Currently Browsing: Reviews: Q-S

THE STRANGE ONES (2017): Review by Lindsy M. Bissonnette

When a young teenage boy and his older brother are on the run, memories, reality, and fantasy blur together into a haze of chaos and confusion. The Strange Ones, written and directed by Lauren Wolkstein and Christopher Radcliff, is part disturbing-thriller, part bizarre drama. (LMB: 2.5/5)

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BLAME (2017): Review by Farah Elattar

Written, produced, edited, and directed by Quinn Shephard, Blame chronicles the story of a young woman who returns to high school after a brief sojourn at a mental institution. The film builds a powerful, layered story that challenges typical character archetypes. (FEA: 4/5)

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THE RAPE OF RECY TAYLOR (2017): Review by Stephanie A. Taylor

Nancy Buirski’s documentary, The Rape of Recy Taylor, tells the story of Recy Taylor and how Black women helped revolutionize the Civil Rights Movement.

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THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017): Review by Brigid Presecky

Vanessa Taylor and Guillermo del Toro tell a science fiction romance in Cold War America, with mute Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) working as a night janitor in a high-security government laboratory, when she discovers one of their hidden projects – an amphibious, fish-like creature. (BKP: 3/5)

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REBELS ON POINTE (2017): Review by Katusha Jin

Bobbi Jo Hart writes, directs, and films the intimate feature documentary, Rebels on Pointe. Following her previous award-winning work, this film is a gem that celebrates the male, drag ballet company, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Hart creates an in-depth look at ballet from a very different perspective. (KIZJ: 4.5/5)

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SONG OF GRANITE (2017): Review by Brigid K. Presecky

The Irish biographical drama written and directed by Pat Collins (and co-written by Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhride and Sharon Whooley) tells the story of legendary “old-style” singer Joe Heaney. (BKP: 3.5/5)

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REQUIEM FOR A RUNNING BACK (2017): Review by Georgiana E. Presecky

Director Rebecca Carpenter pays tribute to her late father, former NFL player Lewis Carpenter, in the informative, emotional and timely documentary Requiem for a Running Back. (GEP: 4.5/5)

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SIGNATURE MOVE (2017): Review by Eti Or

Signature Move — directed by American artist/filmmaker Jennifer Reeder — is very sweet and a lot of fun. The two Chicago girls — Alma and Zaynab — are easy to love and the story seems to tell itself effortlessly. Coming out to one’s family is clearly harder when the family is traditional/conservative one, but the film cheers for those […]

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STOPPING TRAFFIC (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

Director Sadhvi Siddhali Shree finds a common thread among child exploitation, pornography, and the uses of social media in this hard-hitting documentary and urges the viewer to join the battle against sex-trafficking. (RMM: 4/5)

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SHOT (2017): Review by Lindsy Bissonnette

Shot is the story of one man’s journey from gunpoint to wheelchair, and his struggle to accept his prognosis after sustaining a gunshot wound to the chest. (LMB: 3.5/5)

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RED TREES (2017): Review by Georgi Presecky

Director Marina Willer presents a first-person account of her family’s history as Jews in WWII in the doc Red Trees. Their survival of the Holocaust, and the resonance their migrant past still has is Willer’s focus in this autobiographical story of migrants reaching their dreams in spite of an unbelievably painful history. (GEP: 3.5/5)

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SCHOOL LIFE (2016): Review by Rosa Melkumyan

Co-directors Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane capture the true essence of school life in this joyful and humorous documentary. (RMM: 4/5)

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SPETTACOLO (2017): Review by Stephanie A. Taylor

Monticchiello citizens gather around, yearly, to create a play. Co-directors Jeff Malmberg and Chris Sheller make a charming documentary, spoken in Italian with English subtitles. (SAT: 3/5)

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RANCHER, FARMER, FISHERMAN (2017): Review by Eliana M. Levenson

Based on the novel of the same name by author Miriam Horn, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman directed by Susan Froemke and John Hoffman and co-directed by Beth Aala, explores the environmental impact of the ranching, farming, and fishing communities in a way that feels more like an educational piece than an impactful, theatrical documentary. (EML: 3/5)

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STEP (2017): Review By Roza Melkumyan

At the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women (BLSYW), low-income students of color work toward a better future. A celebration of life and dance in the face of adversity, director Amanda Lipitz’s documentary chronicles BLSYW’s inaugural class’s senior year as they perfect their step dance routines while applying for universities. (RMM: 4/5) Review by FF2 […]

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RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Director Catherine Bainbridge’s Rumble is a dynamic music history lesson, giving much-needed credit to Native American traditional music for its influences on the rock and jazz that make up American culture today. It also draws much needed attention to the vicious oppression that has shaped how Native American music developed, and has kept its contributions […]

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SLED DOGS (2016): Review by Georgi Presecky

