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ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
7-Oct 37
7-Oct Being 17
7-Oct Better Off Single
7-Oct Birth of a Nation, The (2016)
7-Oct Blinky Bill: The Movie
7-Oct By Sidney Lumet
7-Oct Friend Request
7-Oct Girl on the Train, The (2016)
7-Oct Greasy Strangler, The
7-Oct Great Gilly Hopkins, The
7-Oct Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
7-Oct Mirzya
7-Oct Phantasm: Ravager
7-Oct Under the Shadow
7-Oct Voiceless

DVD RELEASES
27-Sep Central Intelligence  
27-Sep Dirty 30  
27-Sep Hunt for the Wilderpeople  
27-Sep Innocents, The  
27-Sep Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates  
27-Sep Neon Demon, The  
27-Sep Shallows, The  
27-Sep Warcraft  
4-Oct Into the Forest  
4-Oct Joshy  
4-Oct Purge, The: Election Year  
4-Oct Swiss Army Man  
4-Oct Wailing, The  
4-Oct X-Men: Apocalypse  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
I Am Not A Serial Killer 5
Kubo and the Two Strings 5
Train to Busan 5
In Order of Disappearance 5
Pete's Dragon (2016) 4.43

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
I.T. 1
War Dogs 1.77
My Best Friend's Wedding (2016) 2
Time Raiders 2.29
Operation Chromite 2.43

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
2 Days in New York 3.15
Resolution 4
Fairhaven 3.5
Playroom, The 3
As Luck Would Have It (2013) 4.14
MORE MOVIES

2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Library Wars 3
Discopathe 3
Missionary (2013) 4
Grand Heist, The 4
Halley 4
MORE MOVIES

2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Proxy 2
12 Years a Slave 3.57
Labor Day (2013) 1
Dom Hemingway 3.29
Grand Seduction, The 2.43
MORE MOVIES

2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
All Is Lost 4.53
Immigrant, The 4.23
Inside Llewyn Davis 4.36
Only Lovers Left Alive 4
Stray Dogs (2013) 2
MORE MOVIES

2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Stray Dogs (2013) 2
Contracted 1.5
Go Goa Gone 2.71
Of Good Report 5
Motel Life, The 2.86
MORE MOVIES

2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Swiss Army Man 4
Lobster, The 3.63
Green Room 3
Wiener-Dog 2
Operation Avalanche 4
MORE MOVIES

2016 Slamdance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Embers 4.14
MORE MOVIES

2016 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
High Treason 4.14
Idiocracy 4.21
Big Ass Spider! 4
Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, The 4
Polder 3
MORE MOVIES

2016 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Aloys 4
Three (2016) 4
Conspiracy of Faith, A 3
Lazy Hazy Crazy 4
Outlaws and Angels 4.88
MORE MOVIES

Independent Film Festival Boston 2016 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Hollars, The 4
High-Rise (2015) 1
Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru 1
Hunt for the Wilderpeople 4
Embers 4.14
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2016 Boston Underground Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Wendigo 2.42
Cash Only 4
Antibirth 4
Chasing Banksy 3
Lure, The 3
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2016 Chicago Critics Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Hunt for the Wilderpeople 4
Life, Animated 5
Demon 4
In A Valley of Violence 5
MORE MOVIES

2016 Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Abattoir 1
Don't Breathe (2016) 3.71
I Am Not A Serial Killer 5
Antibirth 4
MORE MOVIES

2016 Las Vegas Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Hunt for the Wilderpeople 4
MORE MOVIES

2016 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Magnificent Seven, The (2016) 2.63
Snowden 3
Blair Witch 2.7
Age of Shadows, The 5
Land of the Gods (Dev Bhoomi) 4
MORE MOVIES

2016 Fantastic Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Aloys 4
Eyes of My Mother, The 3
Assassination Classroom: Graduation 4
MORE MOVIES

2016 Venice Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Magnificent Seven, The (2016) 2.63
Light Between Oceans, The 3
Age of Shadows, The 5
MORE MOVIES

