• Holy Motors

    Holy Motors

    ★★★½

    Mr. Oscar (Denis Lavant) is a performer. He spends a typical work day by going in a limousine from one place to another, where he plays various parts. Make no mistake, these plays seem to take Mr. Oscar's entire time, leaving only a bit of it for a wardrobe change between parts and the occasional meal inside the limousine. It's as if every waking moment of Mr. Oscar's day is a moment that is intended to be part of a…

  • The Old Guard

    The Old Guard

    ★★

    There's nothing worse than a movie with a high-concept that is afraid to fully embrace the outlandish nature of said concept. The Old Guard is just that, a movie that for the entire runtime displays a maddening skill of tiptoeing around potentially good popcorn material. Given the type of movie this is, one would at the very least expect some good action scenes that make imaginative use of the characters' immortality. Instead we're handed action scenes which are in part…

  • The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil

    The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil

    ★★★

    Sporting a cool title and a cool premise, this South Korean crime action thriller (which really should be written the crime, the action, the thriller if we are to keep in with the vibe, and we have to if we have any self-worth) is about a gangster (Ma Dong-seok) and a cop (Kim Mu-yeol) who reluctantly join forces to bring down a serial killer (Kim Sung-kyu). The best way to describe the viewing experience is to break it down into…

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Reverend Ernst Toller is a shell of a man. He has a strong sense of guilt for encouraging his son to join the army, which resulted in his son's death in the war in Iraq. His marriage crumbles after that, his military career comes to an abrupt end, his life becomes, for all intents and purposes, meaningless. He finds a way to instill some meaning back into his life by becoming a man of the church and by offering solace…

  • Spider-Man 2

    Spider-Man 2

    ★★★★★

    This is just retreading old ground here but it's hard to resist the urge to gush over this movie when you feel completely elated after watching it. There are so many things that come together and complement each other, it's for the eyes whatever music is to the ears. It's a sequel done right, building on the groundwork laid out by the original and taking it to the next level. It is still surprising to rediscover how much time the…

  • Bicycle Thieves

    Bicycle Thieves

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    If this were to be made before World War II there would have been several elaborate comedic chases around the city. The message would have been exercise is good for your health, on or off a bike. If this were to be made during World War II the thief would have been caught by Antonio by the end. The message would have been order keeps society from falling apart while disobedience is unacceptable and deserving punishment. If this were Flesh…

  • The 15:17 to Paris

    The 15:17 to Paris

    ★★½

    Oh well... you know that feeling when you read up about a movie, you picture it, then you watch it and it turns out pretty much how you pictured it? After American Sniper and Sully this is the next logical step in Clint Eastwood's long, fruitful and progressively less rewarding career as a director, a match between film-maker and source material that could have only been made in one place and it does begin with an "H" but alas, it…

  • War for the Planet of the Apes

    War for the Planet of the Apes

    ★★★★

    It was, after all, inevitable. Albeit primitive, there are few more powerful manifestations than that of a wounded beast's inherent cry for survival. Fear, mistrust and hubris are some of the echoes of this terrible cry; when buried deep down underneath, they acquire a violent resonance that can cause an avalanche of destructive, chaotic, all-consuming force. After that, nature simply takes its course. It's not so much a question of preventing it as it is avoiding getting swept away by…

  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★½

    A classic in its own right and a sweeping spectacle of color, movement and music, West Side Story delights in short and periodic bursts of energy between long stretches of empty melodramatic interplay consisting of dreamy contemplations, syrupy proclamations and mechanic disputations of love. Terribly overwrought and lacking nuance, the film handles its beats exclusively in contrasting, alternating fashion, dancing and singing its way through happiness with the light touch of a feather and through hardship with the heavy fall…

  • Paths of the Soul

    Paths of the Soul

    ★★★★½

    In some ways closer to a documentary rather than a drama, Paths of the Soul follows a small group of Tibetan villagers on a long and arduous pilgrimage on foot to Lhasa, some twelve hundred kilometers away from their home. The movie employs an objective, unobtrusive point of view through which it offers a glimpse into their lives, customs and beliefs. Throughout, it shows a humble, peaceful lifestyle carried out in humility by people whose devotion to said lifestyle is…

  • Two Lottery Tickets

    Two Lottery Tickets

    ★★★½

    Dinel (Dorian Boguță) repairs car bodies, paints them, makes them look good. He is a simple, honest working man but finds himself in desperate need of money. His buddy Sile (Dragoș Bucur) is into bets and convinces Dinel to buy a lottery ticket and to split the eventual prize, despite their buddy Pompiliu's (Alexandru Papadopol) expressed skepticism over the chance of winning. As chance would have it however, Dinel wins. Now all they have to do is find the misplaced…

  • Dogs

    Dogs

    ★★★

    City boy Roman (Dragoș Bucur) has just inherited a big piece of empty land in a remote village after his grandfather's death. He decides to sell it but soon discovers that doing so wouldn't go too well with his grandfather's men, who apparently used - and intend to continue using - the land for illegal activities. Meanwhile, police officer Hogaș (Gheorghe Visu) tries to investigate a murder after being brought a severed foot that was found in the area.

    Directed…