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A frenetic and sweet new ‘Addams Family’

The animated revival of The Addams Family is perfect for celebrating the fun and light side of Halloween spook (any time of year). (AEL: 3.5/5)

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Not all unknown creatures are “Abominable”

In director and writer Jill Culton’s and co-director Todd Wilderman’s new film Abominable, the legendary Yeti becomes the audience’s favorite creature. Using music and imagination, Abominable is a beautiful adventure. (SYJ: ⅘)     Review written by FF2Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin   Waking in confusion, a beast, « Everest » (Joseph Izzo), frantically runs around some […]

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Shocking doc ‘Anthropocene – The Human Epoch’ shows human effect on planet

Official selection at Berlin, Sundance and Toronto International Film Festivals, feature documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch examines the massive effect that humans have had on Planet Earth. A 10-year journey with international researchers and scientists, filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky uncover the relevant, revolutionary scope of man’s footprint. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review […]

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‘Always in Season’: Lynching in Modern-Day

Always in Season, directed and written by Jacqueline Olive, centers around an act that was “thought to have been left in the past” — lynching, a form of racial terrorism. On August 29th, 2014, African American teen Lennon Lacy was found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro, North Carolina. Lennon’s death was ruled a […]

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‘Another Day of Life’ transforms written memories of war into a graphic visual story

Directors Raúl de la Fuente and Damian Nenow create a hybrid narrative animation and documentary film—“Another Day of Life”. Written by the two directors together with Amaia Remirez, Niall Johnson, and David Weber, the ambitious piece is based on Ryszard “Ricardo” Kapuscinski’s novel that delves into the Angolan civil war in 1975. It is an official Cannes selection, and winner of multiple awards globally. (KIZJ: 4.5/5)

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Clashing cultures persist in ‘American Factory’

American Factory, directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert,  explores what happens to General Motors workers in Ohio as the Chinese Fuyao Glass company takes over its old factories. (BV 4.0/5.0) Review by Junior Associate Beatrice Viri Michelle and Barack Obama’s film company “Higher Ground Productions” delivers a deeply thoughtful debut documentary with American Factory. […]

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‘Adam’ a charming and celebratory exploration of the trans and lesbian community

An awkward teen in his last summer of high school decides to spend the long break in New York City with his older sister, who fully embraces the city’s trans and lesbian activist community. The siblings, along with their friends, stumble their way through love, friendship, and pain. Based on Ariel Schrag’s novel of the […]

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AQUARELA (2018): Review by FF2 Media

The globe-spanning epic Aquarela, from writer Aimara Reques, is a highly conceptual thesis on water in all its forms, particularly as it is being unsettled globally by climate change. At the pace of the glaciers that are its subject, it sounds the alarm of global warming with an eerie calm. However, this film is a […]

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‘Always Be My Maybe’ is barely deeper than its title

Directed by Nahnatchka Khan and written by Michael Golamco and co-stars Randall Park and Ali Wong, Always Be My Maybe is a classic romantic comedy minus some of the problematic bits that have been historically featured in this genre. It has all of the satisfying elements of a rom-com, but doesn’t go deeper than that. […]

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‘Aniara’ floats through time and space

In Pella Kagerman’s new co-directed and co-written Swedish movie Aniara, Earth is in dystopia. People are evacuated from their homes and are preparing to join other family on their new planet, Mars. (SYJ:4/5)     Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin A mass of people ascend on a futuristic elevator up to […]

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When in need, ‘Ask for Jane’

Ask for Jane, directed by Rachel Carey, is a powerful piece about the simple procedure that is abortion. Written by Cait Cortelyou, Ask for Jane focuses on a group of young ladies who are passionate about the rights of women and their bodies. Starring Cait Cortelyou and Cody Horn, this is a timely feature that […]

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‘At the Heart of Gold’ exposes abuse of young gymnasts

*This review has mentions of sexual abuse At the Heart of Gold, directed by Erin Lee Carr, is a documentary detailing the decades-long sexual abuse conducted by Larry Nassar, former USA Olympian gymnastics coach, on hundreds of young girls — and exactly how he got away with it for so long. (BV 4.5/5.0) Review by […]

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Fanfiction-inspired film ‘After’ could have used Harry Styles

Directed by Jenny Gage, After tells the story of a young college freshman who falls for a bad boy. Compared to other fanfiction-turned-film like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey, Susan Martin’s adaptation of Anna Todd’s novel of the same name is more in line with Riverdale or The CW teenage phenomena of glossy, fantastical […]

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‘The Aftermath’ of WWII leaves people lost and heartbroken

Anna Waterhouse co-writes The Aftermath, directed by James Kent, where Keira Knightley plays the new guest to Hamburg from England, a destroyed German city. The beautiful film shows many dark and ominous images and disgusting truths mixed in a conflicted whirlwind romance. (SYJ: 4/5)   Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin Set […]

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‘Alita: Battle Angel’ fights for her identity

In Alita: Battle Angel, written by Laeta Kalogridis and James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez, an amnesiac cyborg discovers her instinct to fight— and uses this key to salvage her memory. (BV 3.0/5.0) Review by Intern Beatrice Viri Alita: Battle Angel is an adaptation of the Japanese cyberpunk series Battle Angel Alita/Gunnm by Yukito […]

