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Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest, The 5
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ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
13-Mar 3 Hearts
13-Mar Anarchy
13-Mar Champs
13-Mar Cinderella (2015)
13-Mar Cobbler, The
13-Mar Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
13-Mar Home Sweet Hell
13-Mar It Follows
13-Mar Like Sunday, Like Rain
13-Mar Lovers, The
13-Mar Muck
13-Mar Run All Night
13-Mar Seymour: An Introduction
13-Mar Walter
13-Mar Wrecking Crew, The

DVD RELEASES
3-Mar Better Angels, The  
3-Mar Foxcatcher  
3-Mar Humbling, The  
3-Mar Innocence (2014)  
3-Mar Last of Robin Hood, The  
6-Mar Hunger Games, The: Mockingjay, Part 1  
10-Mar Low Down  
10-Mar Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Selma 5
What We Do in the Shadows 5
Timbuktu 5
Predestination 4.86
Duke of Burgundy, The 4.71

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
DUFF, The 1
Lazarus Effect, The 1
Vice 1
Boy Next Door, The 1.13
Running Man 1.63

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Sleepless Night 4.14
Rubberneck 2.38
Fairhaven 3.5
Revisionaries, The 4
Revenge for Jolly! 1
MORE MOVIES

2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Hello, My Dolly Girlfriend 2
Helter Skelter (2013) 5
When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep 4
Ritual: A Psychomagic Story 3
Tiger Mask, The 3
MORE MOVIES

2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Rush 3.63
Parkland 3
Why Don't You Play in Hell? 4.57
Tim's Vermeer 5
Ilo Ilo 4.75
MORE MOVIES

2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Immigrant, The 4.11
Jimmy P. 3.91
Only Lovers Left Alive 4
Le Week-End 3.4
Touch of Sin, A 4.63
MORE MOVIES

2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Like Father, Like Son (2014) 4.75
Stray Dogs (2013) 2
August: Osage County 1.91
Voyage 1
Blue Ruin 4.5
MORE MOVIES

2015 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Tribe, The (2014) 5
Witch, The 4
Wild Tales 2
It Follows 4.63
Girlhood (Bande de filles) 2
MORE MOVIES

2014 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Men, Women & Children 2.14
Timbuktu 5
Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2 3.13
Force Majeure 4.86
It Follows 4.63
MORE MOVIES

2014 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Alleluia 5
Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder 4
Imitation Game, The 3.91
Fort Tilden 2.43
100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, The 5
MORE MOVIES

2014 Telluride Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Homesman, The 3.44
Imitation Game, The 3.91
Mr. Turner 4
Rosewater 3
Two Days, One Night 4
MORE MOVIES

2014 Denver Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Midnight Swim, The 3
Imitation Game, The 3.91
Two Days, One Night 4
Wild 4
Killers (2015) 3.75
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2014 AFI Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Tribe, The (2014) 5
Wild Tales 2
Song of the Sea 5
Midnight Swim, The 3
Alleluia 5
MORE MOVIES

2014 Polish Film Festival in America MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Ida 4.78
Immigrant, The 4.11
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2015 Slamdance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Asco 5
I Am Thor 5
MORE MOVIES

2015 Berlin Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Selma 5
Fifty Shades of Grey 1.88
MORE MOVIES

2015 Palm Springs Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Ida 4.78
In Order of Disappearance 5
Two Days, One Night 4
Citizenfour 3
Helicopter Mom 5
MORE MOVIES

2015 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dr. Who and the Daleks 3
Alien Outpost 2
Day the Earth Stood Still, The 4.37
Them! 4.32
Matt Mercury 1.88
MORE MOVIES

2015 European Union Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Soul Boys of the Western World 3
Waste Land (2014) 2
Tip Top 4
Li'l Quinquin 5
MORE MOVIES

2015 Cinequest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Astraea 5
Eadweard 5
Dirty Beautiful 5
MORE MOVIES

2015 Sun Valley Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Imperial Dreams 5
Cut Bank 5
Midnight Swim, The 3
MORE MOVIES

