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TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
King's Man, The 3
G Storm 3
Matrix Resurrections, The 2.47
355, The 1

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
355, The 1
Matrix Resurrections, The 2.47
G Storm 3
King's Man, The 3

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Your Sister's Sister 3.71
2 Days in New York 3.15
Headshot (2012) 4
Side by Side 3.86
As Luck Would Have It (2013) 4.14
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2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Big Bad Wolves 5
Dirties, The 4
Thermae Romae 4
Tales From the Dark Part 1 4
Doomsdays 5
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2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dallas Buyers Club 4.36
Almost Human 3
Fake, The 4
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 3.63
Belle (2014) 4.25
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2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Blue Is the Warmest Color 4.56
Omar 4.57
12 Years a Slave 3.62
Missing Picture, The 4
Touch of Sin, A 5
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
August: Osage County 1.78
Despite the Gods 4
Motel Life, The 2.86
Philomena 4.17
Labor Day (2013) 1
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2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
31 3
Swiss Army Man 4
Outlaws and Angels 4.78
Kate Plays Christine 2
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
Tale of Tales (2016) 3
Phoenix Incident, The 3
House of Time 3
Arrowhead (2017) 3
400 Days 1
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2019 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Luce 3
Blinded By the Light 4.31
Farewell, The (2019) 4.63
Cold Case Hammarskjold 4
Koko-di Koko-da 4
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2019 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Alice (2019) 5
Extra Ordinary 4
Tread 4
Good Boys 4.14
Villains 2
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Independent Film Festival Boston 2019 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Luce 3
When Lambs Become Lions 5
We Are Not Princesses 4
Pahokee 4
Cold Case Hammarskjold 4
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2019 London Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Knives Out 4.2
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2021 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Pleasure 4
Dog Who Wouldn't Be Quiet, The 4
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) 4.5
In the Earth 2.86
Marvelous and the Black Hole 4
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2021 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Sparks Brothers, The 5
Introducing, Selma Blair 4
Spine of Night, The 3
Violet (2021) 4
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America 4
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2020 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dinner in America 2
Minari 4.9
Save Yourselves! 4
Kajillionaire 2.5
Father, The 5
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2021 Cinequest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
My Zoe 4
Since August 5
This Is Not a War Story 4
Bitter Sugar 5
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2021 Seattle International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Strawberry Mansion 4
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America 4
Censor 3
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Independent Film Festival Boston 2021 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
We're All Going to the World's Fair 2
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) 4.5
Dry, The 3.57
I Was a Simple Man 4
Marvelous and the Black Hole 4
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2021 Toronto Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dear Evan Hansen 1
Last Night in Soho 3.44
Rescue, The (2021) 4
Belfast 3
Drive My Car 4.57
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2021 New York Asian Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Junk Head 3.57
Hold Me Back 4
Escape from Mogadishu 4
Joint 3
Raging Fire 4
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2021 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Tin Can 4
Little Vampire (2020) 4
Spine of Night, The 3
Funky Forest: The First Contact 4
Warped Forest, The 4.14
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2021 Venice Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dune (2021) 3.13
Last Night in Soho 3.44
Halloween Kills 2
Last Duel, The 2
Card Counter, The 5
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2021 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Drive My Car 4.57
Dune (2021) 3.13
Red Rocket 4
French Dispatch, The 4
Benedetta 4
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2021 London Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Belfast 3
Drive My Car 4.57
Tragedy of Macbeth, The 4
Last Night in Soho 3.44
Benedetta 4
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2021 Fantastic Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Poupelle of Chimney Town 4
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2021 Telluride Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Belfast 3
King Richard 4
Red Rocket 4
Rescue, The (2021) 4
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2021 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Broadcast Signal Intrusion 3
Belfast 3
Drive My Car 4.57
French Dispatch, The 4
Last Duel, The 2
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EFC STATS
Movies Listed: 14433
Total Ratings: 225842
Total Reviews: 28748
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Films To See At The 2022 Sundance Film Festival
Films I Neglected To Review: "Receive What Cheer You May"
Films I Neglected To Review: We Gotta Get Out Of This Place.
Films I Neglected To Review: "Everybody Can Change!"
Films I Neglected To Review: Mutt N Jeff: Beyond Thunderdome
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
Short Stuff
WGN Radio's Movie Reviews Podcast (w/ Nick Digilio, Erik Childress & Collin Souter)
DVD/Blu-ray Schedules
Movie Madness Podcast (with Erik Childress)
MORE FEATURES
LATEST REVIEWS
DRIVE MY CAR
"Doing the work as well as one can."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "For as good as "Drive My Car" is - and it is very good indeed - it's the sort of movies that film-lovers may hesitate to recommend to friends who interact with the medium more casually. Ryusuke Hamaguchi's film has several traits that people have come to associate with films that are difficult to grapple with; it's long, it's Japanese, it draws on other works one may feel uncultured for not knowing, and it alternates between people just talking and purposefully not talking without a lot of activity in between. It is not, however, hard to digest at all; it's mature and dense but works in large part because Hamaguchi puts what he is doing front and center." (more)
BELLE (2021)
"A grand animated epic that plays best as a small coming-of-age story."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "If you need an example of how great animation can be, don't look at the big, flashy set pieces of "Belle"; watch the sequence where three teenagers (two of them fairly minor characters to that point) are acting weird about their crushes and paralyzed in horror at how weird they're being. It's extraordinary cartooning a step or two away from realistic that nevertheless zeroes in on exactly how something feels. Filmmaker Mamoru Hosoda could probably have built the whole movie without the more futuristic elements, but they certainly do get your attention." (more)
NIGHTMARE ALLEY (2021)