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‘Adult Life Skills’ shines a tender light our tumultuous world

Anna’s approaching 30, living in her mom’s garden shed, and hanging onto every last memory she has of her late twin brother through the dumb low budget movies they made together that the internet is soon to delete without further payment. However, when her best friend comes home from a glamourous traveling extravaganza, Anna’s hermit […]

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‘A Dog’s Way Home’ is more bizarre than cute

  Writer Cathryn Michon’s A Dog’s Way Home is probably enjoyable for children, but it’s definitely not one of those kid’s movies (like those in Pixar canon) that people of all ages will like. The animals are cute, but the plot and characters are wooden in the extreme, and the film makes a bizarre attempt […]

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‘At Eternity’s Gate’ is a Beautiful Tribute to the Life of Vincent van Gogh

Written by Louise Kugelburg, Jean-Claude Carrière and Julian Schnabel, At Eternity’s Gate tells the story of Van Gogh’s final years, spent surrounded by nature in the South of France. A heart-wrenching and breathtakingly vibrant tribute to the chaotic Vincent Van Gogh, this film is masterful from start to finish. (JRL: 4.5/5)   At Eternity’s Gate […]

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White and Monroe make believable pair in honest love story ‘After Everything’

Co-writers and co-directors Hannah Marks and Joey Power tell an honest, raw love story of two people who prematurely deal with the hardships adulthood. When Elliot is diagnosed with cancer after only one date with Mia, the couple is thrust into the role of patient/caregiver in the midst of a passionate, burgeoning relationship. (BKP: 4.5/5)

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‘Above and Beyond’ is a love letter to NASA

Directed by Rory Kennedy, Above and Beyond showcases NASA’s 60-year history. It documents NASA’s many important milestones and mystifying discoveries, then brings it all back to our own planet that we must now save. Above and Beyond is not only a beautiful exposé’ of our universe, but an invigorating push to restore the Earth. (JRL: […]

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Stand-up comedian searches for freedom from her past

Eva Vives writes and directs All About Nina—an intimate and personal story about a troubled rising comedian. The comedy stage gives Nina a platform to be truthful, when her reality is built up upon lies. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘The Apparition’ a lengthy journey of questioning miracles

Unlike the horror-thriller genre one might expect from a church story titled The Apparition, the drama tells the story of a journalist investigating a young woman who claims to have miraculously been visited by the Virgin Mary. Lengthy in its 144-minute running time, the film is anchored in its compelling performances and test of faith in the Catholic church. (BKP: 4/5)

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Fiercely informative ‘Active Measures’ unpacks Russia’s meddlesome history

Active Measures is a fiercely informative film that unpacks Russia’s history of meddling in world affairs and what is known about the government’s role in the 2016 United States Presidential election. While it doesn’t solve any mysteries, it dives deep into current political issues relevant to American voters, revealing disturbing political norms. The story it […]

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ANGELS WEAR WHITE (2017): Review by Elly Levenson

Writer/director Vivian Qu creates a sparse but powerful narrative with Angels Wear White, a film that focuses on an almost entirely female cast to explore the rape of two young girls in a small Chinese seaside town. (EML: 4/5)

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AVA (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

When a teenage girl in Iran is caught going against her mother’s orders, familial tensions rise and school life is disrupted. Long-standing suspicions intensify, breeding distrust and humiliation, and making the lives of these characters a living hell. Writer and director Sadaf Foroughi delivers a film that is both beautifully shot and scathingly critical of […]

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ALL I WISH (2017): Review by Elly Levenson

Susan Walters’ All I Wish struggles to find its footing with uneven performances, choppy transitions, and a cliche storyline. Still, as a voice for middle-aged women, struggling to find their way, Walters has opened the door.

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A WRINKLE IN TIME (2018): Sneak Peek by Katharine Cutler

Directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell, A Wrinkle in Time is a film about trust, love, and self-understanding. With star Storm Reid as pre-teen “Meg,” DuVernay explores what it means to be a girl at that age, especially what it means to be a girl of color. (KAC: 4/5) […]

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ARTHUR MILLER: WRITER (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

Arthur Miller has given America, and the world, an impressive canon of work. However, Rebecca Miller’s documentary, Arthur Miller: Writer, is more than just a chronicle of the life and times of her father and the late playwright: it captures both the brilliance and the ordinariness that does away with the icon and leaves the man. (RMM: 4.5/5)

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ATOMIC HOMEFRONT (2017): Review by Malin Jornvi

Director Rebecca Cammisa’s documentary is a testament to the minimizing and denying by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the danger that exists in North County, and how the sacrifice of war is always  the greatest in communities furthest from the decision-makers in Washington D.C. (MJJ: 4.5/5).

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A SILENT VOICE (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

When a young boy decides to bully the new deaf girl in class she transfers elementary schools and the rest of the class turns on him. Years later, this same young man is determined to find the girl he bullied and make amends for the terrible things he has done. (RMM: 4/5)

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