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THE TRIBES OF PALOS VERDES (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Written by Karen Croner, The Tribes of Palos Verdes tells the story of the Mason family’s unraveling from the perspective of teenaged “Medina” (Maika Monroe). All Medina wants is for everyone in what she calls her “tribe” to be okay, but of course, the situation is much too complicated for that. (AEL: 3.5/5)

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THE DEPARTURE (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

In her documentary, director and writer Lana Wilson quietly captures the pain and profundity in the struggle between life and death via an unconventional Buddhist priest. (RMM: 4/5)

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TAKE EVERY WAVE: THE LIFE OF LAIRD HAMILTON (2017): Review by Elyse Thaler

Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton explores the infamous daredevil, Laird Hamilton, in an attempt to unlock the secret behind Laird’s insatiable appetite for the ocean and the dangerous waves it creates.Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton explores the infamous daredevil, Laird Hamilton, in an attempt to unlock the secret behind Laird’s insatiable appetite for the ocean and the dangerous waves it creates.Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton explores the infamous daredevil, Laird Hamilton, in an attempt to unlock the secret behind Laird’s insatiable appetite for the ocean and the dangerous waves it creates. (EBT: 5/5)

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Take My Nose…Please! (2017)

Director Joan Kron digs deep in this close-to-home doc about the good, bad, and the ugly moments of living in the limelight. Regardless of your understanding and involvement in show business, this is not to be missed! (LMB: 4.5/5) 

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THE TIGER HUNTER (2017): Review by Eliana M. Levenson

Set against the backdrop of the 1970s, Lena Khan’s Tiger Hunter is an endearing and charming look at the American dream through the eyes of a young Indian immigrant hoping to live up to his father’s reputation by achieving greatness in the land of opportunity. (EML: 4/5)

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TROPHY (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Big game hunting may seem niche, but it’s an industry worth tens of billions of dollars, and it is rife with moral questions. Hunters argue that the revenue they produce helps to conserve habitats, and local anti-poaching officials add that the money the hunters spend helps to keep poachers from killing the same animals in […]

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TULIP FEVER (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Penned by Deborah Moggach, Tulip Fever is a tragic tale of love and greed in 17th century Amsterdam. A beautiful period piece, with good performances, if not good writing. (GPG: 3/5)

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THIS TIME TOMORROW (2016): Review by Brigid Presecky

Writer-director Lina Rodriguez follows the life of a single family living in Colombia’s capital city in This Time Tomorrow (Manana a esta hora). Her straightforward direction and simplistic storytelling create a moving look at the minutiae of everyday life, but makes for an ultimately slow moving-going experience. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Managing Editor Brigid K. […]

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TO THE BONE (2017): Review by Brigid Presecky

Marti Noxon’s Netflix dark comedy finds Lily Collins in an unconventional group home for addicts, as the 20-year-old fights the grip of anorexia. In the same vein as the “YA” genre so massively popular in novels, theaters and streaming services, To the Bone caters to a youthful, angst-filled audience battling demons of their own. (BKP: […]

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TRACKTOWN (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Olympic athlete Alexi Pappas stars in, co-writes, and co-directs the semi-autobiographical feature Tracktown, with Jeremy Teicher. “Plumb” (Alexi Pappas), is a quirky, young Olympic hopeful, who must juggle newfound adult responsibilities whilst training for her Olympic trials. In this coming-of-age drama, the blend of fiction and reality sheds light on the often-ignored side of being an athlete, where mental strength is just as important as physical strength. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

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TOMORROW EVER AFTER (2016): Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Shaina is a visitor from the future trapped in a hostile world and longing for home. Like ET, she has powers beyond our own, but she still needs ordinary humans to assist her with “activities of daily living.” Filmmaker Ela Thier wrote a screenplay with a perceptive take on our era (which she calls “The Great Despair”), but director […]

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TOMORROW

The world is not coming to an end. With news like the budget cut at the Environmental Protection Agency and the US’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, Tomorrow (Demain), directed by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent, is a welcomed feel-good documentary. Instead of dwelling on the gravity of eco problems, the film takes a rare […]

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TOMMY’S HONOUR (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Set in the lush green landscapes of Scotland during the 19th century, Tommy’s Honour is a biopic based on a true story about a father and his son, both known as pioneers of golf. Director Jason Connery works with writers Pamela Marin and Kevin Cook to explore the professional and familial conflicts that are born out of a passion for golf. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

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THEIR FINEST (2016): Review by Brigid Presecky

Screenwriter Gaby Chiappe adapts Lissa Evans novel Their Finest Hour and a Half into the finest hour and a half of cinema so far this year. A period piece in 1940s London, a romantic dramedy with an underlying feminist message and an utterly enjoyable cinematic experience. (BKP: 5/5) Review by Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky […]

