Currently Browsing: Reviews: B-D

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood opens 11/22. FF2 review coming soon! Read our capsule review from the Toronto International Film Festival here.

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CHARLIE’S ANGELS (2019): Review by FF2 Media

When a young systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology, Charlie’s Angels are called into action, putting their lives on the line to protect us all. Charlie’s Angels opens 11/15. FF2 review coming soon!

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Damaged psyche behind bullying and being bullied resonate in ‘Better Days’

Wing-Sum Lam, Yuan Li, and Yimeng Xue team up to write the screenplay for “Better Days”, a movie with a realistic take on how far bullying can go. Set in Anqiao city in 2011, Derek Tsang directs a piece that marries the stresses of China’s rigorous academic system with the traumatic experiences of bullying at school. What starts off as a bullying story with a teenage friendship, quickly becomes a deep dive that inspects the damaged psyche of these teenagers through heartfelt emotion. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘Britt-Marie Was Here’ stands out as an incredibly relatable story

Britt-Marie Was Here directed by Tuva Novotny tracks the life of Britt-Marie (Pernilla August) a 63-year-old housewife faced with the choice of leaving her unfaithful husband for a job as a Little League soccer coach. Endearing and heartwarming, based off of an original novel titled A Man Called Ove, the film stands out as an […]

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Powerful Darrell Hammond doc ‘Cracked Up’ a story of survival

Saturday Night Live alum Darrell Hammond brings his 2011 memoir “God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked: Tales of Stand-Up, Saturday Night Live, and Other Mind-Altering Mayhem” to life in this emotionally raw documentary of overcoming childhood trauma. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky “You overcame sh*t, too.” […]

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BIRDS WITHOUT FEATHERS don’t fly

In director-writer Wendy McColm’s new film Birds Without Feathers she tells the story of how six strangers seek attention in the most toxic and ineffective ways. A supposed dark comedy, Birds Without Feathers, showcases six rejects over the course of one weekend. (SYJ: 1/5)   Review written by FF2Media Intern Sophia Y Jin Identity thief […]

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‘Blinded by the Light’ celebrates the catharsis of art

From prolific director and women-in-film advocate Gurinder Chadha comes Blinded by the Light, a joyful and meaningful story about a Pakistani teenager growing up in 1980s England who discovers the music of Bruce Springsteen. The universal theme of connecting with the work of a singular and special artist is carried on Blinded by the Light’s […]

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Camila Mendes saves ‘Coyote Lake’

Riverdale star Camila Mendes stars in Sara Seligman’s Coyote Lake, an on-the-border thriller about a mother and daughter who kill human traffickers. What it lacks in thrills (and overall plot), it makes up for in the world Seligman creates, one which gives Mendes a chance to share another side of her acting abilities. (BKP: 3.5/5) […]

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‘Cassandro, the Exotico!’ documents struggle with retirement

Director Marie Losier documents the fascinatingly different life of “fabulous” wrestler Saul Armendariz – aka Cassandro, the “Liberace of Lucha Libre.” (Got all that?) Taking us along the five-year journey nearing the end of his career, we delve into the legacy of a unique, entertaining performer. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor  […]

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THE CHAMBERMAID (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A look at the working environment of a chambermaid in one of Mexico City’s most luxurious hotels. The Chambermaid opens 6/28. FF2 review coming soon!

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‘Back to the Fatherland’ a muddled portrayal of Israeli expatriates

Documentary filmmakers Gil Levanon and Kat Rohrer explore the current state of Israel and its connection to the outside world in their film Back to the Fatherland. Their honest efforts fall short as the story gets muddled within a poorly constructed structure and moments of questionable politics. (AG: 1/5 stars). Review by FF2 Intern Anika […]

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BACK TO THE FATHERLAND (2017): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A documentary film that tells the story of young people leaving their home country to try their luck somewhere else. Back to the Fatherland opens 6/14. FF2 review coming soon!

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Spring break goes terribly wrong in ‘Being Frank’

Being Frank, directed by Miranda Bailey, is a feel-good comedy about college-bound Philip, who, fed up by his strict, emotionally distant father, sneaks out during spring break with his friend Lewis and accidentally discovers his father’s biggest secret. Shocked and conflicted by his father’s second family, Pat becomes an unwitting accomplice to the lie. Will […]

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BEING FRANK (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A normal father’s family life is turned upside down when his son discovers he has another family. Being Frank opens 6/14. FF2 review coming soon!

