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ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
12-Dec Wild Goose Lake, The
13-Dec Black Christmas (2019)
13-Dec Bombshell
13-Dec Cunningham
13-Dec Hidden Life, A
13-Dec Jumanji: The Next Level
13-Dec Richard Jewell
13-Dec Seberg
13-Dec Uncut Gems

DVD RELEASES
3-Dec Goldfinch, The  
3-Dec Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins  
3-Dec Ready or Not  
10-Dec Hustlers  
10-Dec It: Chapter 2  
10-Dec Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice  
10-Dec Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
When Lambs Become Lions 5
Knives Out 4.25
Ford v Ferrari 4.14
Kingmaker, The 4
Scandalous: The True Story of the National Enquirer 4

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Last Christmas 1.57
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 1.86
Frozen 2 1.86
Two Tigers 2
Midway (2019) 2

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Trishna 3.71
Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie 3
Revisionaries, The 4
Graceland 4
In Their Skin 5
MORE MOVIES

2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Across the River 4
009 Re: Cyborg 4
Dead Experiment, The 3
Saving General Yang 4
Complex, The 3
MORE MOVIES

2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Blind Detective 5
Railway Man, The 3
Blue Is the Warmest Color 4.56
Under the Skin (2014) 4.14
Ilo Ilo 5
MORE MOVIES

2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Immigrant, The 4.23
Stranger by the Lake 4
Only Lovers Left Alive 4
Le Week-End 3.71
Missing Picture, The 4
MORE MOVIES

2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Book Thief, The 3
Contracted 1.5
Argento's Dracula 4.14
One Chance 3
Nordstrand 5
MORE MOVIES

2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Outlaws and Angels 4.88
Lobster, The 3.63
Hollars, The 4
Operation Avalanche 4
Manchester by the Sea 3.5
MORE MOVIES

2016 Slamdance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Embers 4.14
MORE MOVIES

2016 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
High Treason 4.14
Man Who Fell to Earth, The 4.6
Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, The 4
Alienated 2
Dual City 4
MORE MOVIES

2019 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Apollo 11 5
Farewell, The (2019) 4.71
Mope 3
Hole in the Ground, The 3
One Child Nation (aka Born in China) 4
MORE MOVIES

2019 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Greener Grass 2
Long Shot 4.14
Art of Self-Defense, The 5
Villains 2
Teen Spirit 1
MORE MOVIES

Independent Film Festival Boston 2019 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Rusalka (aka The Siren), The 4
Death of Dick Long, The 3
Art of Self-Defense, The 5
One Child Nation (aka Born in China) 4
Cold Case Hammarskjold 4
MORE MOVIES

2019 London Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Knives Out 4.25
MORE MOVIES

2019 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Judy 2.78
Motherless Brooklyn 2.29
Goldfinch, The 1
Harriet 3
Kingmaker, The 4
MORE MOVIES

2019 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Irishman, The 4.44
MORE MOVIES

2019 Fantastic Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Happy Face 4
Death of Dick Long, The 3
Jojo Rabbit 2
Knives Out 4.25
Tammy and the T-Rex 3
MORE MOVIES

