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Brigsby Bear 5
LEGO Ninjago Movie, The 3
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ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
28-Sep Battle of the Sexes
29-Sep American Made
29-Sep Chasing the Dragon
29-Sep Don't Sleep
29-Sep Flatliners (2017)
29-Sep Judwaa 2
29-Sep Literally, Right Before Aaron
29-Sep Lucky (2017)
29-Sep Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
29-Sep Question Of Faith, A
29-Sep Signature Move
29-Sep Super Dark Times
29-Sep Take Every Wave: The Life of Liard Hamilton
29-Sep Til Death Do Us Part
29-Sep Window Horses
29-Sep Youth (2017)

DVD RELEASES
26-Sep 47 Meters Down  
26-Sep Queen of the Desert  
26-Sep Transformers: The Last Knight  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Red Christmas 5
Good Time 5
Logan Lucky 5
Gook 5
Wind River 4.71

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Kidnap 1.5
Dark Tower, The 1.81
Hitman's Bodyguard, The 1.82
Simran 2
Sinking City: Capsule Odyssey, The 2

2017 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Stronger 5
Battle of the Sexes 3
Mother! 2.56
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers 4
MORE MOVIES

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Take this Waltz 3.19
Rubberneck 2.38
Resolution 4
Fourth Dimension, The 4
Playroom, The 3
MORE MOVIES

2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Cheap Thrills 3.25
Confession of Murder 3
Shield of Straw 5
V/H/S/2 3.85
Berserk Golden Age Arc 2: The Battle for Doldrey 3
MORE MOVIES

2017 Fantastic Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Cold Hell 5
Endless, The 4
Blade of the Immortal 4
Super Dark Times 4
MORE MOVIES

2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Labor Day (2013) 1
Missing Picture, The 4
Invisible Woman, The (2013) 5
Afflicted 3.5
Ilo Ilo 5
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2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
About Time 2
Captain Phillips 4.23
Her 4.36
Stray Dogs (2013) 2
Missing Picture, The 4
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Hide Your Smiling Faces 4
Stranger by the Lake 4
Alan Partridge 4
Fifth Estate, The 2
Major, The 5
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2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
31 3
Swiss Army Man 4
Sophie and the Rising Sun 4
Life, Animated 5
Antibirth 4
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2016 Slamdance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Embers 4.14
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2016 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Ex Machina 3.97
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) 1
Phoenix Incident, The 3
Polder 3
400 Days 1
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2017 Venice Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Mother! 2.56
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2017 Slamdance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dave Made a Maze 5
Gook 5
MORE MOVIES

2017 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Brigsby Bear 5
Wind River 4.71
Little Hours, The 5
Columbus 4
Berlin Syndrome 2
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2017 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Prevenge 4
Song to Song 2
Bill Frisell, A Portrait 5
Dealt 5
Free Fire 5
MORE MOVIES

2017 Boston Underground Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Southland Tales 4.03
Hounds of Love 5
Fraud 4.22
She's Allergic to Cats 3
Neighborhood Food Drive 4
MORE MOVIES

Independent Film Festival Boston 2017 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Little Hours, The 5
Landline 3
Edgar Allen Poe: Buried Alive 3
Whose Streets? 4
Crest, The 3
MORE MOVIES

2017 New York Asian Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Duckweed 3
Cold War 2 4
This Is Not What I Expected 4
Bad Genius 5
Gangster's Daughter, The 4
MORE MOVIES

2017 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl 5
Colossal 4.92
House of the Disappeared 4
Fritz Lang 4
Broken Sword Hero 3
MORE MOVIES

