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VOD

Sleepless Night Review

Sleepless Night Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Better than Bond, better than Bourne, better than Bauer, the new French thriller Sleepless Night sets a new bar for white-knuckle action movies. Taking place over a 24-hour period and primarily in one giant nightclub, the film is intense in ways no other has been in years. Vincent (Tomer Sisley) and his […]

Snowpiercer Review

Snowpiercer Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) After months and months of waiting, wondering whether the notorious Weinstein Company would allow director Bong Joon-ho to share his true vision for Snowpiercer with the world, the film is finally here (in theaters and on VOD), and surprisingly, it’s awfully straightforward. That isn’t to say it’s not a little weird, but […]

Europa Report Review

Europa Report Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Mere minutes into Europa Report, we’re told the space mission being chronicled—one that would, for the first time, send man into deep space—was watched intensely by the general public for six months before it went dark. The four men and two women on board Europa One—a vessel headed for the icy Jupiter […]

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks Review

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks Review

Like most of prolific director Alex Gibney‘s documentaries, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks is serious-minded, but breezy and easily digested—it deserves much more than simply being called “the WikiLeaks movie.” Gibney has a nack for efficient storytelling that entertains as much as it informs, and his take on the enigmatic Julian Assange is […]

Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie Review

Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie Review

“Is this a passing fancy or is this in front of the wave?” Former Today Show host Bryant Gumbel asked this of rabble-rouser extraordinaire Morton Downey Jr. sometime during his meteoric rise to the top of syndicated television. The quote very appropriately concludes this exceptionally entertaining documentary chronicling Downey’s life and career, and its answer […]

The English Teacher Review

The English Teacher Review

RATING: (1 STAR) Maybe she owed the director money. Maybe the version of the script she’d read before accepting the part wasn’t close to the shooting script. Maybe she was blackmailed. Maybe the shoot was simply convenient for her. I’m searching for a reason why Julianne Moore accepted the lead role in The English Teacher, […]

What Richard Did Review

What Richard Did Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) A film that’s equal parts quiet and disquieting, What Richard Did hinges on a single moment. Like Julia Loktev’s The Loneliest Planet last year, the circumstances and consequences surrounding this moment are complicated. Director Lenny Abrahamson presents the moment, its circumstances, and its consequences as an enormous gray area; His camera is […]

To the Wonder Review

To the Wonder Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) If you like your films full of feeling, To the Wonder is for you. The latest from enigmatic director Terrence Malick sacrifices story, character, and dialogue to give the world a film full of and about feelings. The feelings in To the Wonder walk, talk, and interact with other feelings. They have […]

Butter Review

Butter Review

RATING: (2 STARS) Butter isn’t just for spreading on toast anymore; It’s also the title of a pretty weak independent comedy directed by Jim Field Smith. The film’s characters are stock, and its narrative is both unfocused and disappointingly safe. For what’s supposed to be 90 minutes of skewering the ridiculousness of small town America, […]

Arbitrage Review

Arbitrage Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Nicholas Jarecki’s Arbitrage takes the 2008 financial crisis and puts a conspiracy thriller twist on it. It’s unique in that the story is told from the point of view of a man who, in 95 percent of films, would unequivocally be labeled a villain. Richard Gere’s Robert Miller definitely isn’t one of […]

The Ambassador

The Ambassador

As a film, The Ambassador is fascinating. Danish provocateur/journalist Mads Brügger embeds himself in the dangerous and twisted world of the African business diplomat. With sketchy, black market credentials, the character he’s playing moves from Monrovia, Liberia to Bangui, Central African Republic in search of blood diamonds but under the pretense of building a third-world-saving […]

Side by Side

Side by Side

One wouldn’t necessarily expect Keanu Reeves to be as much an expert on the art of filmmaking as folks like James Cameron, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, David Lynch, Danny Boyle, Steven Soderbergh, and Martin Scorsese, but in the documentary Side by Side, he’s a very knowledgable window into the artistic and technical processes […]

Bachelorette Review

Bachelorette Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Leslye Headland’s Bachelorette chronicles the misadventures of three deeply flawed women on the night before their friend’s wedding. Comparisons to Bridesmaids are inevitable because of the subject matter and the sex of its main characters, but this film shares much more in common with something like Bad Santa, which presents a series […]

The Do-Deca-Pentathlon Review

The Do-Deca-Pentathlon Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Relatable characters, simple set-ups, deceptively complex emotions—these are calling cards of Jay and Mark Duplass, and those settling in to watch their latest, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, should recognize these trademarks without much difficulty. It’s Mark’s (Steve Zissis) birthday, and he and his family are flying to his mother’s house for a party. Mark’s […]

The Island President

The Island President

The tiny island nation of Maldives is rapidly vanishing thanks to rising sea levels, and its leader—now ex-leader—Mohamed Nasheed is doing everything he can to coerce the world’s superpowers to do something about it. That’s the story behind Jon Shenk’s documentary, The Island President. It’s a David vs. Goliath tale of epic proportions and of […]

Take This Waltz Review

Take This Waltz Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) If 2012 turns out a female performance better than Michelle Williams’ in Sarah Polley’s new film, Take This Waltz, it’ll be a pretty stellar year. As if we needed another reminder that Williams is one of her generation’s most luminous—and talented—actresses, she goes and outshines even her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in […]

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