2016 Telluride Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Sully 4.14
MORE MOVIES

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EFC STATS
Movies Listed: 29972
Total Ratings: 244520
Total Reviews: 27338
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Films I Neglected To Review: Mothers & Children
Criticwatch - The 2015 Quote Whores of the Year
Criticwatch Presents: Peter Travers (The 2015 Retrospective)
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Film Festivals of the World
Criticwatch
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WGN Radio's Movie Reviews Podcast (w/ Nick Digilio, Erik Childress & Collin Souter)
DVD/Blu-ray Schedules
Movie Madness Podcast (with Erik Childress)
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LATEST REVIEWS
AGE OF SHADOWS, THE
"Double agent, double good."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "Hearing that "The Age of Shadows" was selected as South Korea's entry for the Academy Awards' Foreign Language Film award was a bit eyebrow-raising - not only have certain other noteworthy Korean directors made well-regarded pictures this year, but filmmaker Kim Jee-woon's output, varied as it may be, is genre movies, not necessarily the sort of thing that is considered for awards, whether action, horror, or crime (all of which he has excelled at). This time around, he's making a period spy movie, and, yes, it is good enough to be right up there with the best of the year." (more)
MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, THE (2016)
"No Longer Set In A One-Horst Town"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "At the risk of having my all-important man card permanently taken away from me, I would like to offer up the possibly heretical suggestion that the 1960 Western “The Magnificent Seven” is not quite the classic that its proponents like to think it to be. Don’t get me wrong, it is a perfectly entertaining genre movie but when put up against the solid classicism of the John Ford and Howard Hawks oaters that preceded it or the cheerfully gaudy operatics of the Sergio Leone epics that followed it, it cannot help but come across as a little square by comparison. What it does have going for it—pretty much the elements that tend to get cited by people who still proclaim it to be a classic—are one of the most stirring scores ever composed, courtesy of the great Elmer Bernstein, and, more importantly, one of the most charismatic casts ever assembled under one cinematic roof, including the likes of Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Horst Buchholz and James Coburn all trying to steal the movie from each other and Brad Dexter simply trying to keep up. And yet, it is so familiar and so beloved to many that it is not surprising to see that it is the latest to get the big remake treatment by filmmakers hoping to exploit the goodwill people have towards the title in order to sell it to a new generation of filmmakers. What they inexplicably failed to realize is that its key selling point—the once-in-a-lifetime competitive camaraderie between its killer cast—is the one thing that could not easily be replicated in a new rendition. As a result, this new take on “The Magnificent Seven” is only halfway there—there are certainly seven people at its center but, despite their obvious individual talents, they never quite mesh together in a way that even the easiest of graders would deem to be “magnificent” with a straight face." (more)
I.T.
"No Pennywise But Plenty Of Clowns Here"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Remember all those silly suspense films, mostly dating from the Nineties, in which cheerful Yuppies had their seemingly perfect lives infiltrated by people who seemed normal and friendly at first but who eventually turned out to be psychopaths determined to either destroy or somehow replace them—stuff like “Single White Female,” “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle,” “One Hour Photo” and their ilk? Remember all those equally silly techno-thrillers, also dating from that same period, in which screenwriters took their vague knowledge about that sill-emerging phenomenon known as the Internet to construct stories in which people could do practically anything they wanted just by arbitrarily pounding a few random keys on a computer terminal—things like “The Net” and “Hackers”? Have you ever wondered what might have resulted if someone especially unimaginative hacks decided to combine the two genres into one giant bit of suspense-free silliness demonstrating less technological savvy than your average Amish community? If so, then the new thriller “I.T.” should prove to be the film of your dreams, though everyone else is likely to find it to be an equally listless and laughable work that looks and feels like the kind of generic crap that usually turns up on Lifetime, albeit with a slightly larger budget." (more)
S STORM
"Surprisingly, a pretty good bet."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "If you've seen "Z Storm", the opening title sequence of this sequel will immediately inform you that the scales have gone down a great deal - where the last one sketched out all of Hong Kong as being under the Independent Commission Against Corruption's watch, this one illustrates a soccer game. And while scaling back is generally not a great sign for sequels, it's the best thing for "S Storm"; it frees filmmaker David Lam up to make a more action-packed, entertaining movie." (more)
