Currently Browsing: Reviews: Q-S

Teen girl friendship and sexuality in ‘Slut in a Good Way’

From French-Canadian filmmakers Sophie Lorain and Catherine Léger, Slut in a Good Way is a comedy about three friends who start working in a toy shop–one where there are so many cute boys. The film celebrates teen girlhood, sexual freedom, and the special humor shared among best friends. (AEL: 4/5)

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‘Roll Red Roll’ Delivers Honest Look Into The Toxic Masculinity That Defines One Small Town

Director Nancy Schwartzman delivers a hard-hitting portrait of a small Ohio town that is forced to reconcile with a culture that keeps women from coming forward about assault and the technology that helped a young woman find justice. (AG: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Anika Guttormson [Content warning for mentions of sexual assault] Budding director […]

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A never-ending search in historical drama ‘Sunset’

In Sunset, directed and written by László Nemes and co-written with Clara Royer, a young woman travels to Budapest in order to work for her family’s namesake. She discovers an estranged brother, and pandemonium follows as she attempts to learn more familial secrets. (BV 3.0/5.0) Review by Intern Beatrice Viri Sunset starts with introducing protagonist […]

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‘Styx’ is a searing drama on the open sea

With two compelling co-stars and a tight, heart-wrenching plot, Styx is a drama that’s hard to get out of your head. (AEL: 4.5/5)

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RUST CREEK (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: An overachieving college student gets lost on her way to a job interview. A wrong turn leaves her stranded deep in the Kentucky forest. The woman must defend herself against the harsh elements and a band of ruthless outlaws. She is forced into an uneasy alliance with a strange loner who has unknown […]

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‘State Like Sleep’ brings the viewer into a dreamlike trance

State Like Sleep, written and directed by Meredith Danluck, is a noir-esque thriller about a woman who must confront the demons surrounding her husband’s death (3.0/5.0). Review by Intern Beatrice Viri In State Like Sleep, photographer Katherine Grand (Katherine Waterson) receives a phone call from her mother that forces her to fly to Brussels and […]

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‘Second Act’ surprises with its entertaining and uplifting story

When a warehouse employee makes a wish that her street smarts were valued as much as book smarts, she doesn’t expect her wish to come true. Suddenly gifted with a new identity complete with fake Harvard degree and impressive resume, she is given a second chance at a stellar career. Director Peter Segal and writers […]

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‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ a clever, memorable Disney sequel

From co-screenwriter Pamela Ribon, Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet is a fun, thoughtful journey of two colorful arcade game character venturing into the world wide web. Undeniably imaginative and satirical without snark, this sequel to Wreck-It Ralph (2012) is a great addition to Disney’s ever-growing list of decent sequels. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Managing Editor […]

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‘Searching for Ingmar Bergman’ is another take on an overexposed personal history

Searching for Ingmar Bergman by German directors Margarethe von Trotta and Felix Moeller is another attempt to understand the real person behind the legendary name Ingmar Bergman. The Swedish arthouse director is one of the greatest influences on filmmaking to this day, and in light of this, Searching for Ingmar Bergman sets out to interview […]

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‘Shirkers’ reconstructs a lost film into an excellent documentary

Shirkers, written and directed by Sandi Tan, is a wonderfully stitched together documentary both recounting and discovering what happened to her film made in Singapore in the early 90s that was stolen by her mentor, Georges Cardona. (DLH: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood *This Review contains a spoiler!* Shirkers is an incredible taking back of […]

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‘Silencio’ stumbles its way through the sci-fi desert

From writer-director Lorena Villarreal, Silencio is a science fiction thriller imbued with an emotional family story, making for a somewhat-unbalanced approach to what could otherwise be an exciting genre film. (GEP: 3.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Georgiana E. Presecky The repercussions of time travel, mysterious meteorites and old legends are at the center of Villarreal’s […]

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REACH (2018): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Director Maria Capp presents a John Hughes influenced high school romp in Reach, but her portrayal of high school students and millennial culture shows that she has no idea what’s up with the kids these days. As someone not (that) long out of high school, I cringed many more times than I laughed while watching […]

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‘Sadie’ a thrilling coming of age story

Sadie tells the story of a young girl coming of age while faced with the challenges of a modern American military family. Realist and simple on the surface, it explores these issues from an intriguing psychological perspective, resulting in a dark and affecting drama. (HRM: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Hannah Mayo Adolescent Sadie (Sophia […]

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A family gathers to bid farewell to a beloved pet in the wise & winsome ‘Stella’s Last Weekend’

Stella’s Last Weekend reflects the importance of being young and not knowing what to do. Set around the impending death of their family dog, Stella, two brothers learn that they have mistakenly fallen for the same girl and discover that nothing in life is as easy it seems. (KAC: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine […]

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Big heart saves charming ‘Smallfoot’

Smallfoot is a clever animated comedy with a metaphorical message about curiosity and the importance of truth. Voice acting from Channing Tatum, Zendaya and Common brings a sincere humor to this screenplay from Blended screenwriter Clare Sera and co-director Karey Kirkpatrick. (GEP: 4/5) Review by Contributing Editor Georgiana E. Presecky  Migo (Tatum) is a proud Yeti […]

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‘Summer 03’ is a fresh coming of age film from Becca Gleason

Jaime’s grandmother has just said her last words: “learn how to give a proper blowjob.” Writer and director Becca Gleason opens with those last words as she sets the tone for Jaime (Joey King) and her family as they deal with the drastically different ways each one of them deals with grief in her wonderfully […]

