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John Hawkes

Everest Review

Everest Review

RATING: (3 STARS) The only character who matters in Everest is the titular mountain. This is something director Balthasar Kormakur gets across to his audience within minutes. As a group of bodies (that’s all they are in the moment) ascends the face of the mountain, the camera overcomes their understandably slow pace. As they’re pelted […]

2013 TIFF Movies to Watch: #50-#41

2013 TIFF Movies to Watch: #50-#41

The Toronto International Film Festival is rapidly approaching, and I’ve identified the 50 most promising films on the TIFF lineup. Over the next five days, I’ll be counting them down. Today, the preview starts with François Ozon, Guillaume Canet, Nelson Mandela, and more! 50.) Visitors Program: Special Presentation Distributor: N/A Directed by: Godfrey Reggio Written […]

The Sessions Review

The Sessions Review

RATING: (3 STARS) There’s a monologue just past the halfway point of Ben Lewin’s The Sessions that’s so lovingly written it could bring a tear to your eye. It isn’t a thoughtful poem (though the film has plenty of those) but more of a love letter—a love letter to sex. It seems like Mark O’Brien […]

Lincoln Review

Lincoln Review

RATING: (3 STARS) The way Daniel Day-Lewis towers over Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is almost a shame. His performance is one of such immersion that you’ll occasionally lose sight of what’s going on around him—even the words he’s speaking. Or maybe that has to do with Tony Kushner’s drier-than-desert-sand screenplay. Abraham Lincoln’s life and presidency are […]

Martha Marcy May Marlene Review

Martha Marcy May Marlene Review

RATING: (4 STARS) As far as gritty character studies go, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a recent one quite as good as Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene. The writer/director, wearing both hats for the first time, proves adept at two very difficult things: Structuring a film to maximize tension and emotional impact, as well […]

Contagion Review

Contagion Review

RATING: (4 STARS) By staying away from the familiar conventions of most thrillers, Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion manages to reach a level of believability and natural tension that I thought impossible out of a film like this. There are no chases, nor are there any heroes and villains. In fact, the characters in Contagion take a […]

Winter’s Bone Review

Winter’s Bone Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Winter’s Bone is a funny little film that fails more than it succeeds, but remains intriguing throughout. I felt that, despite featuring a brilliant performance by newcomer Jennifer Lawrence, it sort of sputtered along without much of a plot for too long for me to really connect to it. The setting is […]