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In the Heights 5
Sparks Brothers, The rate me!
ALSO IN THEATERS

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
In the Heights 5
Luca 4
Cliff Walkers 4
Quiet Place, A: Part II 3.14
Holler 3

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, The 1
Spiral (2021) 1
Cruella 1.5
F9 2
Profile 3

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Sleepless Night 4.14
Resolution 3.86
Burn 4
Side by Side 3.86
Graceland 4
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2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Hentai Kamen: Forbidden Superhero 4
Library Wars 3
Antisocial 4
Machi Action 3.57
Berserk Golden Age Arc 2: The Battle for Doldrey 3
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2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Rush 3.53
Palo Alto 5
August: Osage County 1.78
Metalhead 4
Ilo Ilo 5
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2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Square, The (2013) 5
Blue Is the Warmest Color 4.56
About Time 2
Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The 3.6
Tim's Vermeer 5
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Immigrant, The 4.23
Contracted 1.5
Argento's Dracula 4.14
Go Goa Gone 2.71
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 3.63
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2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Birth of a Nation, The (2016) 1.29
Outlaws and Angels 4.78
Wiener-Dog 2
Sleight 3
Certain Women 4.14
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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
Ex Machina 3.97
Never Let Me Go 4.38
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) 4.03
Einstein's God Model 3
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2019 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Last Black Man in San Francisco, The 5
Aquarela 5
Honeyland 5
Judy & Punch 4
Koko-di Koko-da 4
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2019 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Extra Ordinary 4
Them That Follow 4
Booksmart 4.92
Day Shall Come, The 3
Villains 2
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Independent Film Festival Boston 2019 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Luce 3
When Lambs Become Lions 5
Monos 4
Pahokee 4
One Child Nation (aka Born in China) 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
Hustlers 3.14
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band 3.57
Guest of Honour 1
Color Out of Space 4.44
Vast of Night, The 4.71
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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
Death of Dick Long, The 3
You Don't Nomi 3
Knives Out 4.2
Vast of Night, The 4.71
Tammy and the T-Rex 3
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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
Bleed with Me 3
Come True 4
Hunted (2020) 4
Jumbo 4
Lapsis 4
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2021 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Censor 3
I Was a Simple Man 4
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) 4
In the Earth 3
We're All Going to the World's Fair 2
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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
Shirley 4.08
Save Yourselves! 4
Coded Bias 3
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
MORE MOVIES

Independent Film Festival Boston 2021 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) 4
Dry, The 4
Holler 3
I Was a Simple Man 4
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America 4
MORE MOVIES

