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  • Camp X-Ray

    Camp X-Ray

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

    Our reactions to a film depend on many factors: how seasoned we are in our historical viewership, how refined or coarse our sensibilities, the mood we're in when the opening credits roll, and our incoming expectations and how they're met (or not) to name a few.

    This is one of those films I entered a screening with, shall we say, "hopeful" expectations—that is to say "very high" but tempered, as experience has led me to assume that most cinematic stories…

  • Kill the Messenger

    Kill the Messenger

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

    As a massive fan of both Jeremy Renner and true story dramatic thrillers, I was *really* looking forward to this film for quite some time before I got around to finally screening it, but unfortunately it almost completely fell apart for me.

    Don't get me wrong, there's a good film in there, and possibly two—but therein lies the problem: it seems as if director Michael Cuesta (L.I.E., 12 AND HOLDING, TV's HOMELAND) couldn't decide which to tell—the story of how…

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  • The Gift

    The Gift

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

    Evoking the work of Adrian Lyne, THE GIFT is a welcome throwback to the kind of modestly budgeted adult thriller I grew up with and loved and miss so dearly. Rarely do psychological suspense thrillers actually get made starring A-list actors these days (and while Joel Edgerton might not be a household name yet, he certainly deserves to be after a string of interesting, compelling performances — let alone writing and directing this little gem).

    This is a "message movie"…

  • Child of God

    Child of God

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

    No... your eyes doth not deceive you: I just gave a 5 out of 5 star review to a film directed by James Franco. This is no hyperbole or winking stunt — this film is just that provocative and powerful, thanks in no small part to the brilliant author of the source material.

    CHILD OF GOD is a revelation, as is the performance of its lead Scott Haze. The fact that this kind of rawness actually made it to a…