Review: Get Hard


Venemous comes to mind when attempting to describe this jittery new “buddy” comedy with Will Farrell and Kevin Hart. Followed closely by clueless. A stillborn yarn about a super-wealthy stuffed-shirt, James King (Farrell) who suddenly finds himself sentenced to time in prison, Get Hard is a barrage of hollow sketches sewn together with racism and […]

Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella Offers a Fresh Take on a Classic


Let’s face it: practically nobody was asking for a live-action remake of one of Disney’s most iconic films, the 1950 classic Cinderella. Aside from Disney seeking out some easy money, there really wasn’t any reason to take such a beloved animated film and remake it as a live-action film with actors your children probably don’t […]

Review: Wild Tales

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Beginning with a chills-inducing Twilight Zone-esque vignette aboard an airliner and ending with the quintessential disrupted wedding reception, Wild Tales was a deserved Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film. Superbly directed with a jaundiced eye by Argentinian Damian Szifron, its six separate stories share a penchant for the perverse side of human nature. Overflowing with […]

Review: Buzzard


Marty Jackitansky is hardly a character who elicits empathy. I found his nihilism amusing but also wouldn’t have minded a bit if someone punched him in the face. To say he lacks ambition is to say Freddy Krueger lacks menace. Oh, by the way, there’s a running theme in Buzzard where Marty (Joshua Burge) not […]

Sundance Shorts: Hotel 22


Hotel 22 documents the long nights of the many homeless people in Silicon Valley who use the 22 bus line between Palo Alto and San Jose for shelter. I sat down with director Elizabeth Lo, a graduate of NYU Tisch and current MFA student at Stanford University, to talk about documentaries and the parts of […]

Review: Focus


It’s one thing to encounter a film with an imaginatively playful screenplay that takes occasional liberties with common sense. It’s quite another to have your intelligence insulted in a manner as blatant and as numbing as the new Will Smith movie, Focus. Just when we are asked to fall for one outrageous scenario, another one […]

Review: The Last Five Years

The Last 5 Years Movie

The intermittently uplifting yet just as often pompous The Last Five Years contains hardly any spoken dialogue. Pleasantly containing several songs of depth and wit, the film struggles with the thinnest of storylines and its too-pleased-with-itself structure. Anna Kendrick, who is very good, presents her character Cathy’s story backwards from the film’s end, while Jeremy […]

Review: Timbuktu


A woman vehemently refuses to put on gloves (recently required) while selling fish in an outdoor market. A group of young men play fake soccer (recently banned) as they run around with an imaginary soccer ball. A coed group of friends risk playing live music (also recently banned) despite a potentially stringent penalty. The scene? […]

Review: Kingsman


Director Matthew Vaughan (Kick-Ass, Layer Cake) sends his fetish for over-the-top chuckles and mayhem into an orbit of mostly unfunny inanity in the spy-flick send-up Kingsman: The Secret Service. Colin Firth, typically prim and proper and even more properly dressed, makes a valiant attempt to save the material from the abject failure it might have […]

Review: Leviathan


It’s no wonder Kolya (a memorable Alexey Serebryakov), the main character of Leviathan, swigs vodka like it’s water. After witnessing an arbitrary and stiff, motor-mouthed reading of a local court ruling against him, it is no wonder an individual like Kolya comes to feel isolated and utterly powerless. It is not just that the insolent, […]

Review: 50 Shades of Grey


Dakota Johnson is the best thing about Fifty Shades of Grey yet for all her acting chops here, she doesn’t hold a candle to her mom, Melanie Griffith, in, say, the zany, intense Something Wild. And if you’re trying to get a grip on this “dominant/submissive” thing, this film comes up squeaky clean (and half […]

A Dance Of A Challenge: Ballet 422 Review


The lights dim, the audience quiets, the curtains lift, and an ensemble of strong, graceful men and women move through the air about the once empty stage in a traditional performance by the New York City Ballet Company. Ballet 422 takes its audience through the theatre wings and into the studio to show the step […]