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‘Quincy’ documents the making of a legend

Quincy is a retrospective on the life and career of iconic composer, producer, and musician Quincy Jones. The film was co-directed and co-written by Rashida Jones (who in addition to being a filmmaker and actress is Jones’s daughter) and Alan Hicks. (RM: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Contributing Editor Rachel Mosely As Quincy opens, we travel […]

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‘The Song of Sway Lake’ sways us into nostalgia

In director Ari Gold’s award-winning film The Song of Sway Lake, Elizabeth Bull writes a story of nostalgia, pain, and betrayal. In this tale, the obsession over a 78 record is taken over by the feeling of pain and nostalgia. (SYJ: 4/5) Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin Wanting to freeze time, […]

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Blake Lively at her best in twisty, original ‘A Simple Favor’

A Simple Favor is a compelling and strange comedy-thriller hybrid from director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy, Ghostbusters) and screenwriter Jessica Sharzer (Nerve). When Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) meets mysterious fellow mom Emily (Blake Lively) at her son’s elementary school, their fast friendship quickly spirals into a wild ride involving missing persons and mistaken identities. While not necessarily unique in plot, Feig and Sharzer’s adaptation of Darcey Bell’s novel remains consistently unique in tone and entertainment value. (BKP: 4/5)

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‘Reversing Roe’ explores abortion’s evolution from personal to political

Directed by Anne Sundberg and Ricki Stern, Reversing Roe is a well-informed, illuminating and powerful resource for those who want to know more about one of the country’s most controversial topics. (JRL: 4/5)

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‘Science Fair’ inspires the younger generation to succeed in the scientific field

Cristina Costantini writes and directs a multi-award winning film Science Fair. Co-directed and co-written by Darren Foster, the film tells the stories of various high school science students. This feature is a “brilliant and quirky” appreciation of the teenage genii that the rest of the world will one day depend upon. (SYJ:4.5/5) Review written by […]

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‘The Ranger’ scares us with a bang

With two nominations, Director Jenn Wexler creates an atmosphere that keeps the audience on edge from start to end in The Ranger. Playing against the rules and hiding from the cops, teenagers find themselves in a secluded cabin in the mountains. Things only get worse when they enter the woods. (SYJ: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern […]

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‘Skate Kitchen’ fails to do female skateboarders justice

Skate Kitchen (written and directed by Crystal Moselle) follows a close-knit New York City female skateboarding clique and follows them through their lives of tricks, drama, and freedom, using mostly non-actors. While Skate Kitchen‘s premise and back-story are indeed valid and promising, the portrait ultimately falls short of successfully capturing these powerful women’s stories. (DLH: 2.5/5) Read FF2 […]

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‘The Swan’ reveals life as it is

Ása Helga Hjörleifsdótirr writes and directs her debut featureThe Swan. Based on a novel by Guðbergur Bergsson, the movie has won 3 awards and has been nominated for 8. The serene, yet haunting, coming-of-age film shows how a child comes to the realization that life is not as simple as it seems. (SYJ: 4/5)

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‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ cleverly mocks human behavior

Director Susanna Fogel’s buddy comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me is made for viewers who are in on the joke, understanding that ordinary human behavior can be funnier than any pratt fall or bodily malfunction. Tom Cruise’s latest Mission Impossible may be a better fit for serious fans of the spy-action genre, but for anyone in desperate search of a laugh, leave it to Kate McKinnon. (4/5)

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‘The Row’—a sorority horror with a detective father and a serial killer

Sorority sisters, a serial killer, and a hidden past—Sarah Scougal writes a new addition to the traditional sorority horror genre. Directed by Matty Beckerman, “The Row” stars Lala Kent as a newly initiated sorority girl, and Randy Couture as the father-detective. With a killer loose on the college campus, members of a sorority club find themselves victims to a series of violent murders. (KIZJ: 2.5/5)

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‘The Rise of Eve’ is a deeply moving cri de coeur

Director L. Burner sets out to examine attitudes towards women throughout time, with particular attention to issues in the African-American community. With topics ranging from sexual assault to victim blaming to misogyny in media, The Rise of Eve opens up the discussion in order to start taking steps towards a safer world for women. (MTP: 3/5)

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‘Recovery Boys’ documentary captures heartbreak of opioid crisis

Director Elaine McMillion Sheldon’s Netflix original documentary Recovery Boys covers the full spectrum of opioid rehabilitation efforts of four drug-addicted men and their path to sobriety. Easily-accessible on the streaming service – and thankfully so – the heartbreaking documentary will resonate with the mass audience it deserves. (BKP: 4.5/5)

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‘Spiral’ sheds light on European anti-Semitism

Breaking down a grand scale of European anti-Semitism into personal anecdotes of people who have fled their communities, director Laura Fairrie uses Spiral to document intolerant and fearful attitudes towards Jews. Although the film could be difficult to fully comprehend for some viewers, this timely look at the Israel/Palestine conflict is expertly constructed. (BKP: 4.5/5)

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SUMMER 1993 (2017): Review by Julia Lasker

Written and directed by Carla Simon, Summer 1993 brings us six-year-old Frida (Laia Artigas), who is newly orphaned and must move in with her aunt and uncle. Much to its credit, the film is both a heart-wrenching tale of grief and an endearing tribute to childhood. (JRL: 4.5/5)

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