COCK AND BULL
"Clever crime, far from nonsense."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "I'm not one to demand perfect accuracy on a movie poster or video box, but the one for "Cock and Bull" that featured one of the characters brandishing a great big squirt gun in contrast to the more realistic weapons of the others really does the film a bit of a disservice. Not only does this never actually happen, but it gives the impression of a zanier, more absurd movie, and that sort of thing never appearing may disappoint those who might otherwise like this sort of twisty, darkly comedic crime story." (more)
BLAIR WITCH
"A perfeclty watchable sequel to a legitimately great movie."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... ""Blair Witch" probably does "The Blair Witch Project" as well as a any movie since the original, and that's no bad thing - once upon a time, before home video or even television reruns, the purpose of sequels was just to give the audience more of a thing they liked more than a next chapter, and this film does that well. The thing is, even beyond how capturing the out-of-nowhere uncertainty of the first film is all but impossible in that first movie's shadow, one almost wishes that writer Simon Barrett and director Adam Wingard had made a knockoff rather than a sequel - covering the same ground as well as they do might work better if it's not explicitly the second time through." (more)
OPERATION AVALANCHE
"You can fake pretty much everything for a found-footage film."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2016 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: I'm moderately surprised that, in the post-"Blair Witch Project" world, there wasn't more one-upmanship in attempting to further blur the line between reality and fiction the way that film did, genuinely making the audience question whether they were actually seeing found footage or not. Instead, it became a style but a recognized one, where the details of how well the filmmakers are faking it are likely to be observed and dissected in real time. One of the few films to create the same sort of nagging worry that maybe the viewer is seeing something real and horrible was "The Dirties", and though the same crew has reunited for another but of faux-found-footage with "Operation Avalanche", they're smart enough to know that you probably can't get what is in large part the same audience to fall for the same tricks from the same people twice." (more)
SNOWDEN
"Antitrust"
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "If ever there was a story that was tailor-made to be brought to the screen by cinematic provocateur Oliver Stone, it is that of Edward Snowden. After all, the story of a super-patriotic young man who slowly has a shadowy world of corruption and unchecked power exposed to him and who gradually becomes radicalized in the process not only bears similarities to any number of his previous works but also has any number of parallels with his own personal story to boot. Given that, the thing about “Snowden” that is so surprising is how inert the whole thing is. Oh, it is well-made and well-acted to be sure and is certainly better than many of Stone’s recent cinematic missteps of late but it is just missing that certain spark that his best and most galvanizing films have had—the thing that made them so compulsively watchable as cinema even if you rejected Stone’s particular viewpoints. The result is a film that comes across as more dutiful than dangerous and which never feels as necessary as one might expect it to given the combination of subject matter and filmmaker on display here." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2016: VOYAGE OF 35 YEARS
by Jason Whyte
"It boggles my mind that we are already at the 35th edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival, an annual celebration of some of the best annual cinema from all corners of the world. This is a festival that I love and adore down to its very core, and to see it flourish every fall is simply awesome. This is my 15th year attending the festival and it is a well oiled machine every single year, bringing film-fans and industry together in many venues and opportunities during its 16 year existence." (more)
35 YEARS IN AND VIFF'S VISION IS STILL EVOLVING
by Greg Ursic
"As the gondolas and sinking architecture retake centre stage in Venice, and the red carpets in Toronto have been put away for another year, Vancouver film fan(atic)s have perused the festival guide and come up with their detailed viewing itineraries in anticipation of Canada’s other big Film Festival. Now in its 35th year, the Vancouver International Film Festival aka VIFF, runs from September 29th to October 14th during which there will be more than 500 screenings of over 354 films from around the globe at multiple venues throughout the city." (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: DOES AN UNNECESSARY SEQUEL S#%@ IN THE WOODS?
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Author: The JT Leroy Story," "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week--The Touring Years," "Blair Witch" and "Max Rose."" (more)
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