Review: Jupiter Ascending


Time is the most precious commodity in the universe, says Kalique (Tuppence Middleton) of the moderately bizarre yet pompously predictable House of Abrasax family, rulers of the world if you will. Ironically, the notion of time–as in wasted time–kept occurring during the screening of this latest offering from Andy and Lana Wachowski, filmmakers once responsible […]

PFM Sundance – Interview With Tim Marshall (Followers)


Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Tim Marshall is a filmmaker who wrote, directed, and edited the short film, Followers. The film tells the story of Lynn, an elderly woman, who feels terribly lonely after her husband’s recent death and finds solace in an apparition of Jesus on a young gay man’s swimming trunks at her adult swimming […]

Sundance Reviews: Saturday


On April 15th 1989, thousands of Liverpool supporters traveled to Hillsborough Stadium for what was described as “a fine day for football”, but 96 never came home. Too many fans entered the same sections of the stadium, causing crushing and overcrowding.  The event remains infamous to this day.  However, Saturday, directed by Mike Forshaw, does not follow […]

Review: Mommy


French Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan (he made and starred in I Killed My Mother at 19) seriously gets in your face with the extravagantly jarring Mommy. The brutal arguments between tantalizing, violent-prone, just-released-from-juvenile-detention, ADHD 15-year-old Steve (Antoine-Olivier Platt) and his tough yet unconditionally compassionate single mom, Diane (a great Anne Dorval) have to be seen […]

Review: Black or White


Director and screenwriter Mike Binder will be called on the carpet by the gripe-happy protectors of the politically correct. He’ll be accused of tripping over stereotypes as he presents the story of a custody battle over a racially mixed seven-year-old, Eloise. Despite being a little obvious around the edges, Black or White essentially presents a […]

Review: Two Days One Night


In the haunting Two Days, One Night, directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne add a profound level of morality drama to their customarily brilliant trove of social reality themes explored since their outstanding first film, Le Promesse (1997). What is unique this time is they are working with an actress who is emerging as one of […]

PFM Sundance – Actresses Director Interview


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Review: American Sniper


Far from an excerise in yahoo-ism, American Sniper offers us a film startlingly immediate in its action scenes. Coming to be known as “The Legend,” Navy Seal Chris Kyle, its subject, went through four tours in the Iraq War, in which he performed around 160 official “kills.” (and apparently another hundred unofficial ones). The film […]

Review: Inherent Vice


Inherent Vice will likely be a polarizing film. It is bound to either bring belly laughs and fresh insight on the one end of the spectrum, or confusion perhaps to the point of walking out of the theater on the other. Those hidebound filmgoers who see the need to evaluate every film in terms of […]

Review: Selma


Selma builds its way toward a celebration of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Sharply focused on the key months leading up to a series of three nonviolent protest marches in Selma, Alabama, it agonizingly captures the textures of human toil and determination that led to the momentous legislation. Director Ava DuVernay […]

Interview with Selma Director Ava DuVernay


Ava DuVernay is one of the most poetic and thoughtful cinematic minds working today, these traits often come up in not just her screenwriting and directing but in the relationships she’s forged as a filmmaker. Her films have been marked by the wonderful presence of David Oyelowo and the expressive beauty of cinematographer Bradford Young’s […]

Review: Big Eyes


The paintings in Big Eyes remind one of the most insipid examples of a summer boardwalk art show. Bulging-eyed lonesome-looking urchins, pretty much in cookie cutter fashion, dominate each canvas to the point where the rest of the painting seems to have disappeared. In many ways, a miscast Christopher Waltz, normally a very fine actor, […]

A Film Critic’s Thoughts on Film in 2014


In a year where two highly innovative English language films (Birdman and Boyhood) stood above the pack, it was foreign language films in 2014 that contained much of the lifeblood of the year’s cinema. Pawel Pawlikowski weaves a magical, deeply meditative spell with the lean and sublime Ida, a black-and-white film shot in a nearly […]