Director Fern Levitt’s 80-minute documentary Sled Dogs is an in-depth look at the dogs who run in Alaska’s annual 1,000-mile Iditarod. The men and women who oversee their breeding, training and care offer commentary and necessary explanation, but the dogs are the stars of the show and will leave viewers divided over the necessity of tradition […]

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STRANGE WEATHER (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Writer and director Katherine Dieckmann creates a beautiful lead role for actress Holly Hunter in Strange Weather. And filled with female roles both on and off-screen, the directing, writing, acting, producing, music, and editing were all done by female artists and filmmakers. The film centers on the growth of a Southern woman, “Darcy Baylor” (Holly Hunter), who goes on a road trip with fellow Southerner, “Carrie Coon” (Byrd Ritt), in search for answers about her son’s death. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

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THE REHEARSAL (2016): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

The Rehearsal follows a group of acting students writing an end-of-year dramatic piece about a recent underage sex scandal. When one of the group strikes up a romance with the sister of the victim, the students get access to information that will strengthen their piece—but at what cost? Director Alison MacLean’s latest is well-written and […]

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SWIM TEAM (2016): Review by Elly Levenson

Lara Stolman’s Swim Team is an inspirational and emotional look at the Jersey Hammerheads, a Special Olympics swim team made up of team members on the spectrum. (EML: 4/5) Review by FF2 Associate Eliana M. Levenson When Maria & her husband, Michael, learned that their son, Mikey, was autistic, the doctors told them that he […]

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THE REAGAN SHOW (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

The Reagan Show–co-directed by Sierra Pettengill–documents President Reagan as he navigates the personal and public tensions of negotiations with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The filmmakers find a strange humor in their portrayal of Cold War politics. Composed almost completely of footage of Ronald Reagan taken within the White House and of news broadcasts from the […]

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ROUGH NIGHT (2017): Review by Lindsy Bissonnette

Looking for a night of fun, friends, and pandemonium? Then Rough Night is an absolute must-see. Written by Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs, and directed by Lucia Aniello, this is the story of what happens when you mix five best friends, drugs, and jealousy into a bachelorette party, which goes horribly, horribly wrong in […]

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RADIO DREAMS (2016): Review by Georgi Presecky

From co-writer Aida Ahadiany and director Babak Jalali, Radio Dreams follows the staff of an Iranian radio station in San Francisco as it anticipates a collaboration between Kabul Dreams (“Afghanistan’s first rock band”) and the immensely popular metal band Metallica. (GEP: 3/5) Review by Social Media Manager Georgiana E. Presecky There is a universal message […]

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SAMI BLOOD (2017): Review by Georgi Presecky

Sami Blood is writer-director Amanda Kernell’s foray into the Sami culture in the 1930s, in which her indigenous people were treated as inferior to the Swedish and were essentially forced to neglect their culture and themselves. (GEP: 4.5/5) Review by Social Media Manager Georgiana E. Presecky I first had the opportunity to screen Kernell’s Sami […]

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RESTLESS CREATURE: WENDY WHELAN

What does it take to be a ballerina? What does it take to be one of the best ballerinas in the world? We’ve sat through enough images of broken toes, stressful auditions, and tedious rehearsals to know that the journey to the center stage is long and onerous. Perfection is essential and everything less so […]

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SNATCHED

Snatched, written by Katie Dippold, is a heartwarming yet outrageous comedy about mother/daughter pair, “Linda Middleton” (Goldie Hawn) and “Emily Middleton” (Amy Schumer) who, unsuspecting of a handsome stranger, get abducted while on vacation in South America. It was supposed to be a mother/daughter bonding trip in Ecuador, but once they become the target of […]

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STEFAN ZWEIG – FAREWELL TO EUROPE (2016): Review by Elly Levenson

Artistry takes priority over substance in Maria Schrader’s biographical film, Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe, which follows the life of German-Jewish author Stefan Zweig during his exile from Germany during World War II. (EML: 3/5) Review by FF2 Associate Eliana M. Levenson The film opens with a long, still shot of a floral arrangement. As […]

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RISK (2016): Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras indeed takes huge risks in this portrait of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Coming out of the screening room, I felt somewhat bludgeoned by the implications of what I had seen. It is clear that Poitras began this project convinced that Assange was a hero. She is, after all, the filmmaker who […]

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SMURFS – THE LOST VILLAGE (2017): Review by Georgi Presecky

Directed by Kelly Asbury and co-written by Stacey Harmon and Pamela Ribon, Smurfs: The Lost Village boasts an all-female creative team that brings the long-awaited story of the mysterious Smurfette to the big screen. More than just the blond hair and high heels she’s epitomized for decades, this heroine’s story is funny and sweet. (GEP: […]

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RUNNING WILD

When widow Stella Davis is left with a sea of debt, she enlists the help of convicts to rehabilitate a herd of wild horses and bring life back to her ranch. Sharon Stone stars as the greedy activist opposite Dorian Brown in this feel-good, sometimes preachy Running Wild. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review by Managing Editor Brigid […]

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