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EFC STATS
Movies Listed: 27890
Total Ratings: 245759
Total Reviews: 26604
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Criticwatch - Quote Whores Come Into Focus In 2015
Films I Neglected To Review: Engang I Amerika!
DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews For 2/24: "If It Weren't For Venetian Blinds, It'd Be Curtains For Us. . ."
Criticwatch 2015
Short Stuff: The 2014 Oscar-Nominated Live-Action Shorts
Short Stuff: The 2014 Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts
Interview: Richard LaGravenese on "The Last Five Years"
Short Stuff: The 2014 Oscar-Nominated Documentary Shorts
Victoria Film Festival Interview: GRANNY POWER director Jocelyne Clarke
Victoria Film Festival Interview: B FOR BOY director Chika Anadu
Victoria Film Festival Interview: EVERYTHING WILL BE director Julia Kwan
Victoria Film Festival Interview: THE INFINITE MAN director Hugh Sullivan
Victoria Film Festival Interview: THE 50 YEAR ARGUMENT director David Tedeschi
Victoria Film Festival Interview: THE VALLEY BELOW director Kyle Thomas
Victoria Film Festival Interview: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD director Suzanne Crocker
Victoria Film Festival Interview: A DIFFERENT DRUMMER: CELEBRATING ECCENTRICS director John Zaritsky
Victoria Film Festival Interview: I AM BIG BIRD directors Dave LaMattina & Chad Walker
Victoria Film Festival Interview: PORCH STORIES director Sarah Goodman
Victoria Film Festival Interview: THE LODGE director Terril Calder
Victoria Film Festival Interview: BRAHMIN BULLS director Mahesh Pailoor
Victoria Film Festival Interview: THE AMBASSADOR TO BERN director Attila Szasz
Victoria Film Festival Interview: TRUNK director Martin de Valk
Victoria Film Festival Interview: SUNSHINE SUPERMAN director Marah Strauch
Victoria Film Festival Interview: ECCENTRIC ELECTRIC director Nika Belianina
Victoria Film Festival Interview: SUME director Inuk Silis Hoegh
Interview: Gabe Polsky on "Red Army"
The 14th Annual eFilmCritic Oscar Pick 'Em (WIN 50 DVDS & BLU-RAYS!)
Criticwatch - The 2014 Quote Whores of the Year
Criticwatch - The Quote Whore (Runners-Up) of 2014
Criticwatch Presents: Pete Hammond (The 2014 Retrospective)
Criticwatch Presents: Peter Travers (The 2014 Retrospective)
The Oscar Eye (2014 Awards Tally) (UPDATED 2/9 w/BAFTA)
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Film Festivals of the World
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Court of Public Opinion
DVD Reviews
Movies & Money with Erik Childress (WCIU-TV)
The HBS/EFC Hall of Fame
The Oscar Eye
Films I Neglected To Review with Peter Sobczynski
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WGN Radio's Midnight Movie Reviews Podcast (w/ Nick Digilio, Erik Childress & Collin Souter)
DVD/Blu-ray Schedules
MORE FEATURES
LATEST REVIEWS
MAPS TO THE STARS
"Fast Company or Western Promises"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Over the years, there have been any number of films satirizing the inner workings of Hollywood moviemaking machine and the weirdos that populate both sides of the camera. Some very good ones have emerged during that time but the problem with a lot of them is that they are made by people who presumably still have to go on working within the industry--in an effort to ensure that they can still go on working, the resulting satire is either so overblown that it just becomes silly or so toothless that not even the most sensitive of artistic souls could possibly take offense. For example, I think that many of us can agree that one of the great comedic minds of our time is Christopher Guest, the man behind such classics as "Waiting for Guffman," "Best in Show" and "A Mighty Wind," films that have demonstrated a noticeably keen and biting wit. And yet, at two points in his career, he has offered up satirical looks at the film industry, "The Big Picture" and "For Your Consideration" and while both films have their good points (the former has a supporting performance from Martin Short as a manic agent as high-maintenance as his clients ("I'll have a thimbleful of the almond torte") that may be one of the best things he has done on film that you probably haven't seen), neither one ever comes close to hitting the heights Guest is clearly capable of achieving. Therefore, the best Hollywood satires are the ones that have come from either those who are so powerful in the industry that they can say whatever they want and get away with it (as was the case when Billy Wilder made his classic "Sunset Boulevard") or are at such profound odds with the industry that they have nothing to lose by telling it the way they think it is (as is what happened when perennial maverick Robert Altman unloaded on the contemporary studio mentality with "The Player" and unexpectedly scored one of the biggest hits of his career)." (more)
LAZARUS EFFECT, THE
"Could come back to life, but it dies here."
1 stars
Jay Seaver says... "There's a thing that sometimes happens where a movie under-performs but the name apparently has just enough value that whoever winds up with the rights makes a direct-to-video sequel, or two, or more, with tiny budgets that maybe allow one person from low in the original's cast to return and probably doesn't bring the original writers and directors back. But, perhaps, they do get the same guy to a few of them, he or she goes off in a new direction, and they develop a small but hard-core fanbase that tells you the sequels are really great and just ignore the first one. "The Lazarus Effect" has great potential along those lines, and it's a shame about the movie itself." (more)
