Posted in: Review

I’ll Find You

The movie — about a wartime romance, a wrenching separation, and a tireless quest – is called I’ll Find You. But the truly interesting discovery at its heart —at least, potentially — is the reappearance of its director. Martha Coolidge made her debut in the 1970s, when female filmmakers weren’t just criminally underrepresented – like […]

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The Valet

They’re the people you don’t see. They clean your home and watch your kids. They mow your lawn and deliver your food. They’re not truly invisible, obviously. But do you ever really look them in the eye? The Valet gives one of them a starring role. Antonio is a parking attendant in Los Angeles and […]

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Forbearance

Crises test our characters. But they reveal them, too. Josh and Callie Sunbury have been married for twenty-odd years, and they’ve fallen into a routine. He works a hated factory job, while trying to keep his family’s small Idaho farm afloat. She teaches at the local high school. They barely talk except to argue. And […]

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Sunspot

Just how minimalist can a film get before it begins to disappear? That’s the high-stakes risk Mark Mihok seems to be taking in Sunspot, a movie which strips away all non-essentials. A few essentials too, perhaps, as it pares itself down to nearly nothing. Set in small-town New York, the film boasts a diverse cast […]

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Eradication

The oddest, and perhaps longest lasting, after-effect of Covid has been the “pandemic pictures.” You know them within five minutes. Remote locations and limited sets. Small casts of characters and no crowd scenes. Lots of people talking on Zoom. They can be comedies, dramas or horror films. They can inventive, or they can be forced. […]

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Take the Night

Birthday revelry collides with sibling rivalry in Take the Night, a tight little noir about a prank gone wrong, The story revolves around two sets of brothers. The first pair, William and Robert, preside over a multinational import firm. The second, Chad and Todd, are scroungers, looking for an easy and not necessarily legal payday. […]

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69 Parts

It’s not easy to make a convincing period piece on a small budget, but director Ari Taub pulls it off surprisingly well with his 1970s-set crime drama 69 Parts. This is the kind of movie that lets the mustaches and accents do most of the work, but it’s full of entertaining mustaches and accents, attached […]

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Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe

When Mike Judge’s animated creations Beavis and Butt-Head came to the big screen in 1996’s Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, it was a cinematic event. The movie expanded on the popular MTV series, adding a wider scope to the story, with new characters, higher stakes, more sophisticated animation, celebrity voice actors, and more elaborate jokes. […]

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Stalker

A consumer tip for tired viewers scrolling through streaming services late at night, looking for a nasty paranoid thriller and maybe getting confused by similar titles: Watcher is about a young woman in Romania being followed by a creepy neighbor. Stalker is about a young man in Los Angeles being followed by a creepy ride-share […]

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Coast

Bored teenagers, fighting with their parents, depending fiercely on each other, driving aimlessly around their California town and wondering what’s next after high school. And convinced, whatever it is, it has to be better than this. American Graffiti, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Lady Bird — it’s not a novel story. But while Coast doesn’t […]

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is ostensibly a sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange. But since the first film featuring Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme arrived in theaters, a lot’s happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to both Strange and the franchise’s many other characters. As a result, the latest MCU film also functions as […]

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Dual

A sort of comedic spin on the concept of last year’s sci-fi drama Swan Song, Riley Stearns’ Dual acknowledges the inherent absurdity and creepiness of the central idea, while allowing the characters to play things straight. In both movies, the terminally ill main character signs up for a program that creates a clone of them […]

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Locked In

What makes for good drama also often makes for low-budget filmmaking. Sticking to a small cast of characters, a single setting and a confined period of time is a great way to keep your costs low. But, as playwrights going back to the ancient Greeks knew, it’s also a way to emphasize conflict, ratchet up […]

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For Hannah

Most films would be better if their screenplays had gone through just one more draft. For Hannah probably could have used one fewer. The core of the movie is a gripping little wintry noir. A desperate bank robber is trying to get out of town only to have his car break down. He trudges through […]

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What We Do Next

It’s a human impulse to reach out and help. But what happens when that help turns to harm? Are we obligated to then set things right? To do whatever it takes? That’s the question raised in What We Do Next, a talky but intriguing movie from writer/director Stephen Belber. After hearing the anguish of an […]

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