Worst Films of 2014

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No matter how many great films were released this year, there’s no such thing as a “perfect” year in Cinema. Each year a slew of great movies will hopefully be released, but no matter how good they are they will perpetually be accompanied by a tidal wave of dreck. Simply put, for every No Country […]

Best Films of 2014: Part Two

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Every year Cinedork compiles a list of the Top 20 films released from the beginning of January through the end of December based on which films earned the highest marks on the infamous Pretentious Film Majors Five Star Scale. As in years past, our list is dotted with likely Oscar contenders as well as several […]

Best Films of 2014: Part One

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Every year Cinedork compiles a list of the Top 20 films released from the beginning of January through the end of December based on which films earned the highest marks on the infamous Pretentious Film Majors Five Star Scale. As in years past, our list is dotted with likely Oscar contenders as well as several […]

Review: Into the Woods


Rife with colorful characters and brimming with the signature rhyming banter of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, Into The Woods is the closest thing this Christmas season to a rewarding family film. Just don’t expect things to come with a ribbon wrapped around them. If the mashing of familiar Grimm fairy tales into a not-so-conventional […]

Review: Unbroken


Even before the release of Unbroken, Angelina Jolie had already enough of a track record to discredit Sony honcho Amy Pascal’s recent hacker-leaked statement that Jolie was “minimally talented.” Jolie’s acting work has been more than adequate, and occasionally has exhibited great strengths. Her first directing job, In The Land Of Milk and Honey, whose […]

Review: The Imitation Game


If you’re looking for a crowd-pleaser among the handful of films released nationally on Christmas Day, look no further than The Imitation Game. Benedict Cumberbatch gives one of the year’s best performances as the genius dork with zero social skills and a heavy dose of what we would now recognize as Asperger-like traits. Appealing in […]

Cinedork’s Picks for the Best Christmas Movies

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  As Christmas day draws near, you and your family may be looking for a movie to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Look no further! We here at Cinedork have complied a list of our favorite holiday films to make choosing what to watch a little easier. No matter what kind of Holiday you […]

Interview: The Gambler Director Rupert Wyatt

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Based off the 1974 film with the same name, The Gambler tells the story of Jim Bennett (played by Mark Wahlberg), an eccentric English professor with an interesting gambling addiction who’s in debt with a couple of moneylenders and only has a week to pay it all back.  While this gambling thriller may seem like […]

Editorial: What Sony’s Decision to Pull ‘The Interview’ Means for the Film Industry

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Seth Rogen and James Franco have made their careers out of raunchy comedy. In 2013, the two comedians released This Is the End, a tongue-in-cheek, self-referential, and blatantly offensive R-rated comedy. Critics and audiences loved it, while a vocal minority accused it of being disgustingly sexist. I haven’t seen This Is the End, so I […]

Review:The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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Gather round kids, it’s time for another unnecessary sequel, because The Hobbit: The battle of the Five Armies is here. As if turning one book into a trilogy wasn’t bad enough, when asked if this would be the end of the Middle-Earth saga, Peter Jackson replied, “It doesn’t have to be.” One can only hope […]

Review: Top Five


A down in the doldrums Andre Allen (Chris Rock) makes a serious film (“Uprize!”) about a Haitian slave rebellion. He intends to deflect the lingering stereotype associated with years of making dumb “Hammy The Bear” movies, in which he actually wears a bear suit. In the best tradition of art imitating life, Top Five, also […]

Review: Wild


Reese Witherspoon, adeptly portraying Cheryl Strayed, author of the 2012 memoir of redemption, Wild, often seems distractingly preoccupied with her backpack. Scripted by English novelist Nick Hornby, and directed by Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club), the movie itself too often seems satisfied with rather meek surface things at the expense of going deeper. Witherspoon is […]

Review: Point and Shoot


Stricken with obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew Van Dyke nonetheless acquires a masters degree in Middle Eastern studies at Georgetown University. Then a new obsession joins his old one. Lamenting his knowledge of the Middle East as one confined to the intellectual plane, Van Dyke sets off on a backpacking motorcycle excursion of the area. Covering 35,000 […]

