Posted in: Review

Monos

The final shot of Alejandro Landes’ Monos encapsulates everything that the film could have been but isn’t. A group of military troops have just flown over a jungle in Colombia and rescued Rambo (Sofía Buenaventura), a former child soldier in a FARC-esque guerrilla movement called “The Organization.” As the group prepares to land in an […]

Posted in: Review

Gwen

If you’ve ever read anything by Thomas Hardy, you’ll readily recognize the setting of William McGregor’s Gwen. Most of the film’s action takes place amid a majestic yet eerily impersonal mountain landscape in Wales. The one town we see is desolate and grimy, and its inhabitants are the kind of people who’d take pleasure in […]

Posted in: Review

The Farewell

In Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, Awkwafina (of Crazy Rich Asians fame) plays Billi, a 20-something, New York-based Chinese-American who’s trying to establish herself as a writer. As the opening scenes make clear, Billi has a tight relationship with her grandmother (Zhao Shuzhen), an old woman living in China whom Billi affectionately calls “Nai Nai” (Chinese […]

Posted in: Review

Bloodroot

Douglas Triola’s latest documentary, Bloodroot, features Selma Miriam and Noel Furie, two lesbian feminists who run the titular bookstore-restaurant in Bridgeport, Connecticut. As we learn, the two women founded the restaurant in 1977 as a vegetarian-feminist collective, claiming that they wanted to provide a space for women to gather and bond. Now in its fourth […]

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Leto

In the early 1980s, the Soviet Union experienced a belated version of the rock music revolution that had swept the Western world in the ’60s. Then-Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev announced the establishment of a state-sponsored rock club in Leningrad, and bands like Zoopark and Kino took advantage of that venue to perform music. Although the […]

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Plus One

Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer’s Plus One follows Ben (Jack Quaid), a 20-something college graduate who’s the vice president of a start-up. At the film’s start, Ben is not only hopelessly single, but his college friends have flooded his mailbox with wedding invitations. To lessen the pain of watching so many happy people make vows […]

Posted in: Review

Ask Dr. Ruth

Ryan White’s Ask Dr. Ruth is the latest in a string of recent documentaries (RBG, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?) that profile trailblazing liberal figures in modern American history. This time around, the liberal figure in question is Dr. Ruth Westheimer. A tiny woman (only four and a half feet tall) who recently celebrated her […]

Posted in: Review

Dogman

Matteo Garrone’s Dogman revolves around the turbulent relationship between a classic good guy and a classic bad guy. The former is Marcello (Marcello Fonte), a doting father and dog groomer who willingly risks his life to save dogs from abuse. The latter, meanwhile, is Simone (Edoardo Pesce), a bulky criminal who gets his way in […]