• The-Diary-of-a-Teenage-Girl-1

    Review: Diary of a Teenage Girl

    Monday, August 24, 2015

    The Diary of a Teenage Girl, a pedophile drama gussied up with non-judgmental makeup, strikes one as more odd than innovative. Fifteen-year-old Minnie Goetze (a rather good Bel Powley) opens the film declaring, “I had sex today,” and you sure can tell it changed her. Set in the free-love 1970’s in San Francisco, Marielle Heller’s […]

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  • PHOENIX

    Review: Phoenix

    Monday, August 24, 2015

    Christian Petzold’s Phoenix creates a bracing tension between rediscovery and denial, between traumatization and angst. Nina Hoss, one of the world’s finest film actresses, portrays Nelly Lenz, a concentration camp survivor who undergoes plastic surgery that essentially grants her a new face after her old one was shot up by Nazis. At the film’s outset […]

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    Review: American Ultra

    Friday, August 21, 2015

    A stoner comedy by nature relies on an undercurrent of paranoia. In American Ultra Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) quickly loses the edge of thinking everyone is after him when–lo and behold–before long everyone is indeed after him. Also gone with the stoner conceit is the notion that this film is somehow a comedy. What looks […]

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    Review: The End of Tour

    Monday, August 17, 2015

    A film consisting primarily of two writers talking to each other turns out to be The End of the Tour’s strength rather than its weakness. David Foster Wallace (an excellent Jason Segal) at one point says to Rolling Stone magazine profiler David Lipsky (Jesse Eiesenberg), “David, this is nice. This is not real.” As close […]

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  • JwsLv

    Review: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

    Friday, August 14, 2015

    Given the plethora of technical bells and whistles in Guy Richie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (the extra punctuation is as wearying as much of this film so I will only reference the title once) the onus is on Richie to provide sufficient plot and character. He almost makes it on the character front but if […]

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Oct
21

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 […]

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Oct
21

PFF23 Review: Breathe

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, […]

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Oct
17

Review: Fury

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 […]

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Oct
17

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

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 […]

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Oct
10

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 […]

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Oct
10

Review: Kill the Messenger

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, […]

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Oct
10

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 […]

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Oct
9

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 […]

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Oct
3

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 […]

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Oct
3

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 […]

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Sep
30

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 […]

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Sep
29

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, […]

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