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COMING NEXT WEEK
13-Aug Respect

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
In the Heights 5
Luca 4
Black Widow (2021) 3.75
Holler 3
Jungle Cruise 2

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, The 1
Old 1
Jungle Cruise 2
Holler 3
Black Widow (2021) 3.75

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Take this Waltz 3.19
Hysteria 3.88
Rubberneck 2.38
Side by Side 3.86
Jackpot 5
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2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Shield of Straw 5
009 Re: Cyborg 4
Dead Experiment, The 3
Love Eternal 4.8
Go Down Death (2013) 3
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2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Almost Human 3
Palo Alto 5
Philomena 4.17
Oculus 2.86
Dom Hemingway 3.29
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2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Square, The (2013) 5
Jimmy P. 4.14
Omar 4.57
12 Years a Slave 3.62
Nebraska 3.63
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Immigrant, The 4.23
Cheap Thrills 3.25
One Chance 3
Philomena 4.17
Labor Day (2013) 1
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2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Swiss Army Man 4
Outlaws and Angels 4.78
Operation Avalanche 4
Kate Plays Christine 2
Eyes of My Mother, The 3
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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
Embers 4.14
Big Ass Spider! 4
Tale of Tales (2016) 3
Survivalist, The 3
Arrowhead (2017) 3
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2019 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Official Secrets 3
Pahokee 4
Honeyland 5
Death of Dick Long, The 3
Shooting the Mafia 4
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2019 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Porno 4
Them That Follow 4
Greener Grass 2
Day Shall Come, The 3
Villains 2
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Independent Film Festival Boston 2019 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
In Fabric 3.71
Ms. Purple 4
Them That Follow 4
We Are Not Princesses 4
Monos 4
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2019 London Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Knives Out 4.2
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2019 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Judy 2.9
Pain and Glory 4.71
Knives Out 4.2
Goldfinch, The 1.43
Deerskin 3
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2019 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Irishman, The 4.43
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2019 Fantastic Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Lodge, The 3.31
Happy Face 4
You Don't Nomi 3
Jojo Rabbit 2.25
Vast of Night, The 4.71
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2019 Chicago Critics Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Saint Frances 3
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2020 Nightstream Virtual Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Run (2020) 4
Detention (2019) 5
Jumbo 4
Pelican Blood 3
Doorman, The (2020) 2
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2021 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Censor 3
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) 4.5
In the Earth 3
Strawberry Mansion 4
Marvelous and the Black Hole 4
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2021 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Oxy Kingpins, The 4
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America 4
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2020 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Minari 4.95
Shirley 4.08
Sylvie's Love 4
Promising Young Woman 3.06
Kajillionaire 2.5
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2021 Cinequest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
My Zoe 4
Since August 5
This Is Not a War Story 4
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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
I Was a Simple Man 4
Reckoning in Boston, A 4
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America 4
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2021 New York Asian Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Junk Head 3.57
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2021 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Yakuza Princess 5
Suicide Squad, The 4
All About Lily Chou-Chou 3.21
Funky Forest: The First Contact 4
Warped Forest, The 4.14
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EFC STATS
Movies Listed: 14204
Total Ratings: 225596
Total Reviews: 28672
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Films I Neglected To Review: Nothing To See Here
Films I Neglected To Review: Fox On The Run
Films I Neglected To Review: Nazis And Tigers And Voguers--Oh My
Films I Neglected To Review: So What
Films I Neglected To Review: Kids Conjure Up The Deadliest Apparitions!
Films I Neglected To Review: Hillbilly Eulogy
SXSW 2021--The Rest Of The Fest
SXSW 2021--Day One
10 Films To See At The 2021 SXSW Film Festival
Films I Neglected To Review: Fonda Sings!
