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NEW THIS WEEK
Truth, The (2019) 4
Outpost, The 4
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COMING NEXT WEEK
10-Jul Palm Springs
10-Jul We Are Little Zombies

DVD RELEASES
7-Jul Trolls World Tour  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Trip to Greece, The 5
Da 5 Bloods 4.5
Truth, The (2019) 4
Outpost, The 4
Good Woman Is Hard to Find, A 4

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Irresistible (2020) 2
High Note, The 2
Deerskin 3
Good Woman Is Hard to Find, A 4
Outpost, The 4

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Take this Waltz 3.19
Your Sister's Sister 3.71
Resolution 3.86
Playroom, The 3
Jackpot 5
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2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
World's End, The 4.43
I'll Follow You Down 3
You're Next 3.56
Berserk Golden Age Arc 2: The Battle for Doldrey 3
Night That Panicked America, The 4
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2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Stray Dogs (2013) 2
One Chance 3
Last of Robin Hood, The 1
Wind Rises, The 4.62
Begin Again 3.95
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2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Immigrant, The 4.23
Her 4.34
Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The 3.6
Nebraska 3.63
Tim's Vermeer 5
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Stranger by the Lake 4
Argento's Dracula 4.14
One Chance 3
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 3.63
Philomena 4.17
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2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Uncle Howard 4
Green Room 3.5
Sophie and the Rising Sun 4
Captain Fantastic 1
Life, Animated 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
Embers 4.14
Gremlins 4.29
Never Let Me Go 4.38
Projet-M 3
Displacement 3.14
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2019 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Last Black Man in San Francisco, The 5
Farewell, The (2019) 4.63
Late Night 2.33
Souvenir, The 2
We Are Little Zombies 4
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2019 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Extra Ordinary 4
Long Shot 4.14
Beach Bum, The 1
Day Shall Come, The 3
Teen Spirit 1
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Independent Film Festival Boston 2019 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Them That Follow 4
You Don't Nomi 3
Pollinators, The 3.29
Pahokee 4
One Child Nation (aka Born in China) 4
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2019 London Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Knives Out 4.32
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2019 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Motherless Brooklyn 2.5
Abominable (2019) 3.57
Harriet 3
Dolemite Is My Name 4.68
Kingmaker, The 4
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2019 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Irishman, The 4.4
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2019 Fantastic Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Koko-di Koko-da 4
Death of Dick Long, The 3
Knives Out 4.32
Vast of Night, The 5
Color Out of Space 4.44
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2019 Chicago Critics Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Saint Frances 3
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Movies Listed: 32595
Total Ratings: 249843
Total Reviews: 28560
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Films I Neglected To Review: On The Road Again
Islands In The Stream: Week Thirteen
Films I Neglected To Review: The Dumb Generation
Islands In The Stream: Week Twelve
Films I Neglected To Review: The Vengeance Of Shes
Islands In The Stream: Week Eleven
Films I Neglected To Review: Hold Hands
Islands In The Stream: Week Ten
Films I Neglected To Review: Heroes And Villains (Mostly The Latter)
Islands In The Stream: Week Nine
Islands In The Stream: Week Eight
Islands In The Stream: Week Seven
Islands In The Stream: Week Six
Islands In The Stream: Week Five
Islands In The Stream: Week Four
Islands In the Stream: Week Three
Islands In The Stream: Week Two
Islands In The Stream: Week One
Films I Neglected To Review: Now Playing At A Theater You Will Be Avoiding
Slamdance Film Festival 2020 & The Docs That Stood Out
Sundance Film Festival 2020 (Day 4)
Sundance Film Festival 2020 (Day 3)
Sundance Film Festival 2020 (Days 1-2)
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
GUEST OF HONOUR
"Years Of The Lepus"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "There was once a period of time—historians may one day refer to it as “the 1990s”—when Canadian-Armenian Atom Egoyan was considered to be one of the most exciting filmmakers on the planet thanks to a series of formally and narratively inventive works that were cerebral and emotional in equal measure and filled with a number of extraordinary performances to boot. If I was to sit down and make a list of the most powerful moviegoing experiences that I had during that time, his back-to-back triumphs “Exotica” (1994) and “The Sweet Hereafter” (1997) would rank very high among them. And yet, following the release of “Felicia’s Journey” in 1999, his career undertook such an immediate dip in quality that even the most dedicated of auteurists would be hard-pressed to justify misfires like “Chloe” (2009), “Devil’s Knot” (2013) and “Remember” (2015), a film that somehow contrived to bring together modern-day Nazi hunting and Alzheimer’s into one jaw-dropping saga. And yet, even those cinematic misdeed pale in comparison to his latest, loopiest and least effort to date, “Guest of Honor.” Here is a film that in the opening scenes offers us the sight of Luke Wilson as the pastor of a Canadian church and it is not the hardest thing to swallow in it and I am not even talking about the deep-fried rabbit ears that inexplicably prove to be a key element." (more)
DA 5 BLOODS
"Lindo owns it."
