sundance awards 2015

Sundance doled out its awards tonight, with a batch of feature film Jury, Audience and other special awards going out to films that played the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Many of our favorite films of the festMe and Earl and the Dying Girl, The Witch, The Wolfpack, Dope, and Slow West — took awards, including some of the major prizes. One change is that this year, “jurors were asked to give an increased number of special jury prizes recognizing excellence in the craft of filmmaking as they deemed appropriate,” according to Sundance. That just means more prizes went to more films. All the awards, and video of the full awards presentation, can be found below. Read More »


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The Best Films of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival

best of sundance 2015

The 2015 Sundance Film Festival ends Sunday but team /Film is already back in Los Angeles. We were on the ground in Park City for eight days, seeing and reviewing as many movies as possible. While there, our aim is to find the awesome films you’ll want to have on your radar later this year. We think we were successful.

Below, Peter Sciretta, Russ Fischer and I have each ranked every single film we saw. I saw 25, Peter and Russ saw 22. We assigned points to our top films to come up with an overall site ranking. We also came up with a bunch of fun stats to to give you an idea of how huge Sundance is, and how our tastes figure into coverage.

Below, read about the best of Sundance 2015, according to Slashfilm. Read More »

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead

Many people today don’t realize it, but much of modern comedy was born at the National Lampoon. John Hughes, Al Jean, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, John Landis, Ivan Reitman and John Belushi are just some of the famous names who got their start through something related to the once-popular humor magazine, created in 1970.

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon, directed by Douglas Tirola, tells the complete history of this incredible brand. Simultaneously, the film documents much of the humor we love today: Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, and more. Below, read the rest of our Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead review. Read More »

True Story review

Though it doesn’t say it at the beginning, True Story is indeed a true story. It’s the story of Mike Finkel, a New York Times reporter who is oddly drawn into the world of Christian Longo, an Oregon man accused of killing his wife and three children. Playing against their usual types, Jonah Hill plays Finkel and James Franco plays Longo in first time feature director Rupert Gould’s crime mystery that is mostly good, but falls short of its full potential. Read more of our True Story review below. Read More »

Z for Zachariah

When you think post-apocalyptic movies, you probably think about action. You think zombies, or destruction. You probably don’t conjure up water wheels, a turkey dinner, and romance. But that’s what you get with Z for Zachariah. Directed by Craig Zobel (Compliance), the film is almost an anti-post-apocalyptic movie as it’s much more concerned with human relationships than anything else going out around them. With a cast including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie and Chris Pine, that’s both a blessing and a curse. Read more of our Z for Zachariah review below. Read More »

Turbo Kid review

Turbo Kid is insane. It’s remarkable that a film like this was produced at all. Imagine what a movie might look like if it came from the mind of a ten-year old kid from the ’80s who is obsessed with Mega Man, and who just saw the Mad Max movies for the first time. Take a step further, and picture the film, if it was produced by a competent team of filmmakers with a budget affording that kid access to a good team to create practice special effects and makeup.

Of course, Turbo Kid wasn’t brought into the world under those circumstances, but it certainly feels like it — and that is the highest compliment I can give this movie. Read our Turbo Kid review after the jump.
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The Nightmare review

The last thing you probably ever want to see is a literal recreation of your deepest, darkest nightmares. In The Nightmare, director Rodney Ascher (Room 237) has done just that. The film explores the condition commonly referred to as “sleep paralysis.” That’s a condition where someone is in bed, but totally physically immobilized. Some who suffer from the condition – including the eight subjects in this documentary – feel they are visited by something evil during these periods. Ascher lets these subjects tell their stories, then we watch them play out on screen. It’s absolutely horrifying, if not wholly rewarding. Read more of our The Nightmare review below. Read More »

Turbo Kid

You can’t throw a rock at Sundance without hitting a coming-of-age tale, but it’s safe to say Turbo Kid is different from most. The Park City at Midnight entry follows an orphaned boy (Munro Chambers) in a retro-futuristic, post-apocalyptic 1997. After his best friend (Laurence Leboeuf) is kidnapped by the evil Zeus (Michael Ironside), he sets out across the Wasteland on his BMX bike to find her.

Co-director Anouk Whissell describes it as “an old crazy 80s kid movie,” while co-director François Simard adds that it’s “made for the inner children in all of us.” (Yoann-Karl Whissell is the third co-director.) But it’s not made for people who are also children on the outside — it’s gleefully gory, as you’ll see from the first Turbo Kid trailer after the jump.

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Last Days in the Desert

In Rodrigo Garcia‘s beautiful and lush film Last Days in the Desert, the journey is uncertain for a while. We follow Jesus, played by Ewan McGregor, as he enters the desert on a journey for truth. “Father, speak to me,” he says. As he walks and thinks, he begins to see visions of Satan, also played by McGregor. He meets a family out in the desert, and the audience may initially wonder what those people are doing out there. But eventually it clicks. We realize the point, just as Jesus probably realizes the point in the narrative, and the film blossoms into something beautiful but not entirely fulfilling. Read more of our Last Days in the Desert review below. Read More »