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EFC STATS
Movies Listed: 32426
Total Ratings: 249281
Total Reviews: 28362
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
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LATEST REVIEWS
CHARLIE'S ANGELS (2019)
"Ditch the 'Angels' branding and just having the ladies kick ass."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "I try not to think of the calculations that go on in studio executives' heads too much, because it's frightening and tends to put one at a distance from the actual merits of the films themselves, but it gets kind of interest in a movie like this. I suspect that most studios would like to have an action/adventure series along the general lines of this movie, and if you own the name "Charlie's Angels", why not make it part of that franchise? Maybe nobody is really looking for a new "Charlie's Angels" - fans of the first iteration are around retirement age, the second was sold on its cast, and the third bombed - but does the association help or hurt a relatively unremarkable action/adventure film at the box office?" (more)
HARRIET
"Not as much as an American legend deserves, but more than she's had before."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... ""Harriet" often feels a bit like the trailers for faith-based movies, so built around the power of prayer and/or visions that they don't actually show their characters doing anything of consequence and making them feel less proactive when they do. Harriet Tubman did astonishing things, but this telling of her story focuses enough on her "spells" and visions that it's like her own biography doesn't give her enough credit." (more)
GREENER GRASS
"Not for everyone, but certainly for someone."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "If you can damn something with faint praise, then you can also praise it with uncertain damnation, and sometimes you must, because what else can you do for a comedy that only sporadically works for you and is so completely absurdist as to resist being pulled apart and examined? "Greener Grass" is weird and most definitely not to everyone's taste but has just enough bits that really work that I can't help but try to figure out whether it will work for someone who likes that sort of comedy or if it's just bad." (more)
TWO TIGERS
"Fitting that it comes from a song that ends "how very strange"."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "Here's a fun thing: The Chinese nursery rhyme "Two Tigers" maps pretty much directly onto the traditional French song "Frère Jacques" that I presume many westerners still learn in elementary school, which means that the opening scene of this movie, where generally ominous music becomes and imposing version of the song, is still funny even if you don't know about it until the song becomes part of the story. It would be more impressive if this weren't the high point of the movie, sure, but sometimes you take what you can get." (more)
KNIVES OUT
"Cutting Ties"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "If I had to pick a single title as my all-time favorite mystery movie, I would choose “The Thin Man” (1934) without a single moment’s hesitation. I must confess, however, that my love of the film has precious little to do with the actual mystery element. In fact, I have watched that particular film dozens of times over the years and yet, if you asked me right now to tell you the identity of who did it, I could not do it. The reason I love the film so much is because it is far more interested in presenting colorful characters embodied by perfectly cast directors spouting off sparkling dialogue and presented with an immense amount of wit and style —things that rate much higher in my book than the comparatively mundane details of the plot. Over the years, I have found that many of my other favorite examples of the genre—things like “The Maltese Falcon,” “The Big Sleep,” “The Long Goodbye,” “Chinatown” and “The Big Lebowski”—have tended to lean that way as well and that is why they have managed to stand the test of time. “Knives Out,” the new film from writer-director Rian Johnson, his followup to a little thing called “The Last Jedi,” may not quite be in the same league as those classics but it does wisely follow in their formidable footprints and the result and the result is a witty whodunnit that brings a breath of fresh air to an otherwise stale genre." (more)
21 BRIDGES
"Good at the basics, doesn't quite grab at something greater."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "There's a sharper version of "21 Bridges" to be made which targets the way police culture becomes toxic as opposed to mostly letting it kick around in the background, but I suspect that's a hard thing to believably isolate, and would bring in things the filmmakers weren't totally ready to deal with. As it is, it becomes a bigger version of a story we've heard a few times before, told with some style even if it misses an opportunity or two." (more)
FROZEN 2
"a.k.a. Disney Creativity On Ice"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Although Disney has generally avoided making theatrical sequels to their animated films—the ones that they have produced over the years have generally been produced for the straight-to-video market—the existence of “Frozen II” is not exactly a surprise. After all, when you make a film that sells over a billion dollars worth of tickets around the world, becomes hat biggest-grossing animated film of all time and inspires tons of merchandise and a popular stage version, both of which will presumably centime to spin millions of dollars for the studio for the foreseeable future, few could possibly resist the temptation to try to make lightning strike a second time. No, the real question is not so much whether or not to make “Frozen II” as it is what to make of it. Do you take advantage of the fact that any film bearing that title is the closest one could possibly come to a sure thing at the box-office these days and come up with something new and innovative and trust that the audience will follow or do you elect to placate those viewers by giving them more or less the same thing that they loved so much six years ago? Not surprisingly, the filmmakers have elected to go down that second path and while the end results may indeed satisfy fans of the original who are clamoring to see anything with their favorite characters but my guess is that the only people who are going to embrace this cookie-cutter sequel are the studio accountants." (more)
BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, A
"Rogers And Heart"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Right off the top, it cannot be stressed enough that “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is not a biopic of the late and increasingly beloved children’s television pioneer Fred Rogers by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, when all is said and done, he is not even the central character in the film by a long shot. Instead, it tells the sort-of true story of a troubled journalist who found himself at long last begin to grapple with his own deep-seated troubles and traumas after striking up a friendship with Fred while on assignment to write a short piece on him for an issue of Esquire themed around the idea of heroes. Considering how closely this film comes on the heels of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” last year’s popular documentary look at the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, it is probably a good idea for this film to go down a decidedly different path instead of merely offering up recreations of things seen in that documentary, even with the almost insanely spot-on casting of America’s current Designated Nice Guy, Tom Hanks, in the part. However, while it is certainly a different moviegoing experience than many may be expecting, it is not always a satisfying one and indeed, it is in the moments where it goes off into unexpected area where it stumbles the most and it is in the scenes involving Fred himself that are ultimately the most effective." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
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by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Daniel Isn't Real," "I See You," "The Two Popes" and "Varda by Agnes."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: YOU WANT IT DARKER
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Dark Waters" and "Mickey and the Bear."" (more)
INTERVIEW: ALLAN ARKUSH ON "ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL"
by Peter Sobczynski
"The director of the cult classic featuring the Ramones talks about its legacy on the eve of a new Blu-Ray release." (more)
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'NEVER SAY WHO'S THERE? DON'T YOU WATCH SCARY MOVIES? IT'S A DEATH WISH. YOU MIGHT AS WELL COME OUT TO INVESTIGATE A STRANGE NOISE OR SOMETHING.'
- Ghostface, Scream
 
 

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