5 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "At this point, I would sit for two hours of Delroy Lindo just monologuing into the camera, and maybe so would you after watching Spike Lee’s epic new adventure-drama 'Da 5 Bloods,' in which there are at least three such monologues." (more)
HAMILTON
"The Living Room Where It Happens"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "It should be stressed right at the start that the film version of the extraordinarily successful Broadway musical “Hamilton” that is premiering this weekend amidst enormous hype is not a traditional, fully realized screen adaptation along the lines of “West Side Story” or, God help us, “Cats.” This is more akin to a concert video that consists of footage shot during a couple of 2016 performances featuring the celebrated original cast as well some additional footage of some of the key musical numbers shot later in an empty theater in order to accommodate more elaborate camera moves than would have been possible in front of an actual audience. Originally intended for theatrical release next year to serve as a sort of stopgap measure in anticipation of a full-fledged screen version, it was famously plucked from that berth and, as opposed to practically every other big-ticket movie of note, had its release moved ahead by more than a year as Disney Studios elected to instead debut it on their Disney+ streaming platform, just in time for the Fourth of July weekend, no less. Whether this move should be seen as a noble gesture that allows families to experience the same show that cost hundreds of dollars a ticket to seen on the stage from the comfort of their living rooms for only a few bucks in subscription fees or a hard-sell way of getting people to sign up for the streaming service now that the initial hype has passed, I will leave for you to decide." (more)
OUTPOST, THE
"Nothing But The Truth"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "As I am assuming you all know by this point, pretty much every movie that I have covered since around mid-March is one that I have reviewed off of my television or computer from the confines of my lightly fortified bunker. While I would almost always prefer to see a film in a theater as opposed to on a much smaller screen, this adjustment has been relatively easy to make since the big-ticket movies that truly require the full big-screen experience have all been delayed until further notice and the ones that have emerged have not really lost all that much as a result of the diminished size of their presentations. (In the case of a listless clunker like Kenneth Branagh’s disastrous fantasy “Artemis Fowl,” the decision to premiere it via streaming may have saved Disney millions of dollars and an untold amount of embarrassment.) In the case of “The Outpost,” we have the first new movie in several months that clearly needs to be seen on the big screen in order to get the full concussive impact of director Rod Lurie’s attempt to recreate a particular harrowing 2009 battle between US forces and the Taliban in Afghanistan. And yet, the film has been made with such skill and dignity that its impact still manages to come across despite the greatly reduced circumstances under which most people will be experiencing it." (more)
SOMETIMES ALWAYS NEVER
"Tough to steal scenes at the center of the movie."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "I love Bill Nighy even when he's in an awful movie, in large part because his screen persona is one seemingly built to steal scenes. It leads him to the sort of part that a good actor can give nuance in those brief moments, but there sometimes seems to be a limit to how far those parts can be stretched when placed at a movie's center. "Sometimes Always Never" is the result of stretching that sort of appeal just far enough to not break; it could do more and hit harder, but it seldom makes a genuinely wrong step." (more)
MY SPY