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

The Ticket is a modern-day fable about a blind man who regains his sight, only to become obsessed with appearances. His newfound superficiality leads him to dismantle his happy but unglamorous life for flashy luxuries, like expensive clothes and a penthouse apartment. Penned by screenwriting newcomer Sharon Mashihi, the story is heavyhanded at times, but […]

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TICKLING GIANTS (2016): Review by Georgi Presecky

Written and directed by The Daily Show producer Sara Taksler, documentary Tickling Giants accounts the life of an Egyptian doctor who challenged authority with humor on his own popular TV show. Bassem Youssef’s journey from Internet sensation to wildly popular commentator is entertaining and eye-opening. His transformation from surgeon to “Egypt’s Jon Stewart” is a […]

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THIS IS EVERYTHING: GIGI GORGEOUS

Renowned documentarian Barbara Kopple teams up with Youtube star Gigi Gorgeous to bring Gigi’s gender transition to the screen. From her Youtube channel’s beginnings in makeup tutorial videos, we follow her through surgery and down runways as she seeks to find, and be, herself. (GPG: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto (with Two Cents […]

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TONI ERDMANN

As the glass ceiling remains stubbornly intact, personal boundaries shatter in this beautifully witty and deeply thoughtful film. Written and directed by Maren Ade, Toni Erdmann is a delightfully uncomfortable interpretation of the complications of an atypical father-daughter relationship. As one gag-comedy-loving father tries to connect with his corporate business-only daughter, pandemonium ensues as their […]

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THINGS TO COME

The daughter of her mother and the mother of her daughter, Nathalie examines herself anew at the cusp of middle age. What has she settled for? What would she change if she could? What does she want to do with the rest of her life? Profound meditation on the seasons of a woman’s life written and […]

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TICKLING GIANTS

Congratulations to the team behind NYC’s first Arab Cinema Week! The schedule featured FIVE films directed by women filmmakers & FF2 is proud to announce that we saw every single one!

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THEY WILL HAVE TO KILL US FIRST

When Islamic jihadists took control of Northern Mali in 2012, Malian musicians from Gao and Timbuktu were forced into exile. In They Will Have to Kill Us First, director Johanna Schwartz tells some of their stories, with reminiscences of life before they lost their freedom, details of their experiences during the rebellion, and celebrations of […]

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TRAPPED

Directed by Dawn Porter, Trapped is a powerful documentary that investigates the state legislature’s war on abortion clinics in Mississippi, Texas, Alabama and other US states. The film exposes the nature of the legislative war on these clinics and allows the audience to glimpse into what the individuals running the clinics go through. RAK: (4/5) […]

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THE TELLER AND THE TRUTH

The Teller and the Truth is a unique docudrama inspired by the real-life disappearance of Francis Wetherbee in Smithville, Texas. Combining narrative storytelling with the talking heads documentary style, the film explores many options as to the unknown fate of Wetherbee. What really happened to Francis? No one knows for sure, but screenwriters Patty Moynahan, […]

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TUMBLEDOWN

Written by Desiree Van Til and Sean Mewshaw, Tumbledown is a tale of letting go and finding love in the most unexpected of places. “Hannah”—wonderfully played by Rebecca Hall—is unable to move on from the loss of her late husband. But when a New York City writer comes into town, unbeknownst to them both, it is […]

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THE TAINTED VEIL

The Tainted Veil offers an in depth study into the history of the veil across cultures. But places much of its focus on the current debate surrounding the hijab in Muslim culture. Directors Nahla Al Fahad, Mazen al Khayrat and Ovidio Salazar deliver a thought-provoking film filled with interviews from people of many backgrounds, opinions, […]

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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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TEN THOUSAND SAINTS

Filmmakers Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini throw a lot of love–and an excellent cast–at Eleanor Henderson’s novel Ten Thousand Saints, but success eludes them. Unfortunately, their adaptation is a bit of a “paint by numbers” exercise that never manages to fully engage. (JLH: 3/5) Review by Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner (with additional two cents […]

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TRAINWRECK (BKP)

Writer Amy Schumer kicks off her movie debut with a bang, telling the hilariously relatable story about falling in love, caring for family and struggling to better yourself. In classic Judd Apatow form, the film is about 30 minutes too long; but what it lacks in structure, it makes up for in heart and humor. […]

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TRAINWRECK (JLH)

Comedienne Amy Schumer is feisty and adorable in her first staring role, but the film–which she wrote–was directed by Judd Apatow. And Apatow, as the reigning master of mainstream comedy, succeeds in softening all of Schumer’s edges. There are some laugh-out-loud moments, especially in the first half, but the long, slow slide into a predicable finale weighs the whole film […]

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