Rotterdam 2021--An Overview
Sundance 2021--The Rest Of The Fest
Sundance 2021--Day 3 & 4
Sundance 2021--Day 1 & 2
Sundance Film Festival 2021 (Day 1)
Films To See At The 2021 Sundance Film Festival
Screamfest LA (2020 Edition)
The Virtual Fantastic Fest Celebration of 2020
The 58th New York Film Festival
Reflections from the Toronto Film Festival (Virtual Edition 2020)
Fantasia Film Festival (Reviews from the 2020 Edition)
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
ANNETTE
"Hello Young Lovers"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "If you took the typically Hollywood caricature of an auteur from Europe—a cartoonish creature wrapped up in a legend of their own making consisting of grand artistic pronouncements and a singularly bizarre cinematic “vision”—and brought it to life, it would greatly resemble the alternately acclaimed and notorious French filmmaker Leos Carax. Although not the most prolific of filmmakers—he has been working since 1980 but has only done six feature films to date—his films are so overstuffed with images and ideas throughout that both he and his audience pretty much need the regular long breaks between projects in order to recover and recharge. With his very first film, “Boy Meets Girl” (1984), he combined the emotional exuberance and excitement of a new filmmaker putting everything they have into their first (and possibly only) shot behind the camera with the kind of formal beauty and audacity of a veteran working at the peak of their creative powers. He has managed to keep that up over his followup projects—“Mauvais Sang” (1986), “Les Amants du Pont-Neuf” (1992), “Pola X” (1999) and “Holy Motors” (2012)—and while viewers tend to split evenly between those who adore his work and those who find it all to be crazily pretentious nonsense, both groups know that when they go to see one of his movies, they are going to be getting a genuine experience that they will not be shaking anytime soon." (more)
SUICIDE SQUAD, THE
"Just Look For The "The""
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "When I sit down to write a review of a big, effects-heavy epic based on a comic book, I almost always kick things off with a reminder that I am not a particularly big fan of such thing, largely to allow readers who do enjoy such things to properly handicap what I have to say about them. In hindsight, it would seem that in the case of “Suicide Squad” (2016), I probably needn’t have bothered since even those who generally enjoyed such things largely found it to be unwatchable swill as well. Pitched as a wild antidote to the straightforward heroics of its corporate brethren, this low-level DC title, based on the premise of a group of imprisoned super villains put together as part of a top secret government program in which they would save the world in exchange for reduced prison sentences, was arguably the biggest fuckup of such a potentially interesting comic book-inspired idea since the infamous “Howard the Duck”—it was far too stupid, ugly and hateful to work as the mass-market blockbuster it was promoted as, way too restrained, timid and bloodless to succeed as the edgy anti-blockbuster that it presumably wanted to be and was little more than a haphazard assemblage of messy set pieces that were sometimes briefly enlivened by Margot Robbie’s inspired turn as the kooky-crazy Harley Quinn (a role she would find a better vehicle for in “Birds of Prey” (2020)) and dragged down to Mariana Trench-like depths during the blessedly brief moments when Jared Leto wandered on to deliver his absurdly overhyped and genuinely awful performance as Joker, a turn so bad that one suspects that the inexplicable veneration that Joaquin Phoenix received for his portrayal of the character in “Joker” was borne mostly out of a desire to ensure that Leto never tried it again." (more)
WEREWOLVES WITHIN
"Tepid at best."
2 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Something about "Werewolves Within" doesn’t sit right with me. It’s a horror-comedy, which often means that people and even dogs die and you’re not asked to care much, but even so, this is a glib and breezy affair. We may find ourselves asking why we care if the characters live, either. The script, by memoirist Mishna Wolff, based on a video game, hands the actors lumpy mouthfuls of dialogue that they mostly turn into sentences that sound like real people might say them." (more)
ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN
"Lots of questions. No answers."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "The suicide asks the world, “Why?”" (more)
JUNGLE CRUISE
"River Of Diminishing Returns"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "“The Jungle Cruise” is one of those films that is so obviously constructed of ideas borrowed from other movies that some may be tempted to make a game out of it with their fellow audience members by seeing who can come up with the most titles of obvious inspirations—mine ran the gamut from the expected likes of “The African Queen,” “Romancing the Stone” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” to such comparative curve balls as “Medicine Man” and Werner Herzog masterpiece “Aguirre, the Wrath of God.” Unfortunately, it never quite lives up to the standards set by its inspirations and if you are a movie cannot manage to equal the accomplishments of the likes of “Medicine Man,” you know that you are in trouble." (more)
GREEN KNIGHT, THE