"It Is Not A Good Kindergarten Cop Clone"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Once upon a time—about thirty years ago, to be exact—a movie by the name of “Kindergarten Cop” came out that asked the question “What would happen if you took the biggest action movie star in the world—Arnold Schwarzenegger in this case—and put him in a vehicle that included all the standard thriller beats but also included scenes of him acting opposite little kids as a way of widening his fan base to include family audiences?” As it turns out, you got a good-sized hit—albeit one that may have miffed some parents when it proved to contain more straightforward action than the kid-friendly ads suggested—that would prove to be a template that any number of action stars would find themselves adhering to at least once in order to widen their own audiences, some more effectively than another. (It would be hard to ascribe any one film as being the nadir of Burt Reynolds’ somewhat uneven career, but “Cop and a Half” (1993) comes as close as any of them.) “My Spy,” in which the hulking Dave Bautista takes a whack at the format, may not be the worst film to be made along these particular lines (that one where John Cena was babysitting some kids at a fire station—a film whose title I refuse to expend any energy on looking up—was pretty ripe) but it might go down as the least inspired of the bunch from the shameless way that it cribs from its predecessor throughout." (more)
EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA
"a.k.a. Will Ferrell's Waterloo"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "The Eurovision Song Contest is a yearly competition in which over 50 eligible countries, mostly European-based, submit a homegrown act to perform an original song before an enormous audience in the hopes that they will be determined the winner. The contest has been running since 1956 (although this year’s edition was cancelled due to coronavirus fears) and a number of the participants have indeed gone on to international fame, such as contestants Lulu, Nana Mouskouri, Julio Iglesias and Olivia Newton-John and winners Celine Dion and ABBA, whose 1974 victory launched them into instant superstardom. With the combination of slick music, glitzy-gaudy costumes and high drama, the contest would seem to be a natural subject for an entertaining film. Perhaps one will eventually come along and “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” can be forgotten even quicker than it deserves to be. The latest misfire from Will Ferrell, this is a weirdly leaden botch of a film that has no discernible comedic point or purpose, inexplicably goes on forever and produces only a couple of mild and very scattered laughs amidst a seemingly endless array of dead spots." (more)
IRRESISTIBLE (2020)
"Not Quite."
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "When Jon Stewart made his big-screen debut as a writer-director with “Rosewater” (2015), it surprised many observers who went into presumably expecting a cinematic variation of the kind of sardonic political humor that he became famous for on television with “The Daily Show” and discovered that it was a an earnest and serious-minded true-life drama about the ordeal of Maziar Bahari, an Iranian journalist who was arrested and brutally interrogated for 118 days on suspicion of being a spy based on a comedic interview he did for a 2009 “Daily Show” segment. The resulting film was uneven at times but it was made with a genuine sense of anger and earnestness, not to mention the unmistakable feeling that this was a story that, perhaps out of guilt, he was absolutely compelled to make. However, my guess is that his fans felt a sense of relief when it was announced that his follow-up film would be the kind of thing that they were presumably hoping to see from him the first time around—a straightforward satire of the current American political scene that would, as a bonus, reunite him with his former TV colleague Steve Carrell for good measure. Yes, “Irresistible” will definitely remind one of the old days of “The Daily Show”—unfortunately, the days in question are the ones when Craig Kilborn ruled the roost and the humor was laced with a certain unmistakable smugness. The result is the kind of film that Stewart himself might have righteously smoked on his show for pulling its punches and favoring humor that is more toothless than biting." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: TROUBLE
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Force of Nature," "Four Kids and It," "John Lewis: Good Trouble" and "Suzi Q."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: ON THE ROAD AGAIN
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "7500," "Miss Juneteenth," "Roger Waters Us + Them" and "The Short History of the Long Road."" (more)
ISLANDS IN THE STREAM: WEEK THIRTEEN
by Peter Sobczynski
"Well well, a lucky thirteenth week's worth of streaming suggestions to help pass the time. Come back every day for a new suggestion and if you have a suggestion of your own, send it to me at petersob@efilmcritic.com" (more)
MORE FEATURES

'IT'S NOT MY GODDAMN PLANET, UNDERSTAND, MONKEY-BOY?'
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