Review: The Babadook


The horror genre gets a chilling redo with the critically acclaimed Australian film, The Babadook. Taking its cues from the 1950s and 1960s ghost stories that slyly suggested horror rather than threw it in your face, it also marks the feature directorial debut of Jennifer Kent. Much has been made that The Babadook represents a […]

Interview: J.B. Smoove TOP FIVE

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J.B. Smoove’s career is marked by a diverse slate of roles. His stint on Saturday Night Live demanded that he showcase a wide range of comedic styles for every new sketch while his time on Curve Your Enthusiasm allowed him to display a more deadpan sense of restraint. His recent work on The Millers allowed […]

You’ve Probably Never Heard Of It: Layover


  In his feature film directorial debut, Joshua Caldwell explores territory that similar films often avoid. Layover finds its characters during their post coming-of-age lives as they try to figure out what to do next. They are trapped in society’s assumption that they’ve already lived their lives in their twenties and it’s time to settle […]

What Devils in Disguise means for Niche Filmmaking


Guillaume Campanacci is the type of person who makes the people he talks to feel like they’ve known him for a long time. His easy-going and colloquial tone makes one immediately feel comfortable. It’s almost hard to believe that inside such a pleasant man’s brain is the dark storytelling sensibility that resulted in Devils in […]

Interview: Guillaume Campanacci ‘Devils in Disguise’

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I got to sit down for a Skype interview with Guillaume Campanacci, the writer/director of the new independent film Devils in Disguise which was shot for only $4,200. If you are interested and want to help fund post-production and festival distribution for the film, then head on over to the Devils in Disguise IndieGogo page. […]

Review: Foxcatcher


It’s as dramatic as when you first lay eyes on Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull. In Foxcatcher, Steve Carell is not at all the Steve Carell with whom we’ve become accustomed. There’s not a sliver of the character from The Office or The 40 Year Old Virgin to be found. Nor does Carell, fitted with […]

Take 2: Nightcrawler

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Not sure what to check out at the movies this week? With all the hype surrounding Foxcatcher and next week’s release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1, it’s easy to forget the films that are settling their theatrical runs. As remedy to that problem, we offer “Take 2” a series of reviews released a few weeks […]

Review Haiku: Dumb and Dumber To


A haiku: Cringe-worthy, inane. Jim Carrey had me laughing: Guess that is enough Send to Kindle

Review: Rosewater


Oppressive, delusional regimes will use nearly anything to preserve power, including the demeaning brutality of solitary confinement. In Jon Stewart’s powerful, perceptive adaptation of journalist Maziar Bahari’s memoir of his 118 days in an Iranian prison in 2006, we see the resiliency of the human spirit. We also witness a prisoner fighting back by exploiting […]

Review: The Theory of Everything


In Les Miserables, Eddie Redmayne sang a song called “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. In The Theory of Everything, playing Stephen Hawking, Redmayne might very well have changed the words to “Missing Answers to Begging Questions.” Redmayne and co-star Felicity Jones, who portrays Hawking’s first wife, Jane Wilde, do a fine job but director James […]

Review: Laggies


It gets a little complicated when assessing Laggies. Sam Rockwell has become such a mesmerizing force onscreen he often elevates a work he appears in by several notches. Last year’s The Way, Way Back would have been a rather good film without him; with him, it rose to one of the year’s best. In Laggies, […]

Review: Force Majeure

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Force Majeure presents a situation between a married couple that forces us to reflect on how our own response to the same situation might be similar or different. Swedish Director Ruben Ostlund demonstrates great control with a deft sense of humor that bursts forth to perfectly offset the many tense moments of conflict. Philosophical speculation […]

Review: Interstellar


Human perception of reality has always baffled me. Everything mankind has observed in the universe is translated into ideas that we can understand only through observation, consequently taking some unknown percentage of what exists out of the picture. We only see the light which our brains convert into the images by which we define our […]