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‘Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes’ certainly goes above and beyond

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes, directed by Sophie Huber, showcases the history of Blue Note Records, home of many groundbreaking jazz musicians like Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. Filled with clips and photos of the artists at work and underscored by their electrifying music, this film is a worthy tribute to the iconic […]

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BLUE NOTE RECORDS – BEYOND THE NOTES (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A revelatory, thrilling and emotional journey behind the scenes of Blue Note Records, the pioneering label that gave voice to some of the finest jazz artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes opens 6/14. FF2 review coming soon!

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‘Booksmart’ girls know how to party

In director Olivia Wilde’s new film Booksmart, all hell breaks loose for the two high school geeks on the night before their graduation. The two academic superstars realize perfect grades are not the be all and end all. (SYJ: 3.5/5)       Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin A meditation tape […]

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‘A Dog’s Journey’ is sweet but overly heartbreaking

Directed by Gail Mancuso, A Dog’s Journey is the sequel to A Dog’s Purpose, a hit feature in 2017. Part 2 continues the story of Bailey, a dog who reincarnates as many different breeds to save a girl’s lost soul. While the film has a heartwarming conclusion, it gets there through a series of tragic […]

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‘Charlie Says’ a sympathetic study of Manson family cult victims

Synopsis: Mary Harron, director of American Psycho and I Shot Andy Warhol, has just released her newest true crime film Charlie Says (2019). Headlining stars such as Matt Smith, this film asks its viewer to recontextualize the myth of the Manson family cult to become more understanding of the women who were trapped in his […]

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BARDO BLUES (2017): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: Story of a mentally ill young man attempting to come to grips with his haunting past by seeking solace and understanding in the unfamiliar Eastern culture of Thailand. Bardo Blues opens 5/3 in NYC. FF2 review coming soon!

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DECADE OF FIRE (2019): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: As a kid in the South Bronx in the 1970s, Vivian Vazquez watched her tight-knit community become a burned-out ruin as an epidemic of fires raged through her Black and Puerto Rican neighborhood. As Vivian seeks to understand the lasting effects of this tragedy on her family and community, she uncovers a story […]

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BE NATURAL – THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY-BLACHE (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: Pamela B. Green’s energetic film about pioneer filmmaker Alice Guy-Blaché is both a tribute and a detective story, tracing the circumstances by which this extraordinary artist faded from memory and the path toward her reclamation. Be Natural opens 4/26. FF2 review coming soon!

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Nostalgic ‘Body at Brighton Rock’ leaves rookie park ranger stranded

Roxanne Benjamin’s Body at Brighton Rock tells the story of a rookie park ranger who gets stranded in a mountainous forest with a dead cell phone battery – and a dead body. Karina Fontes carries the indie thriller with her portrayal of a young woman dependent on her own wit and strength to battle fear, […]

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CHASING PORTRAITS (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: One man’s art. One woman’s unexpected path to healing. An American woman’s emotional quest to find the art of her Polish-Jewish great-grandfather, lost during World War II. Chasing Portraits opens 4/26. FF2 review coming soon!

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Metz and Grace make ‘Breakthrough’ a universal uplift

Director Roxann Dawson’s Breakthrough recreates the miraculous true story of a Missouri boy’s traumatic accident and the unfailing faith of his devoted mother. With This Is Us star Chrissy Metz leading a strong cast, the film is a tactful reimagining of what could have easily been turned into Christian-skewed camp. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Vice […]

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THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA (2019): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. The Curse of La Llorona opens 4/19. FF2 review coming soon!

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‘Blowin’ Up’ an insightful look at broken criminal justice system

Stephanie Wang-Breal’s documentary, Blowin’ Up, speaks of a unique judicial system that helps female victims of sex trafficking (mostly Black an Asian) get back on track with their lives. It’s not only inspiring but insightful. Judge Toko Serita is dedicated to helping women get a second chance at life in a Queens courtroom. One of […]

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CATCHING SIGHT OF THELMA & LOUISE (2017): Review by Brigid K. Presecky

Following the 1991 release of Thelma & Louise, director Jennifer Townsend conducted a questionnaire as a research project: did other people share a similar, visceral reaction to the film? After sorting through handwritten letters and cassette-tape voicemails, Townsend follows up with her responders two decades later. This uniquely touching documentary shows how impactful art can […]

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CATCHING SIGHT OF THELMA & LOUISE (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

In Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise, fans and members of the original cast and crew share their experiences with the iconic film. Documentarian Jennifer Townsend enlists a group of fans to explore the film’s funniest and most difficult moments, and to appreciate the cultural significance the film retains. (AEL: 4/5)

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The Brink reveals Bannon’s true character through cinéma vérité

The Brink, directed by Alison Klayman, documents former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon’s efforts to align with far-right world leaders and spread his nationalist agenda around the world. The film is expertly nuanced in position, and although it might appear to give Bannon the attention he loves, it succeeds in undermining him at every […]

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