Jackie (2016)

Jackie (2016)

The opening frames of Jackie lead one to believe they’re about to see a horror film. One wouldn’t be far off. The camera rests on Natalie Portman’s solemn face, staring off into the distance, as Mica Levi’s heart-rending score pounds out strained, delirious notes. It’s a jarring opening for a … Continue reading

Anomalisa (2015)

Anomalisa (2015)

No one adapts the minutiae of human interaction better than writer/director Charlie Kaufman. The mundane and feelings of alienation have been constant themes in all of his films, and they once again take center stage in his latest, Anomalisa. Shot completely using stop-motion animation, set in about three locations, and spending … Continue reading

45 Years (2015)

45 Years (2015)

Less is so much more in 45 Years. The film is a quiet, understated, and eventually devastating look at how the past can creep up and affect a seemingly rock solid marriage. It’s all substance with little flash, painting a realistic portrait of a couple being tested by current discoveries jump-started by … Continue reading

The Big Short (2015)

The Big Short (2015)

As evidenced by recent releases such as Margin Call, The Wolf of Wall Street, and even this year’s 99 Homes, movies about the financial market can be risky, complicated beasts. There’s always a scene that boils down to metaphors or “explain this to me like I’m a child.” The Big … Continue reading

Room (2015)

Room (2015)

Watching Room is essentially the act of barely breathing and nearly crying for two hours. It’s a devastating, yet surprisingly uplifting celebration of life, survival instinct, and the impenetrable bond between mother and son. Featuring two of the year’s best performances, nearly unbearable suspense and raw emotion, and a knack for … Continue reading

The Revenant (2015)

The Revenant (2015)

At its most fundamental, The Revenant is as spare and simple a revenge story as they come. A man, betrayed by those he trusted, is left for dead only to survive and seek revenge. It’s with brute savagery and dreamlike beauty that director/co-writer Alejandro González Iñárritu (director of last year’s best … Continue reading

Amy (2015)

Amy (2015)

One of the more amazing things about Amy, Asif Kapadia’s tragic and sad documentary about the late singer Amy Winehouse, is just how much footage of Winehouse there was. Today we can all shoot video on the fly with smartphones, but Amy begins in 2001, when Winehouse was only eighteen. Much … Continue reading

Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight is one of the great investigative journalism films; compelling, flawlessly acted, and successful in its invitation to join in the hunt for the truth. It’s enough to make you think twice about the easy, convenient dismissal of the importance of newspapers in our digital times. Even with an ending … Continue reading

Secret In Their Eyes (2015)

Secret In Their Eyes (2015)

Secret in Their Eyes, a remake of the 2009 Oscar-winning Argentinian film El secreto de sus ojos, is an old-school, taut, and endlessly involving thriller. The suspense-drama isn’t much in style these days, but this film is a swift reminder that the genre can still bring the heat. As adapted … Continue reading

Selma (2014)

Selma (2014)

Selma is one of the great emotional experiences of recent years; a fiercely powerful look at one of the Civil Rights Movement’s most triumphant victories. Perhaps even more interestingly, it peels back the layers of an icon and portrays Martin Luther King Jr. in a very human and, at times, fragile … Continue reading