Susan Schneider Williams, Robin’s widow, who wished to explain the anguish Robin experienced and…

Movie Review: Rebuilding Paradise (2020)

Certain films are remembered by their opening sequences. Three “classics” that come to mind are “Saving Private Ryan,” “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” and of course “Citizen Kane.” Rebuilding Paradise, the 95-minute documentary produced and directed by Ron Howard (distributed by National Geographic Films) that chronicles the destruction of Paradise, a town in…

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