The Assistant

Kitty Green’s new film The Assistant is a searing and confrontational work that offers a stark look at a system that allows for continued abuse, told from the perspective of a ground-level employee. Though he’s never named, the high-level film executive at the film’s center is clearly intended to be an analog of Harvey Weinstein,…

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Fantasy Island

In 2018, Jeff Wadlow released Truth or Dare, which seemed like his attempt to join in on the massive hype train of Blumhouse at the time. Despite the almost unanimous trashing by critics and people in the film community alike, I still went to see it, hoping I’d find some enjoyment. Truth or Dare was…

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Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire left one of the biggest impacts on me that a film ever has. It has so much going for it; great cinematography, meticulous direction and screenwriting, and dedicated performances. The director, Céline Sciamma, broke away from her typical coming of age narratives and graduated to a different kind of…

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Staff Selects: Christmas Movies

Not everyone is fortunate enough to celebrate this Valentine’s Day with a loved one, so indulge us, if you will, and share in our celebration of a different holiday – one that reminds us of the power of joy (and capitalism). This week, our staff highlights some of our favorite Christmas movies: Elf Though I…

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The Photograph

There’s something so comforting about walking into a theater and walking out of it two hours later with the exact same head on your shoulders. These films that deliberately avoid the destruction and reconstruction of the soul that comes from great art, instead focusing on a simple reiteration of what one comes to expect from…

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And Then We Danced

Dance is an art form that was originally meant to communicate a story and its message to the audience. But more than that, the beauty of dance actually lies in how it can convey human emotions through physical language that waltz between predefined choreography and freeform movement. Movies like Footloose and Dirty Dancing have long…

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Ema

Fire distilled on film, Chilean director Pablo Larraín‘s Ema is sharp and stylized. A blend of erotic drama and dance movie, it is an ode to movement and the body. It’s a film that wears its symbolism on its sleeve; gorgeously shot sequences are included for metaphor even when they don’t further the story. It…

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AFI Top 100: The Sound of Music

In 2008, the American Film Institute revised their previous 2007 list of the 100 best American films of all time. This weekly column will explore my thoughts on select films from this list, mostly following along with the Unspooled Podcast, which inspired my journey to complete the AFI Top 100. You can also follow my…

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Horse Girl

The title alone should have been enough of a warning sign to keep me away from Horse Girl. However, while engaged in conversation with a good friend of mine, the film came up. I pulled up the trailer, convinced it was going to be another Netflix excuse for a comedy along the lines of The…

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Best Picture #15: Mrs. Miniver

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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The Academy Saves Itself

Every member of the film industry lost their minds tonight out of sheer joy when the impossible happened: Parasite won Best Picture. Granted, there were concerns that the film would lose due to being a foreign language film from South Korea with no actors recognizable in Hollywood and a lack of precursors like the DGA…

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2020 Oscar Predictions

Our staff members all came up with their lists of predictions for this years Academy Awards. Below, you’ll find a composite of all of the predictions that lists the most common picks for each category. Read on and see if we can convince you to make any last minute changes to your own predictions! Best…

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Staff Selects: Oscar Hopes

Joker picked up the most nominations and 1917 seems to be the predicted winner (at least according to most of our staff) for this year’s Oscars, but we’ve got other films in mind for what we’d like to see take home the gold this Sunday: Best Picture: Marriage Story Though it was initially seen as…

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Birds of Prey

Four years after the cinematic catastrophe that is Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn — one of the most interesting female comic book characters who unfortunately got sidelined for the most part in the aforementioned title — finally has her chance to showcase how badass she is in Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One…

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Corpus Christi

Religion in secular film is a tricky line to walk. The idolization must be clear within the art; the motives to follow some unseen doctrine must be understandable, yet it must not beg us to understand too. The latter becomes preaching, is essentially propaganda, and takes a film from a story to a sermon. In…

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Gretel & Hansel

January is finally over, everyone! Hollywood did what it always does, we survived it, and most of the public has already forgotten about The Turning (I will likely never forget).We have so many great horror films to look forward to in February, like… Fantasy Island! There’s also Brahms: The Boy II! Anyhow, there’s one more…

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Miss Americana

If you’ve paid any modicum of attention to popular music in the past twenty years or so, you know Taylor Swift. She knows that you know her. Her private life has been a constant in the tabloids, with her Kimye-fueled feud and revolving door of boyfriends almost eclipsing her career as a recording artist. No…

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The Lodge

This January was an abysmal month for horror films. The Grudge became the first film to receive an F CinemaScore in over 2 years, and a mere 3 weeks later, The Turning became the second. So, The Lodge couldn’t arrive at a better time to breathe life into the season, though its focus on atmosphere…

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Jumbo

Objectum sexuality is a subject either played as an offhand joke or used for shock value. Multiple cases have puzzled the internet since its inception, a sort of strange sideshow for headlines. It is a realm used for controversy or as a meme, certainly not one that is expected to appear in a near-crowdpleaser. Zoe…