"What Becomes A Legend Most?"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "There have been any number of movies over the years inspired by the legends of King Arthur and/or the various Knights of the Round Table and while many of them have been quite silly and forgettable (remember that one directest by Guy Ritchie that had Jude Law controlling what can only be described as a giant sex squid?), I can think of three (well, four, but “Knightriders,” George Romero’s magnificent modern-day take doesn’t quite count as a true Arthurian saga) that I would describe as great. There is “Lancelot du Lac,” an arrestingly austere take that remains my favorite film from the late Robert Bresson. There is “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” which is not only one of the funniest films ever made but quite possibly the most accurate in terms of depicting what life was really like back then (not counting the coconuts). Lastly, there is John Boorman’s classic “Excalibur,” a film truly worthy of being described as visionary and one that remains as visually extraordinary and emotionally devastating as it was when it came out 40 years ago. In all three cases, the films succeeded because, at least in part, because they were put in the hands of strong and distinct filmmakers who presented the familiar stories in new ways that made them striking and unique, even if you otherwise had no particular burning interest in the subject." (more)
OLD
"The Night Is No Longer Young"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "After a period of dormancy that allowed some to think that it had gone away forever and that we would be spared from its horrors, that most terrifying of entities once again returned a few days ago to infect otherwise sensible souls in a manner that made them seem as if they had gone well and truly mad. I am, of course, speaking of The Discourse—specifically, the thing that pops up on the Internet every once in a while where some mad soul attempts to convince others that the films of M. Night Shyamalan are not only not utter gibberish but are actually—I kid you not—good. Now I am not an unreasonable person and so when The Discourse sticks to the likes of “The Sixth Sense” (a film that I didn’t much care for but which I will concede is well-made and worked for most people more than it did for me), “Unbreakable” (to my mind, the one film of his that comes closest to greatness) or “Signs” (which is undeniably spellbinding until those damned last ten minutes), I am willing to allow it. However, when the rot sets in so deeply that The Discourse turns to offering up defenses of such lunacies as “The Village,” “The Happening” or “After Earth,” that is where I have to draw the line. On the bright side, at least the discourse has not, to my knowledge, tried to make a case for the likes of “The Lady in the Water” or “The Last Airbender” as of yet—a lucky thing because such a thing would be the auteurist equivalent of a “Do Not Resuscitate” order in the minds of most sane people. Although The Discourse can be cruel and insidious in the way that it forces once-dignified people attempt to explain just how truly powerful and moving “The Village” really is, the bright side to it is that it usually only crops up when Shyamalan has a new movie coming out and tends to peter out soon after it hits theaters and moviegoers discover that they have been ripped off by his nonsense once again." (more)
SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY
"Another Terrible Decision From LeBron"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Even though I have been a passionate fan of the old Warner Brothers cartoons for as long as I have been watching movies (my earliest conscious memory involves my very first movie screening, led off by a Road Runner cartoon) and lived in Chicago during the era when Michael Jordan ascended from basketball phenom to global superstar, I absolutely hated “Space Jam” when it came out in 1996 and my view of it has not mellowed with time. I found it to be a lazy and soulless piece of corporate greed run amok that demonstrated that no one at the studio at that point evidently had any interest in the history or legacy of their animated creations—as the great Chuck Jones himself pointed out at the time, the classic Bugs Bunny would not have required the services of Michael Jordan in order to triumph at anything, even a basketball game—and the nostalgic attitude that people have developed towards it in the quarter-century since its debut only serves as yet another argument backing up the notion that people are idiots. Therefore, when it turned out that I was unable to attend the press screening for the long-gestating semi-sequel “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” I must confess that I was not exactly devastated over the notion of missing it. However, when the early reviews began coming out that seemed to suggest that it was somehow louder, dumber cruder and more contemptuous of its own legacy than the original, the sad and twisted part of my soul that is not only willing to sit through overwhelmingly terrible movies but makes a point of seeking them out (you know anyone else who has pre-ordered the Blu-Ray of “Moment by Moment”?) became more than a little curious. Was it possible that the makers of this film took one of the abominations of contemporary American cinema and somehow made it worse?" (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: TWIST ENDINGS
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Masquerade," "Stillwater" and "Twist."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: FILL IN YOUR OWN HEADLINE
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Broken Diamonds," "Fear and Loathing in Aspen," "Holy Beasts," "Joe Bell," "Kandisha," "Midnight in the Switchgrass," "Settlers" and "Val."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: NOTHING TO SEE HERE
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Die in a Gunfight," "Great White," "Gunpowder Milkshake," "How to Deter a Robber" and "Mama Weed."" (more)
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