Review: Revenge of the Green Dragons


Revenge of the Green Dragons is the largest mess of a film I have ever seen. Directors Andrew Lau and Andrew Loo managed to create a film based on true events that somehow transcends all sense of time and reality. The film supposedly starts out in the early eighties, but it immediately feels like a […]

Editorial: Channing Tatum Finds Variety in Consistency

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Despite high levels of commercial success over the past few years, many people still feel that Channing Tatum is a one dimensional actor. However, buzz surrounding Foxcatcher, which premiered to rave reviews at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and the recent announcement that he will be a key player in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight have quieted most of […]

Review:Big Hero 6


Curiously enough, Cars 2 was on TV the day before I watched Big Hero 6. Needless to say, the juxtaposition had a very positive effect on my viewing experience of the latter. Big Hero 6 is the next Disney Marvel adaptation, only this time it’s animated and completely unrelated to the Marvelverse. This was a […]

Review: Listen Up Philip


Writer-director Alex Ross Perry is no stranger to controversy. When his prior film, The Color Wheel, dropped a particularly vile plot bomb at its climax, it seemed like a crude tack-on from another movie. In Listen Up Philip, Perry launches a much slower-igniting agitation but one equally demoralizing. Jason Schartzman plays Philip Lewis Friedman, a […]

INTERVIEW: Jess Weixler talks The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

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When did you first meet Ned, and what was it like getting approached with this project? Ned and Jessica and I were all roommates 5 or 6 years ago. When I first moved to LA, we all lived together and he was writing these movies and wrote this sister character for me because he wanted […]

Review: Art & Craft Explores a Hermit and His Passion

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Art & Craft opens on a quiet, bald man. He’s entering an arts & crafts store to pick up some paper, a few brushes and other miscellaneous tools any artist would need. However, Mark A. Landis is not just any artist. He is the greatest forger of all time.  For more than thirty years, Landis […]

Review: Horns Is About As Corny As It Gets


Daniel Radcliffe plays Ignatius Perrish, a man (though audiences will have trouble seeing him as anything other than Harry Potter) who literally becomes the devil and brings out the devil in everyone he meets, all by the unbreakable power of two awkward-looking horns—hence the title. Aside from a cute opening and corny phrases like “Are […]

PFF23 Review: Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere


Chadron, Nebraska has a solo traffic light which is the only one in three counties. The nearest mall is two hours away. It couldn’t be much further away from Lincoln and Omaha. Its population of 5600 are the quirky types you’d expect in an isolated prairie town. Dave Janetta’s Love and Terror on the Howling […]

Interview: Nightcrawler writer/director Dan Gilroy

Open Road & Bold Films' Presents The New York Premiere of "NIGHTCRAWLER"

Cinedork: So this is the first time you’ve directed and I just wanted to congratulate you on the success it’s had so far and your recent Gotham awards nomination. What was it like directing for the first time after primarily working as a writer? Dan Gilroy:  Thank you, it’s been a great response so far, […]

Review Haiku: The Duke of Burgundy


A haiku: Sadomasochism, Two women love butterflies: All too civilized. Send to Kindle

Review: The Guest


Go no further than The Guest to satisfy your Halloween movie urge. Conjuring up memories of 1980s tongue-in-cheek, winking and slashing classics, The Guest boasts a smart, fascinating Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) as a returning soldier who makes an unexpected house call to the parents of a comrade who died in action. The picture of […]

Review: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

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The Tale of Princess Kaguya, the latest film from Studio Ghibli, is based on the Japanese folktale “The Old Bamboo Cutter.” The most impressive part of this movie is the subtle changes the animation undergoes to reflect the feelings of the characters. Every frame of this film is like a beautiful painting straight from feudal […]

Review: Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal as Lou Bloom in NIghtcrawler

Lou Bloom is a sick pup. That he has no clue of his particularly eerie insularity makes him all the more entertaining. And scary. In a performance which is particularly outstanding, Jake Gyllenhaal gives us a Lou who is bent on making it in the big world out there–in this case, Los Angeles, and specifically, […]