2017 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Spoor 5
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EFC STATS
Movies Listed: 30753
Total Ratings: 246604
Total Reviews: 27640
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Films I Neglected To Review: ''The Trigger Word Is 'Trigger'"
Films I Neglected To Review: A "Rebel" Without A Clue
Interview With Larry Cohen: Hail To The King
Celebrity Exclusive Interviews
Film Festivals of the World
Criticwatch
Rants and Raves
DVD Reviews
Movies & Money with Erik Childress
The Oscar Eye
Films I Neglected To Review with Peter Sobczynski
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WGN Radio's Movie Reviews Podcast (w/ Nick Digilio, Erik Childress & Collin Souter)
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LATEST REVIEWS
LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE, THE
"Everything is... eh, basically adequate."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "As unexpectedly brilliant as the first Lego Movie was, it's impressive how quickly and thoroughly diminishing returns have set in. This second spin-off isn't really bad, but it shows how precarious a foundation the first was built on, and how it's perhaps not built to last. There was care taken not to overwhelm with "The Lego Movie", a precision in when to make little-kid jokes and when to be satirical or sneakily perceptive, and that's not so present in the follow-ups, with "Ninjago" not having the advantage of being about Batman." (more)
STRONGER
"A Step Above."
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "I must confess that every time a movie comes along that purports to tell the inspirational true story of someone triumphing over incredible odds, especially if the narrative somehow involves a great tragedy, the hairs on my neck begin to rise. For actors, such films are catnip because there are few things more likely to attract the attention of Oscar voters, especially if some kind of debilitating physical impairment is thrown into the mix as well. That is all well and good for them but I have begun to develop a genuine distaste for such things over the years for a variety of reasons—the stories all tend to be the same in the broad sense, the actors seem more interested in replicating the physical actions of the characters than in inhabiting them emotionally and, perhaps most importantly, the films tend to straddle the line between relatable drama and naked exploitation and more often than not end up leaning towards the latter. However, when such a film is done well and with dignity and intelligence, I am perfectly capable of responding to it in a favorable manner and that is the case with “Stronger.” On the surface, it may look like the usual slice of vaguely nurturing and somewhat enervating Oscar bait but in the hands of the wonderful filmmaker David Gordon Green, it becomes a film that is acutely aware of both the pitfalls and cathartic pleasures inherent in this type of storytelling and does a very good job of largely avoiding the former and arriving at the latter in an honest and entertaining manner." (more)
BATTLE OF THE SEXES
"Needs To Grow A Little More Hair"
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Although the ads and trailers only suggest one, there are actually two different stories battling for supremacy throughout its running time. The one being advertised is, of course, a chronicle of the infamous 1973 exhibition tennis match between retired men’s champion Bobby Riggs and reigning women’s champion Billie Jean King that became both a jaw-dropping spectacle and an unexpected referendum on the then (and sadly still)-emerging women’s rights movement. The other one involves the two battles that King found herself fighting off of the court—a public one that finds her demanding that women athletes be treated and paid the same as their male counterparts against forces that do not even try to disguise their blatant sexism and a private one in which she finds herself wrestling with questions about her sexuality at a time when mere whispers suggesting such a thing could destroy a career. Both topics are interesting and could have easily led to fascinating films but by trying to jam the two together, both wind up getting a bit short-changed in the process and the end result is a movie that, while undeniably crowd-pleasing for the most part, never quite comes together in a fully satisfying manner." (more)
SIMRAN
"Carefully avoids all the interesting things it could be doing."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "Half of the places listing "Simran" online showed a 238-minute running time, and while in some ways it was a relief to see the film actually just over half that length when it wound up being bad, I must admit that thinking it was that ridiculous length was what drew me to it. Something that seemed as simple as "Hindu maid in Atlanta turns to crime to pay off debts" must have had some real twists or depth to justify that length, or at least some big heist scenes or satirical music numbers. Instead, it's bland enough to seem bloated at 125 minutes." (more)
FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER: A DAUGHTER OF CAMBODIA REMEMBERS
"Worth a big-screen watch."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "It's a bit surprising to me that "First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers" didn't have its name cut in half during the transition from page to screen, and not just because it may look unwieldy on a VOD menu (let alone a marquee in the small number of theaters that are booking a Netflix original). That title implies adult reflection, while the film is almost entirely devoted to the child's point of view. That's often a source of its power, although it sometimes denies the film some of the clarity director Angelina Jolie looks to find elsewhere." (more)
ABRACADABRA
"Maybe not quite magical, but more than it first appears to be."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "It's a bit strange when a filmmaker makes waves with something as distinctive as "Blancanieves", Pablo Berger's 2012 silent version of Show White set in the world of 1920s bullfighting and then follows it up with something as superficially mainstream as "Abracadabra", set in present-day Madrid and opening with gags that would seem right at home in much more conventional comedies. Eventually, one does see a similar sort of cock-eyed ambition, and while this follow-up isn't as obviously ambitious, it is quite impressive when looked at in total." (more)
24X36: A MOVIE ABOUT MOVIE POSTERS
"Nerd art."
2 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "According to the documentary "24Ă—36," movie posters have had three distinct eras, two of which overlap." (more)
MOTHER!
"Ooh, Ahh, Is It Just A Waste Of Time"
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "The advance word on “mother!,” a film whose production was shrouded in such secrecy that most people did not even know of its existence until a couple of months ago, has been that it is one of the most grueling and brutally visceral cinematic experiences to hit movie screens in a long time, especially for one getting a wide release from a major studio. Considering the fact that it was made by Darren Aronofsky, the guy behind such dark and bizarre films as “Pi,” “Requiem for a Dream” and “Black Swan,” that is a mighty bold assertion to make. For once, the hype turns out to be true because it is possibly the most sensorially overwhelming and formally radical films to be given a major release since Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers” and there is an excellent chance that a large portion of the multiplex crowd that turns out for it based on the presence of superstar Jennifer Lawrence or even lingering affection for the unexpectedly successful “Black Swan” is going to hate it with a fiery passion. And yet, what will those who made it all the way to the bitter, brutal end when the film is done and the smoke, literally and metaphorically, has cleared? Some will no doubt find it to be a powerful cinematic meditation on life, love, art, religion, gender roles and any number of other heavyweight subject while others will undoubtably consider it to be a pretentious wank that doesn’t know what it is trying to say but figures that if it throws enough things against the wall in the most relentless manner imaginable, enough of them will stick to create the appearance of something meaningful. Personally, I find myself somewhere in the middle of those two viewpoint because while “mother!” is an undeniably ambitious work that contains any number of powerful moments and images surrounding the quartet of fine performances at its center, the film as a whole spends half of its time threatening to go over the edge into complete absurdity and the rest of the time on the other side of that line. When it was all over, Watching it is indeed an experience but it is one that, for all the huffing and puffing, is all a bit silly when all is said and done." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: ''THE TRIGGER WORD IS 'TRIGGER'"
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Elizabeth Blue," "Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards," "Shot" and "Trophy."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: A "REBEL" WITHOUT A CLUE
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Against the Night," "American Assassin," "Because of Garcia," "Rebel in the Rye" and "The Villainess."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: "WHAT ELSE CAN A POOR BOY FROM CANADA DO TOO?"
by Peter Sobczynski
"While waiting in the extended lines to see ''Tulip Fever,'' please enjoy short reviews of ''Goon: Last of the Enforcers,'' ''I Do. . . Until I Don't,'' ''Jackals'' and ''The Layover.''" (more)
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'WHY IS IT THAT WHEN YOU SEE MOVIES IN A THEATER TODAY THEY SEEM BIG AND LIFELESS? THE REASON IS BECAUSE THE ENERGY WAS KILLED BEFORE THE CAMERAS EVEN RAN.'
- Robert Rodrgiuez, Director
 
 

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