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Staff Selects: Sundance Winners

Inspired by the 2020 Sundance Film Festival taking place this week, our staff highlights some of our favorite Sundance winners: Blood Simple (1984) In only the second year of the Sundance Film Festival, it was already bringing attention to up and coming filmmakers who would come to define cinema for decades to come. Joel and…

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Invisible Life

If you can only see one 2019 period piece foreign film about the connection between two women constantly being battered by patriarchal expectations that features a portrait of a lady that happens to be on fire…well, you should still watch Portrait of a Lady on Fire, but I highly doubt there will be another one…

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AFI Top 100: The Apartment

In 2008, the American Film Institute revised their previous 2007 list of the 100 best American films of all time. This weekly column will explore my thoughts on select films from this list, mostly following along with the Unspooled Podcast, which inspired my journey to complete the AFI Top 100. You can also follow my…

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Best Picture #13: Rebecca

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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Spoiler Room: The Turning

Whether it’s due to a unique plot twist or some controversial subject matter that deserves further exploration, the Spoiler Room provides a place for our authors, and you readers, to discuss a film’s details outside of our regular spoiler-free reviews. The ending of The Turning is one of the most baffling I’ve seen in quite…

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The Turning

I thought our January horror curse was over with the quickly forgotten remake of The Grudge. How wrong was I to believe such a blessing could be true. It’s as if The Grudge was forgotten so quickly that another bad studio horror film had to be released a few weeks later so that we would…

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True History of the Kelly Gang

Boy No other figure in history captures Australia’s obsession with the outlaw hero persona as perfectly as Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly – the 19th century bushranger whose final uttered words find themselves inscribed in the flesh of more than a handful across this land: “Such is life.” His life and death have indeed indelibly marked the…

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Staff Selects: Short Films

Perfectly (and unintentionally, we promise) coinciding with the release of David Lynch’s latest short film What Did Jack Do? this week, our staff highlights some of their favorite short films: Goldman v Silverman (2020) “Favorite short film.” Now those are some words that filled me with a fair bit of dread. Not that I don’t…

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AFI Top 100: The Wild Bunch

In 2008, the American Film Institute revised their previous 2007 list of the 100 best American films of all time. This column will explore my thoughts on some films I’ve selected from this list, mostly following along with the Unspooled Podcast, which inspired my journey to complete the AFI Top 100. You can also follow…

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Dolittle

There comes a time in anyone’s life when they are faced with an event so horrifying, so disturbing, so hopeless that they question everything they stand for. It is a moment of crisis where they question what their purpose in life is. This came to me last evening during a screening of Universal’s latest blockbuster…

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The Gentlemen

After years of making sequels and seemingly studio mandated films that generally received a mixed to negative critical reception and low box office returns, aside from last year’s billion-dollar grossing Aladdin live-action remake of the 1992 classic animated film, Guy Ritchie has finally returned to making original concept films with The Gentlemen. Unfortunately, The Gentlemen…

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Bad Boys for Life

Bad Boys for Life was something I never expected to happen – even when it was announced – but I was intrigued on what a Bad Boys film would look like all these years later. Surely a film as hateful and outwardly repugnant as Bad Boys II couldn’t exist today, so I anticipated something more…

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AFI Top 100: The Gold Rush

2008, the American Film Institute revised their previous 2007 list of the 100 best American films of all time. This column will explore my thoughts on some films I’ve selected from this list, mostly following along with the Unspooled Podcast, which inspired my journey to complete the AFI Top 100. You can also follow my…

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Weathering with You

The weather and climate play a huge role in the way we live our lives and do our daily activities. But the problem is we don’t realize enough how important they are. We keep damaging our nature, littering every river, and burning what shouldn’t have burned until it’s all too late. Makoto Shinkai‘s latest anime…

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Underwater

“We drilled to deep, took too much. And now she’s taking it all back.” I can wholeheartedly state that starting my 2020 theatre experience with William Eubank‘s claustrophobic sci-fi thriller, Underwater, was a grand success. Led by one of the best working actresses and personal favorites, Kristen Stewart, Underwater is marketed as a sort of…

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The Grudge (2020)

Nicolas Pesce’s remake/reboot/rendition of The Grudge is perplexing. Not only because it’s an awful film from an incredibly promising up-and-coming filmmaker with two excellent features behind his belt, but it’s somehow even more painfully dull and incoherent than the regular horror trash we’ve seen churned out in recent years like Countdown and Truth or Dare.…

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AFI Top 100: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

In 2008, the American Film Institute revised their previous 2007 list of the 100 best American films of all time. This column will explore my thoughts on some films I’ve selected from this list, mostly following along with the Unspooled Podcast, which inspired my journey to complete the AFI Top 100. You can also follow…

Read more AFI Top 100: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb