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ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
25-Oct Black and Blue
25-Oct Countdown
25-Oct Current War, The
25-Oct Frankie
25-Oct Housefull 4
25-Oct Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
25-Oct Western Stars

DVD RELEASES
15-Oct Art of Self-Defense, The  
15-Oct Crawl  
15-Oct Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love  
15-Oct Stuber  
22-Oct David Crosby: Remember My Name  
22-Oct Lion King, The (2019)  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Nightingale, The 5
Depraved 5
Parasite (2019) 5
Pain and Glory 4.71
Ad Astra 4.11

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Lucy in the Sky 1
Goldfinch, The 1
Fanatic, The 1
Villains 2
Climbers, The 2

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Sleepless Night 4.14
Resolution 3.86
Side by Side 3.86
War Witch 4.5
As Luck Would Have It (2013) 4.14
MORE MOVIES

2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Raze 2.43
World's End, The 4.43
Zero Charisma 3
Number 10 Blues/Goodbye Saigon 3
Rurouni Kenshin 4.14
MORE MOVIES

2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Touch of Sin, A 5
Square, The (2013) 5
Fake, The 4
Le Week-End 3.71
Ilo Ilo 5
MORE MOVIES

2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Square, The (2013) 5
About Time 2
Captain Phillips 4.23
Jimmy P. 4.14
Omar 4.57
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Lasting 3
Immigrant, The 4.23
Inside Llewyn Davis 4.27
Northwest 4
August: Osage County 1.78
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2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Brahman Naman 4
Love & Friendship 4.46
Operation Avalanche 4
Cameraperson 5
Manchester by the Sea 3.5
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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
Man Who Fell to Earth, The 4.6
Big Ass Spider! 4
Projet-M 3
Mafia: Survival Game 1
House of Time 3
MORE MOVIES

2019 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Them That Follow 4
Farewell, The (2019) 4.71
Late Night 2.33
Death of Dick Long, The 3
We Are Little Zombies 4
MORE MOVIES

2019 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Them That Follow 4
Booksmart 4.92
Us 4.16
Good Boys 4.14
Beach Bum, The 1
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Independent Film Festival Boston 2019 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Shadow 5
In Fabric 4
Art of Self-Defense, The 5
For the Birds (2019) 3
Monos 4
MORE MOVIES

2019 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Goldfinch, The 1
Abominable (2019) 3.57
Joker 2.33
Dolemite Is My Name 5
Lucy in the Sky 1
MORE MOVIES

2019 Fantastic Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Happy Face 4
Death of Dick Long, The 3
Swallow 5
First Love 4
MORE MOVIES

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EFC STATS
Movies Listed: 32393
Total Ratings: 249200
Total Reviews: 28320
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Films I Neglected To Review: Unnecessary Sequel Edition
Films I Neglected To Review: Mary Mary, Where Are You Sailing To?
Films I Neglected To Review: The Bag Is Back
Films I Neglected To Review: The Bad News Bara
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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Movie Madness Podcast (with Erik Childress)
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LATEST REVIEWS
DANIEL ISN'T REAL
"Not a particularly interesting demon or delusion."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2019 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: The trouble with using supernatural horror as a way to examine real-world issues is that while the metaphor may be pretty good, inevitably, someone has to bring up the thing you're trying to talk about on its own, usually before committing to one direction or the other, and for some in the audience, that makes the direction you go a disappointment. Like, dealing with schizophrenia can be scary, and demonic possession is just silly made-up stuff in comparison. I suppose it can go the other way, too." (more)
PARASITE (2019)
"Once Upon A Time In South Korea"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho has made a name for himself throughout the world with a series of films that have combined bizarre humor, social commentary and a cheerful willingness to take classic genre tropes and twist them around in wildly unexpected ways. This has resulted in a number of great films over the year—the true-life serial killer investigation “Memories of Murder” (2003), the “Godzilla”-inspired monster movie epic “The Host” (2006) and the elaborate train-based dystopian sci-fi saga “Snowpiercer” (2013)—and even on the rare occasions when he has slipped—I confess to not being much of a fan of his odd “E.T.” riff “Okja” (2017)—his mistakes have at least had the good manners to be as ambitious as his successes. With his latest film, “Parasite,” he has managed to top not just himself but practically every other movie to come out this year. Arriving in town on a wave of hype that began when it won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, expectations could not have been higher but this film somehow manages to exceed them without even seeming to break a sweat with a one-of-a-kind combination of keenly felt drama and sly social satire that is already a master class in contemporary filmmaking before it shifts narrative gears in ways that need to see to be believed. (I will try to keep my specific points regarding the narrative in this review to as much of a spoiler-free minimum as possible but it is best if you go in knowing as little as possible.)" (more)
GEMINI MAN
"Too interesting to ignore, too difficult to embrace."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "It's a testament to the core idea of "Gemini Man" - both in terms of being something that would be fun for audiences to see on-screen and the foundation on which you can build a solid story - that work on it never really stopped over the past twenty-odd years, long enough to have originally been planned with Tony Scott directing Harrison Ford (or at least, those are the earliest names I can recall being attached) and the necessary visual effects technology just out of reach. The gestation period has been just long enough for its gimmick to go from revolutionary to almost commonplace, with the script probably being revised just enough times to sand a few too many rough edges off but still have the film remain interesting." (more)
PAIN AND GLORY
"Ocho y medio"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "It is always a bit disconcerting to come to the realization that the filmmakers who first burst onto the scene as iconoclasts determined to break free of established cinematic conventions and forge their own distinct paths have become the established voices whose newer works now take on a classical feel. Take the career of Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, for example. When he first emerged in the early 80s with such brash and provocative hybrids of comedy and melodrama as “Matador,” “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” and the international breakthrough “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” he forged a unique and audacious personal vision and even if one did not necessarily respond to it (and I confess that I was one of those people for a long time), it nevertheless could not be denied. As time went on and his reputation grew, his films took on a new and more decidedly mature tone as each one was increasingly looked upon as an event. At one point, he even set out to make a film that deliberately evoked his wilder early works but the end result, “I’m So Excited,” was so dire that it almost served to prove that you can’t go home again after all, at least cinematically. With his latest work, the elegiacal “Pain and Glory,” he has turned his camera inward for a deeply, almost painfully, personal work that mines themes that he has explored in the past but in a more disarmingly direct and undeniably effective and moving manner than he has ever deployed before" (more)
CRAWL
"I love fun junk, but this isn't fun junk."
3 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Acting in the roving-alligator thriller 'Crawl' could not have been remotely fun. The poor leads — Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper as a daughter/father pair trapped in a flooded house along with several king-size gators — spend most of their screen time in a filthy, rusty, submerged crawlspace, and the atmosphere looks like a petri dish for tetanus, triple-E, you name it." (more)
FIRST LOVE
"A meet-cute in a Takashi Miike movie is dangerous!"
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "It's not just that director Takashi Miike has been incredibly prolific over the course of his career - this year's Fantasia International Film Festival was unusual not just in that he didn't have a film on the program, but that he usually has at least two - but in that he's done a bit of everything, from art-house experiments to family adventures to blockbuster comic-book adaptations, even if he's best known for offbeat crime and horror. "First Love" may not be the gob-smacking experience that his breakout films were, but is some good, old-school Miike, a throwback to when he was cranking out yakuza films on deadline and neither self-consciously weird nor surprisingly mainstream, even if it's also aware that those days are past." (more)
DOLEMITE IS MY NAME
"Can You Dig It?"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Even after watching films inspired by the cinematic exploits of such decidedly non-Hollywood types as Ed Wood and Tommy Wiseau, the idea of a similar work revolving around the work of Rudy Ray Moore sounds like absolute lunacy—the kind of thing that a group of exploitation film fanatics might conjure towards the end of a long, alcohol-fueled evening. After all, the guy’s most notable screen achievement was a film that asked the question “What would a cut-rate “Shaft” knockoff look like with someone closer to Redd Foxx than Richard Roundtree in the role?” and its success can be attributed more to the crazy energy emanating from the screen and the fact that, for all of its sleaziness and rock-bottom production values, it clearly struck a nerve with a vastly underserved audience that was growing disenchanted with the offerings from both the major studios and the more established B-movie producers of the day. And yet, not only is “Dolemite is My Name” just that, it proves to be one of the most endearingly entertaining films of the year, despite containing enough deployments of the word “motherfucker” to land it on the list of the most foul-mouthed movies ever made. If that weren’t enough, it does another thing that most moviegoers probably assumed they would never see—it gives Eddie Murphy the chance to shake off the topor of too many bad films over the years and deliver what is by far the best performance of his entire career." (more)
MONOS
"Teenagers with machine guns at least makes for good drama."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "There's a shot in this movie with a pig's head on a stake that seems so unconnected to the rest of the scene that it mostly makes me wonder if "Lord of the Flies" is also required reading in Colombian high schools and the sort of thing that needs to be referenced when you make a story about kids going feral without adult supervision in the middle of nowhere. It's an impressive take on that basic idea, reflecting a world that is more chaotic even if isolation is more difficult." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: UNNECESSARY SEQUEL EDITION
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Gemini Man," "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" and "Zombieland: Double Tap."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: MARY MARY, WHERE ARE YOU SAILING TO?
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "The Addams Family," "Entangled," "The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash," "Lucky Day" and "Mary."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: THE BAG IS BACK
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Celebration," "First Love," "National Theatre Live: Fleabag" and "Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool."" (more)
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