Review: The Mule

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Based on true events, Tony Mahony’s comedic thriller, The Mule, features co-director Angus Sampson in the role of working class fool, Ray Jenkins: a nice, innocent, and naïve guy, living in a small neighborhood in 1983 Australia with his protective parents. He is forced out of his comfort zone when his childhood friend, Gavin (Leigh […]

Review: Goodbye to Language 3D


Jean-Luc Godard on several occasions in his new film, Goodbye to Languge 3-D, places two images atop each other. Close one eye, you’ll see one image; close the other, a different image. Do neither and you’ll get a headache. Small price to pay for the experience of indulging the French master and allowing him to […]

Review: 52 Tuesdays


The Australian drama 52 Tuesdays, directed by Sophie Hyde, follows 16 year old Billie as she struggles to adjust to her mother’s gender transition. When Billie’s contact with her mother is limited to Tuesdays after school and she is forced to live with her father, she undergoes her own transition into womanhood through unusual sexual […]

Review: Birdman


Long takes consisting of swooning, uniquely-angled camera shots are set to the riveting backdrop of a hypnotically spare solo jazz drum. Weaving Antonio Sanchez’s dazzling minimalist score around the action and as an ironic comment on it, director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu has created a movie that essentially plays as much like a brilliant piece of […]

Review: Whiplash


Channeling both Lee Marvin and Nurse Ratched, J. K. Simmons plays Terence Fletcher, absolutely nailing one of those rare movie performances that manages to go over the top without a trace of insincerity. He’s, of all things, the music instructor from hell–his veins popping out when he’s going off. His idea of teaching includes relentless, […]

PFF23 Review: Two Days One Night


In the haunting Two Days, One Night, directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne add a profound level of morality drama to their customarily brilliant trove of social reality themes explored since their outstanding first film, Le Promesse (1997). What is unique this time is they are working with an actress who is emerging as one of […]

PFF23 Review: The Last Five Years


The intermittently uplifting yet often pretentious The Last Five Years contains hardly any dialogue that is not sung. Pleasantly containing several songs of depth and wit, the film struggles with the thinnest of story lines and its pleased-with-itself structure. Anna Kendrick, who is very good, presents her character, Cathy’s story backwards from the end, while […]

PFF23 Review: Human Capital


Human Capital blends a razor-sharp depiction of Italian class tension with an engrossing mystery. Based on a novel by American author Stephen Amidon, the film unfolds in separate chapters, each of which repeats the same events from the different perspectives of various characters. The film, deriving its title from the world of insurance, boasts powerful […]

PFF23 Review: Girlhood


When Marieme establishes footing in a girl gang outside of Paris, she seems content to gain an identity she never was able to get from her traditional, broken family. A brother who treats her terribly eventually forces her to abandon her three girlfriends in the gang because she violates what he perceives as a cultural […]

PFF23 Review: Mommy


French Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan (he made and starred in I Killed My Mother at 19) seriously gets in you face with the extravagantly jarring Mommy. The brutal arguments between out-of-his-mind, tantalizing, violent-zero me, ADHD 15-year-old Steve (Antoine-Olivier Platt) and his tough yet unconditionally compassionate mom Diane (a great Anne Dorval) have to be seen […]

PFF23 Review – The Overnighters


A third act revelation either enhances or compromises the unique documentary The Overnighters–see it and decide. Pastor Jay Reinke opens his church and even his own home, to eventually thousands of migrant job-seekers, including some with criminal records, in the oil-boom North Dakota town of Williston. Reinke’s the kind of guy who would give you […]

PFF23 Review: Breathe

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Lou de Laage excels as Sarah, the new kid in town in Breathe, the impressive, confident first feature directed by French actress Melanie Laurent (Inglorous Basterds, Beginners, Enemy). The story of an opposites-attract teenage friendship between Sarah and Charlie (Josephine Japy) that gradually turns abusive never feels fake. As secrets about Sarah are gradually revealed, […]