MAPS TO THE STARS
"Should have stayed off the map."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "Hollywood stories can be self-indulgent or snide, depending on what sort of axes the people making them have to grind, rarely managing to hit the sweet spot in the middle. What they seldom are, though, is extraneous, but that's what happens with "Maps to the Stars" - there's one track that's a nifty little story with some potential. Whenever it gets into stuff that's specifically about the movie business, on the other hand, one can't help but be reminded that David Cronenberg used to make things far more original than this." (more)
SNOW GIRL AND THE DARK CRYSTAL
"I'm not sure what's going on here, but it looks great."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "Maybe the best way to describe "Zhong Kui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal" (to give it the full name that appears on-screen) is to imagine if Ray Harryhausen had been born in China, making the sort of weird fantasies that were popular in Hong Kong in the 1970s, only he had access to twenty-first century CGI and performance capture. It's rough and all over the place, but also a fair amount of fun." (more)
LA MALA, A
"Cute, not cruel."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "There are a lot of romantic comedies that start from from premises as ludicrous as that of "A la Mala", but few of them do as well in selling that starting point. It's a goofy little thing, but it's got a cute couple at the center and makes enough nimble steps along the way to be a great deal of fun." (more)
FOCUS (2015)
"No "Maudlin's Eleven""
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... ""Focus" is a film in which Will Smith plays an ultra-slick con man who embarks on an elaborate scheme to relieve someone with more money than common sense of millions of dollars utilizing charm, bluster and a story that even the most gullible of individuals might find themselves questioning at times if it was put forth to them. (No, there is no truth to the rumor that it was originally intended to be titled "The Making of After Earth.") In theory, this sounds like it might have the makings for a reasonably diverting night at the movies but somewhere along the lines between conception and execution, something clearly went horribly wrong because the end result is a smug, soulless and deeply annoying contraption that spends too much time trying to throw its increasingly implausible narrative curveballs at the audience and not nearly enough time giving them a story or characters that they can invest enough interest in so that they can at least be somewhat surprised by the relentless rug-pulling on display." (more)
TRIUMPH IN THE SKIES
"Well, at least break-even in the skies."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "There's a shiny new Shaw Brothers logo among the vanity cards before "Triumph in the Skies", likely because it's a spinoff of a TV show that ran on Hong Kong's TVB network, which was also founded by the late Sir Run Run Shaw, about ten years ago. It's the furthest thing from the grindhouse action that the name conjures for Western audiences, a slick modern-day drama that plays well enough for those who haven't seen the series and probably a bit better for those who have." (more)
HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2
"Louper."
3 stars
Brett Gallman says... "Confession: I’ve seen “Hot Tub Time Machine” an absurd number of times during the past five years. Let's just say I've watched it more than I've watched anything else released during that time span. This is an important caveat to keep in mind when I say its follow-up is pretty funny in spite of itself." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
CRITICWATCH - QUOTE WHORES COME INTO FOCUS IN 2015
by Erik Childress
"Will Smith is back in theaters this weekend after almost two years off - not counting his career-defining cameo as Satan in last year's Winter's Tale. Criticwatch is also back after a rather slow 2014 on the article front but just a couple of months off since announcing last year's quote whores of the year and offering another retrospective on why Peter Travers and Pete Hammond should not be read, heard or seen in any capacity. Especially when they are using their words. More on them at another time. This week though we are on alert about this week's ads for Focus which once again sees the same ol' whores up to their same 'ol tricks." (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: ENGANG I AMERIKA!
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "The Salvation," "Waves" and "Wild Tales"" (more)
DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS FOR 2/24: "IF IT WEREN'T FOR VENETIAN BLINDS, IT'D BE CURTAINS FOR US. . ."
by Peter Sobczynski
"In this latest roundup of new DVD/Blu-Ray titles available to buy or rent, you can find this year's big Oscar winner as well as a couple of interesting obscurities, a couple of really awful comedies and a bit of titillation for good measure. ​" (more)
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