Currently Browsing: October 2015

THE ARMOR OF LIGHT

Directed by Abigail Disney and Kathleen Hughes, The Armor of Light is a fine documentary shedding light on gun violence. Utilizing a unique approach, the film follows a highly conservative Evangelical minister as he struggles with his feelings on gun violence, which are very much against those of his peers. (JEP: 3/5) Review by Contributing […]

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INDIA’S DAUGHTER

Leslee Udwin’s documentary India’s Daughter tells the heart-wrenching story of the rape and murder of an innocent 23-year-old woman. Through haunting reenactments and informative talking heads, the film takes a closer look at the attitudes and sickening behavior towards females in India. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky India’s Daughter, part of […]

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MAKING ROUNDS

Making Rounds follows cardiologists Valentin Fuster and Herschel Sklaroff as they visit patients at bedside, showing young doctors how to diagnose patients’ illnesses simply by listening to them. Fuster and Sklaroff are working to utilize these techniques to combat doctors’ common habits of resorting to expensive, technologically-advanced tests, which can often be inaccurate. One of […]

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SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

Surpassing any and all expectations, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is a clever, witty and fun adventure, making a complete mockery of the “zombie” genre and the cliches of today’s blockbuster films. Reminiscent of old-school adventures like The Goonies or Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, the R-rated Scouts Guide is one of the funniest, […]

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SEX, DEATH & BOWLING

Written and directed by Ally Walker, Sex, Death and Bowling follows a young boy as he struggles with his views on the afterlife and what it all means for his terminally ill father. When his estranged uncle returns home, the family is able to mend some of their broken ties when a bowling tournament puts […]

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THE WONDERS

Writer/Director Alice Rohrwacher tells a sweet (… no pun intended) story of a family running a beekeeping business in rural Italy. Seen through the eyes of 12-year-old “Gelsomina” (Maria Alexandra Lungu), The Wonders (also tited Le meraviglie) is a simple, heartfelt story of a family trying to keep their heads above water. (BKP: 4/5) Review […]

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HEART OF A DOG

Artist and musician Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog is like a collection of journal entries, or a visual record of Anderson’s dreams. Anderson’s own memories and philosophical musings, often deliberately indistinguishable from each other, overlay a collection of images that mirror what Anderson might see in her life: details of Anderson’s favorite places, news […]

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I SMILE BACK

In a shockingly different role for Sarah Silverman, the stand-up comedian gives a dramatic, career-defining performance as a drug-addicted wife and mother of two children. Although the script by Amy Koppelman and Paige Dylan falters in its bizarre, grotesque depiction of suburban housewives, Silverman’s transformation is mesmerizing. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. […]

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SHAANDAAR

Bollywood’s new romantic comedy hits all the predictable notes, telling the story of Jagjinder, Alia and their two families from East Indian dynasties. Although the script has charming and comedic elements, the scattered script could have eliminated unnecessary dance numbers and elaborate shticks. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Shaandaar takes place […]

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SUFFRAGETTE (BKP)

Carey Mulligan gives a standout performance as “Maude Watts,” an empowering 24-year-old mother who fights for the right to vote. Director Sarah Gavron and Writer Abi Morgan shed a light on the struggles, heartache and courage of women in early 20th Century England. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky With the fight […]

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SUFFRAGETTE (JEP)

Directed by Sarah Gavron, Suffragette is a powerful film about the early feminist movement and the fight for women’s right to vote in Britain. Filled with powerful female performances, Suffragette is a historical drama about the incredible circumstances women fought against to be granted their rights. (JEP: 3.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry Written by […]

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SUFFRAGETTE

Superb film directed by Sarah Gavron with a screenplay by Abi Morgan. Women from London’s East End risk their lives so that women in England will win the right to vote. Brava! (JLH: 4.5/5) Review by Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner On June 14, 1913, thousands of women wearing purple flowers accompanied the casket of […]

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MOMENTUM

Olga Kurylenko stars as a high-tech bank robber whose identity is accidentally revealed during a heist-gone-wrong. In its entirety, Momentum is made up of action sequences – with little character development or entertainment. (BKP: 2.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky In the opening sequence, four thieves in Cape Town, South Africa disguise themselves […]

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ROOM

Director Lenny Abrahamson delivers a stunning feature artfully adapted for the screen by the novel’s author Emma Donoghue. Filled with spectacular performances, Room tells the story of a young boy and his mother who have been held captive for years, and follows them through their escape and re-entry into the vast world beyond the four […]

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THE BECHDEL TEST FEST: 2015

Founder of The Bechdel Test Fest, Corrina Antrobus, was dismayed at the poor representation of women in film. In 2013, only 15% of the top 100 films released had a female protagonist. By June 2014, less than half of cinematic releases passed the Bechdel Test (a scene with two female characters talking about something other […]

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A WOMAN LIKE ME

Alex Sichel and Elizabeth Giamatti tell a uniquely beautiful story about Sichel’s real-life breast cancer diagnosis. In a hybrid of documentary and fiction, Sichel uses her filmmaking abilities to film her cancer journey while also creating a fictional, more hopeful version of her life for the screen. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. […]

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BIG STONE GAP

Ashley Judd leads a star-studded cast of characters in Writer/Director Adriana Trigiani’s Big Stone Gap. The 1970s-set romantic comedy is funny, charming and shines in its sweet simplicity. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky It will make you laugh. It will make you reflect. It will make you cry … and that […]

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IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE

In My Father’s House is a touching and thought-provoking documentary written and directed by Anne Sundberg and Ricki Stern. The film follows rapper Che ‘Rhymefest’ Smith as he reunites with his estranged father Brian. Through all the ups and downs, the two men work hard to learn where they fit into each other’s lives now, […]

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VICTORIA

Victoria is a stunning achievement. Laia Costa is absolutely brilliant as “Victoria,” a young woman from Spain who moves to Germany knowing no one and not speaking the language. One night while out at a club, she meets a group of four young men. What begins as a night of fun quickly warps into one […]

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DUKHTAR

Writer/Director Afia Nathaniel captures a mother’s fierce protection of her 10-year-old daughter by escaping an arranged marriage and fleeing the oppressive cultures of Pakistan. Translated in English to Daughter, the heartfelt and hopeful story can resonate with audiences around the globe. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Set in a small village […]

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ADDICTED TO FRESNO

Addicted to Fresno, written by Karey Dornetto and directed by Jamie Babbit, is a quirky comedy about two sisters living monotonous lives as hotel maids, when everything is suddenly turned upside down when they find themselves covering up a murder. (JEP: 3.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry “Martha” (Natasha Lyonne) is satisfied with […]

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PARTISAN

Written by Sarah Cyngler and Ariel Kleiman, Partisan struggles to keep you on the edge of your seat, but eventually delivers an engaging and dramatic look into a commune that teaches its children to become hit men, killing intended targets at point blank range. But when young “Alexander” (Jeremy Chabriel) begins to question authority, it […]

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THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING

This Changes Everything is a well-intentioned documentary written by Naomi Klein that boasts an important message about the realities of climate change. Unfortunately, the film’s emotional execution is sadly lacking. (JEP: 3.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry This Changes Everything was directed by Avi Lewis and written by Naomi Klein. The documentary is […]

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TALVAR

Murder mysteries can be an enjoyable watch, especially in Bollywood. Inspired by a true story, Talvar takes the audience on intense, suspenseful ride as they examine the murder case of a teenage girl and her boyfriend. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Director Meghna Gulzar based her Hindi “whodunnit” off of the infamous […]

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