Review: Fury

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Imagine the chilling opening beach scene from Saving Private Ryan–only for an entire film. It’s no wonder since director David Ayer (the vastly underrated LAPD flick, End of Watch) is at the helm. No brutality, however gory and explicit, is spared. No doubt there will be cries of “war porn” with Fury but they would […]

Review: The Best of Me is Bested by Most Other Romantic Films

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The Best of Me opens on a peaceful image of water overlooking a huge oil rig and set against an orange sky. This peaceful imagery is reminiscent of the sort of epic beauty made familiar by previous and more prominent romantic films (i.e. The Notebook). Dawson Cole ( James Marsden), our hero, works on repairing […]

Men, Women & Children is not the Anti-Social Media Film You’ve been Waiting For


Writer-director, Jason Reitman, addresses the subject of social media and how it affects the way human beings interact with one another in this solid adaptation of Chad Kultgen’s novel, Men Women & Children. As bad as this movie could have been, especially with a cast lineup that includes Adam Sandler and teen heartthrob du jour […]

Review: Kill the Messenger

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Jeremy Renner made a splash in the Oscar-winning Hurt Locker. After equally talented performances in supporting roles in American Hustle and The Immigrant, he’s back in a starring role in the well-intentioned, occasionally stirring Kill The Messenger. Renner plays Gary Webb, a journalist with the minor-league newspaper The San Jose Mercury News in 1996. Iran/Contra, […]

Review: The Judge


Hank, a slick, iconoclastic Chicago defense lawyer (Robert Downey Jr.) asks prospective jurors what message is on their bumper sticker. In the very first scene, he also pees on his opposing prosecutor while they both visit a men’s room. The wildly uneven yet ultimately successful The Judge constantly veers between a deep, estranged father/son tale […]

Global Perspectives: Jean-Claude Djereke on Françafrique and Film


  Last semester I took a French course, and on the last day of class my professor gave an impassioned speech on the state of his country. He informed us of the injustice that French-colonized African countries still face. A few days later I got the chance to talk to him to learn more. We […]

Review: Gone Girl


The less said about the plot of Gone Girl the better. Suffice it to say it is a biting, grisly crime film equally concerned with the nature of secrets in marriage, public media image, and the criminal mind than with the nuts and bolts of linear narration. Yet the story is so mind-blowing it would […]

Review: Annabelle


Despite the constant opportunity to fall short Annabelle, the spinoff of James Wan’s The Conjuring, manages to be a genuinely scary and satisfying addition to the franchise. By its nature, Annabelle presents a lot of challenges that could be damning for a less skilled filmmaker.  Not only is it a horror film about a haunted […]

Contest: “Dracula Untold” Screening Passes


Dracula Untold looks like a bad-ass remake of Nosferatu. Unlike that black and white boring classic, Dracula Untold is full of action, badassery, and more action. If you’d like to see this movie EARLY and for FREE!!! then email us at the info below for a chance to win screening passes in Philadelphia. Where: UA […]

Trailer: Inherent Vice


The hotly anticipated new film from Paul Thomas Anderson has finally released its first trailer and it’s dazzling. Like the director’s breakout film Boogie Nights, his new project Inherent Vice recreates 1970s Los Angeles for its take on the Thomas Pynchon detective novel of the same name. With a star studded cast featuring Joaquin Phoenix, […]

Review: The Skeleton Twins


Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, playing estranged twins with depression issues, discordantly slip into Saturday Night Live mode once too often during The Skeleton Twins. At the film’s outset Maggie (Wiig) shows up in the hospital room of Milo (Hader) after he unsuccessfully tried to kill himself. The call to inform her of this event, […]

Review: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them


The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them is a distillation of two separate movies subtitled “Him” and “Her.” Viewers will get a chance to see the original two films in October. After watching “Them” a disturbing paradox presents itself. Admittedly, what seems like a half-baked, occasionally dull synthesis might have been caused by too harsh a […]

