leave no trace review

It’s almost impossible to believe that it’s been eight years since filmmaker Debra Granik debuted her powerful, atmospheric, four-time-Oscar-nominated Winter’s Bone at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and launched the career of Jennifer Lawrence into the stratosphere. While she did follow that up with her exceptional, long-in-the-works 2014 documentary Stray Dog, audiences have had to wait far too long for Granik to once again immerse us in a world that seems millions of miles away, when in fact she places us in long-ignored corners of America that are currently having light shone upon them for a variety of reasons. With her latest work, Leave No Trace, Granik moves from the depths of the Ozark Mountains to the forests of the Pacific Northwest.

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You Were Never Really Here Review

Revenge thrillers are usually a dime a dozen. A bad guy messes with the wrong guy at the wrong time in the wrong way, and all hell breaks loose. These kind of movies seem to have gotten even more redundant ever since Taken became a hit and revitalized this subgenre of action films, but thankfully there are also standouts like Blue Ruin and John Wick proving that these kind of movies can still kick-ass and feature quality filmmaking. Now, another revenge thriller has come along, this time for the arthouse crowd to eat up.

You Were Never Really Here follows Joaquin Phoenix as a hired gun recruited on the down-low through a simple but secretive operator service to deliver pain to people who have done some bad things. In the hands of a blockbuster filmmaker, this would be a straightforward action movie, but in the hands of We Need to Talk About Kevin director Lynne Ramsay, the experience is so much more cerebral. This film, based on Jonathan Ames’ novel of the same name, is also painfully brutal and intense. Read More »

Sorry to Bother You review

Writer/director Boots Riley has dropped a bomb on Sundance with Sorry To Bother You, a searing social satire and the most eccentric directorial debut in years. Mark it down now: no other movie in 2018 will come close to this one in terms of balancing far-out weirdness with a compelling, meaningful story. Riley has plenty to say (maybe a little too much, in fact), and his outstanding cast of Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer, and more ground this startling, mind-bending story that’s overflowing with WTF moments. Read More »

Search review

When 16-year-old high school student Margot Kim (Michelle La) goes missing, her father (John Cho) mounts a desperate attempt to find her in Search, a fast-paced, nail-biting mystery that plays out entirely on computer screens. While the 2015 horror movie Unfriended unfolded on one screen, Search expands the gimmick to multiple computers and cell phones, creating an immersive experience that’s instantly engaging. This stylistic choice is executed to absolute perfection by first-time filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty, who uses it to draw a clever juxtaposition of our online lives and our daily reality while telling a dynamic story that grabs you from the first minute and doesn’t let go until its frantic conclusion. This movie rules. Read More »

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind Review

It’s been over three years since we lost Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams. Seeing clips from his work, whether it’s from his outlandish comedic roles, his surprisingly touching dramatic turns, or his raucously hilarious and frenetic stand-up comedy and improv acts, is bittersweet since his passing. But a new documentary called Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind assembles endless glimpses into Robin Williams’ past, and you can’t help but laugh all over again and fondly smile throughout this loving feature. Read More »

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Lizzie review

Before walking into this movie, the only thing I knew about Lizzie Borden was that she murdered her parents. But in Lizzie, director Craig William Macneill (The Boy, Channel Zero) and screenwriter Bryce Kass offer a different take on the still-unsolved killings that totally rewrites Lizzie’s narrative, casting her as a righteous heroine instead of an evil murderess. With superb performances from stars Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart, this intimate drama serves as a fierce response to abuse and oppression and a seductive peek into the inner life of one of history’s most notorious killers. Read More »

Don't Worry He Won't Get Far on Foot Review

Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant hasn’t delivered a remarkable film since being at the helm of Milk a decade ago. When it comes to his latest directorial effort, an adaptation of cartoonist John Callahan‘s memoir Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, the movie is undoubtedly remarkable, but it’s due to the performances Van Sant pulls from his actors rather than the film as a whole.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot is an acting showcase featuring one of the best performances of Joaquin Phoenix‘s career and a supporting turn for Jonah Hill that joins his acclaimed performances in films like Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street. Read More »

Juliet Naked review

If there’s one popular writer who knows his way around stories of shaky romance and an almost unhealthy obsession with music, it’s Nick Hornby. So it should come as no surprise that Juliet, Naked the latest film adaptation from the author of the source material behind High Fidelity and About A Boy – is replete with heartbreak, missed romantic opportunities, longing for connection and more in-depth analysis of music than you could ever want or need. More specifically, the music in question come from fictional ’90s musician Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke), who put out one of the greatest broken-heart records of all time entitled Juliet 25 years earlier, before vanishing from public life. Read More »

Mandy review

A primal, psychedelic rage-scream of a movie, Mandy takes a while to get going, but once it does, it delivers exactly what fans are hoping for: Nicolas Cage fully unleashing the beast within and absolutely wrecking people with a giant axe and a chainsaw. It’s just a shame it doesn’t get to the blood-soaked revenge much sooner. Read More »

Eighth Grade Review

Any adult will tell you that middle school is one of the most awful parts of adolescence. Faces explode with acne, hormones are raging, conversations are awkward, and everyone sucks. So comedian Bo Burnham decided to make his feature writing and directorial debut recounting just how awful that time in all of our lives was with a wonderful, lively movie called Eighth Grade, and just like that we have a fresh new voice on the page and behind the camera. Read More »