"Del Toro triumphs."
5 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Despite its darkness and pessimism, Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s novel "Nightmare Alley" is a shapely piece of entertainment that may cheer you up." (more)
TRAGEDY OF MACBETH, THE
"A noble attempt."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Stripped down for action, shot in black-and-white in the boxy old Academy ratio, Joel Coen’s "The Tragedy of Macbeth" couldn’t be much more a hat-tip to film noir — the mode of narrative that has been so good to Coen and his brother Ethan (who sat this one out), from "Blood Simple" to "No Country for Old Men."" (more)
355, THE
"Parallel Bummers"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "January is traditionally a period that movie studios use as a clearinghouse for films in which they have virtually no faith in the hopes that they might still make a few quick bucks from moviegoers who have already seen all the current Oscar bait releases and who are hankering for something new to watch. These films tend to be as terrible as they look and in most cases, the best thing that one can say about them is that they will have pretty much faded from most memories by the time spring officially comes around. In the case of “The 355,” I suspect that it will linger on the minds of those who see it for much longer than that and this is not because of its cinematic brilliance. No, my guess is that it will be remembered for being the film featuring the most scandalous and complete waste of talent of anything released in 2022. Yes, I realize that the year is less than a week old as I write these words but unless someone plans on putting out a documentary featuring the slow and methodical burning of the missing reels of “The Magnificent Ambersons,” I cannot easily imagine a greater and more pointless squandering than this." (more)
LICORICE PIZZA
"The Soggy Bottom Boys, Girls And Things"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "I don’t think that there is anyone out there who would disagree too strenuously if I were to assert that 2021 has pretty much been a king-hell bummer from its very first days to its waning moments. Not surprisingly, that darkness has managed to manifest itself in the films that have come out during that time as well. I recently published my list of the 10 best films of the year and, for the most part, they happen to be a fairly bleak collection of titles—my list included examples of two of the most normally heedless types of movies, the musical (“Annette”) and the screwball comedy (“Shiva Baby”), and even they were particularly grim takes on those genres. Therefore, I suppose it only makes sense that just as 2021 is finally coming to a blessed close and with the theatrical experience once again being threatened by the ongoing pandemic, the most utterly beguiling American film of the year is only now arriving in the form of Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Licorice Pizza.” Anderson has, of course, been responsible for some of the most astonishing films of recent years—“Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “There Will Be Blood,” “Inherent Vice” and “Phantom Thread” among them—and this one deserves consideration as one of his best." (more)
NIGHTMARE ALLEY (2021)
"Life Is A Carnival"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Released in 1947, the original “Nightmare Alley” has long been considered perhaps the single bleakest and most unsparing example of film noir—a genre not exactly known for lightness and warmth—ever produced by Hollywood. Even today, the film—a hellish Horatio Alger riff in which an ambitious young man starts off at the bottom and rises to the top through a combination of greed, raw ambition and manipulation before returning back to the bottom and then sinking even further down after running afoul of those greedier, more ambitious and more manipulative than him—continues to pack a punch that still leaves a mark on viewers. Although never hugely popular, the film has developed a cult following over the years of fans attracted to the darkness that suffuses every frame—the kind that not even a studio-mandated coda tacked on in order to end it on a vaguely uplifting note could dissipate—and one of those fans, Guillermo del Toro, has elected to use his newly acquired cachet following his Oscar-winning surprise hit “The Shape of Water” to do a lavish remake as his latest project and the results, to put it charitably, are mixed. On the one hand, this is a handsomely mounted production that is intelligently conceived, technically spectacular and nicely acted by a top-notch cast. On the other hand, the lavish production values cannot quite disguise the fact that this adaptation, for all of its other virtues, lacks the sense of sleazy desperation that the original had in abundance and that absence pretty much renders the rest of the enterprise moot in the end." (more)
SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME
"Featuring More Verses Than “All Too Well”"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "As amazing as this may sound to those who weren’t actually around to experience it for themselves, there was once a time when, for a multitude of reasons, no one seemed able to actually get a Spider-Man movie up and running. Nowadays, of course, it seems as if you can’t shake a stick without hitting a cinematic web-slinger—the last two decades have seen three separate live-action screen iterations of the hugely popular Marvel Comics superhero as well as a fourth animated take and, thanks to the resolution of legal issues, occasional appearances in other entries in the MCU. Needless to say, that is a lot of Spider-Man and this has no doubt led to some moviegoers feeling a certain sense of deja vu after a while. Instead of simply ignoring the franchise’s convoluted evolution, the latest, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” has chosen to actually tackle it head-on as a way of clearing the decks for the character before moving him on to a new phase. and while the results may not be quite as spectacular as some of the early reviews have suggested, it is still a pretty entertaining piece of pop cinema that even those who have no particular interest in superhero films—and I fall into that category—can still embrace." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: CLEARING THE SHELVES
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "The King's Daughter," "New York Ninja" and "Redeeming Love."" (more)
FILMS TO SEE AT THE 2022 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
by Erik Childress
"The Sundance Film Festival returns this week with the recent announcement that it is taking caution by making it an all-virtual event. 2020 was the last time I was in Park City, just a few months before the world took a turn for the even worse. Thankfully many of us were still able to cover 2021 remotely and the same opportunity has been awarded us for 2022 which is my 20th year covering one of the best and most important film festivals in the world. I will be doing podcasts, radio, television and continued write-ups throughout and after the festival. Kicking things off I present you with eight films that I have seen that I recommend putting on your schedule or to make note of when they are released down the road." (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: "RECEIVE WHAT CHEER YOU MAY"
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Borrego," "Hotel Transylvania: Transformia," "Shattered" and, at long last, "The Tragedy of Macbeth."" (more)
MORE FEATURES

'ABASHED THE DEVIL STOOD AND FELT HOW AWFUL GOODNESS IS.'
- T-Bird, The Crow
 
 

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