Review: A Walk Among the Tombstones


Veteran screenwriter Scott Frank (Get Shorty, the underrated Out of Sight) directs revenge movie honcho Liam Neeson in this at once ugly and grim suspense-cum-horror tale. Based on the novel by Lawrence Block, Neeson portrays Matthew Scudder, an unlicensed private investigator and former NYPD cop. The film contains plenty of familiar crime movie fodder: Scudder’s […]

Review: The Drop


A viewing of The Drop prompted a repeat examination of Tom Hardy’s “one man” film from earlier this year: the unique and compelling Locke. Taken in tandem, it’s hard to think of two recent performances that have displayed such a stunning array of acting chops. In The Drop, Hardy plays Bob Saginowski, a skittish, deliberate, […]

Review: Starred Up


When it comes to an intensely raw portrayal of prison life, it would seem hard for any film to top Steven McQueen’s Hunger (2008). Startlingly, Starred Up submerges itself into even deeper territory. Weaving a father/son (they’re new prison mates) plot with starkly observed, uncanny realism, David Mackenzie’s film also includes three of the year’s […]

Review: Trip to Italy


British comics Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan share an amusing penchant for performing incessant spot-on impressions in The Trip To Italy. In Michael Winterbottom’s sequel to 2011’s The Trip, the semi-fictional pair have the enviable task to take an all-expenses-paid excursion along Italy’s Liguria and Amalfi coast. Their mission: write a few reviews of high-end […]

Review: When The Game Stands Tall


Family values, family values. It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. There’s no “I” in team. The wording of these bromides is changed slightly but they come thick and heavy in When The Game Stands Tall. Jim Caviezel plays high school coach Bob Ladoucer whose team at De La […]

Review: Rich Hill


As a chaser to Richard Linklater’s monumental Boyhood, take a peek at this Sundance award-winning documentary profiling three destitute white kids from rural Missouri. Their level of poverty and all-around impoverishment makes Linklater’s screen kid look like he’s part of the Trump family. Three distinctively different kids emerge. One is all-get-out upbeat, another, mostly dour […]

Interview: Mitch Levine “In Confidence”

Mitch Levine

Mitch Levine is a director, writer, and producer of theatre, film, opera, and dance, whose latest short film, “In Confidence” had its Los Angeles premiere at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood last month. In Confidence tells the compelling story of Molly who makes a heavy and dangerous choice and must deal with the consequences.  The […]

Review: The Giver


The goal: get rid of suffering and dissension and along with them, any shade of diverse thinking. First, trash emotion–have everyone pop pills everyday to suppress it. Leave out books, animals, and any changes in the weather while we’re at it. Now eliminate color. Yes, color. Such is the world of The Giver, the new […]

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy


Way back when Marvel Studios announced Guardians of the Galaxy, fans collectively raised an eyebrow. Even those of us who are familiar with the comics were perplexed as to why Kevin Feige and company would create a franchise around such an obscure group of characters. However, after seeing the finished product, I can definitely say […]

Contest: Screening Passes “Into the Storm”

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Twister 2! Wanna see it early? Go to and enter the code “CINEDKD107″ to get a pass! First 25 people to do it will win! When: Monday August 4th – Tonight Where: Cinemark University City Penn 6 Good Luck! Send to Kindle

Review: Get On Up


The main thing I wished to grab hold of from a James Brown biopic was a facsimile of the incredible rush I’d received when I saw him live at The Arena in Philadelphia in the late 1960’s. Get On Up may not quite get all the way there there but it’s a more than adequate […]

Review: Magic in the Moonlight


Colin Firth plays Stanley, a frenetic, highfaluting Houdini-like magician who performs in Chinese makeup and relishes debunking spiritual mediums in his spare time. In Woody Allen’s Magic In The Moonlight, his 44th film, Stanley poses as an “import-export” businessman and goes after young spiritualist Sophie Baker (Emma Stone). Stanley, according to his fellow magician sidekick, […]