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EFC STATS
Movies Listed: 16669
Total Ratings: 228062
Total Reviews: 28663
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
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LATEST REVIEWS
F9
"One Quarter-Mile Over The Line"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Most action films these days have been designed to give viewers the feeling that they have spent two hours of their lives trapped in the middle of an active pinball game. Emerging from “F9,” I felt more as if I had just spent the previous 143 minutes (no—not a typo) trapped inside of an active pinball game that was being ritualistically beaten with another pinball game. Yes, I realize that we are talking about the “Fast & the Furious” franchise, an endeavor that has somehow ballooned from a story about a bunch of gearheads lifting DVD players and otherwise living life a quarter-mile at a time into an increasingly elaborate byzantine saga in which those same gearheads are now regularly charged with nothing less than saving the world on a scale rarely seen outside of the James Bond franchise. I admit that I have enjoyed some of the previous installments but the last couple of films—“The Fate of the Furious” and the “Hobbs & Shaw” spinoff that you may well have forgotten even existed—have pushed things to such excessive and ultimately unrewarding levels that it seemed as if they were having a private competition to see which one would go down as the series equivalent of “Moonraker,” the Bond film that infamously sent Bond to space in order to cash in on “Star Wars” and caused even the most indulgent fans to roll their eyes and mutter “Oh, please.”" (more)
CENSOR
"Often clever, but to what end?"
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... ""Censor" exists right on the border between clever and putting that cleverness to interesting use, and if you've got the same fondness for this material as filmmaker Prano Bailey-Bond, there's likely enough overlap to make the film worth the effort of tracking it down or a delightful discovery. That enthusiasm for the 1980s video nasty era unfortunately doesn't entirely translate into a great film about that time, like she's come to know it too well to reduce it to the plot of a horror movie." (more)
LUCA
"School’s Out"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Perhaps in response to criticism that their output was becoming dominated by sequels to proven successes instead of the original works that made them a brand name in contemporary animation, the last two releases from Pixar, “Onward” and “Soul,” were undeniably ambitious works that grappled with weighty issues, including coming to terms with death and what it means to have a soul, in smart and intelligent ways. The only problem is that while it was easy enough to admire those films, it was much tougher actually like them because they were trying so hard to do something different that they never quite figured out how to make themselves entertaining at the same time. Their latest effort, “Luca,” is nowhere near as thematically ambitious as its predecessors—at least on the surface—but what it may lack in that area, it makes up for in terms of basic entertainment value by telling a charming, small-scale in a bright, colorful and ultimately endearing manner." (more)
HITMAN'S WIFE'S BODYGUARD, THE
"A.K.A. This Movie Can F--- Itself!"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Last week saw the release of “In the Heights,” a film that almost seemed to have been designed specifically to lure moviegoers back into the multiplex after a long pandemic-inspired hiatus with a riot of humor, drama and music presented in a manner so exciting and energetic that viewers will be instantly reminded of the glory of seeing a top-notch movie presented in all of its big-screen glory. This week, on the other hand, sees the release of “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” a film that seems to have been created as part of a diabolical plot to convince people to stay at home and never return to theaters again. I suppose there is a chance that a worse film than this one could come along sometime in the next six months but if another one somehow comes along that demonstrates a greater contempt for both the cinema as a whole and its audience than this one does, I may have to begin contemplating a career change of my own." (more)
IN THE HEIGHTS
"On The Town"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "In recent years, it has become evident that the most important sequence in most movie musicals is almost always the first big production number. While audiences were once perfectly satisfied with characters suddenly bursting into song and dance, the perception these days is that while that may be fine on stage, some viewers are not willing to accept such things in the ostensibly more realistic world of film. Therefore, the first number is key because it not only theoretically sets the tone for what is to follow but it also serves as an indication as to the mindsets of the filmmakers—are they going to play timid and try to conceptually rationalize the singing and dancing in order to satisfy uncertain viewers or are they just going to go for it and embrace those conventions wholeheartedly on the assumption that moviegoers will be willing to join them." (more)
STRAWBERRY MANSION
"An unusual love story under an eccentric satire."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED VIA INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL BOSTON 2021: If "Strawberry Mansion" is not specifically what the average movie with deadpan surrealism and kitchen-table production design is going for, it is nevertheless one of the best recent examples of such things. It's lo-fi sci-fi that takes its silliness seriously, having fun with its clever story but seldom feeling like the filmmakers are amusing themselves at the expense of the audience." (more)
SPIRIT UNTAMED
"Horse Things."
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "I must confess that my memories of the 2002 film “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” are fairly hazy at best but that it at least made an effort to try to do something different from the other animated films of the time—it eschewed the rage for CGI animation by going the traditional route and while the heroic horse at the center was voiced by Matt Damon, that voice was only meant for us to hear his innermost thoughts as this was not a talking animal film. If I didn’t care for it that much, that probably has more to do with my general disinterest in horse-based narratives (with the exceptions of “The Black Stallion” and “A Day at the Races,” of course) that with the film itself (though I could have lived without the Bryan Adams songs on the soundtrack) and if I had to put it up against the other animated output by Dreamworks, I would certainly take it over most to all of the “Shrek” films. The film was not a success in theaters but fifteen years later, Dreamworks elected to reboot it in 2017 with the television series “Spirit: Riding Free” and has now brought that show to the big screen with “Spirit Untamed,” a film that evidently retells the origin story of that show with slightly better animation, more familiar names among the voice cast and little in the way of anything resembling genuine imagination or originality." (more)
ARMY OF THE DEAD
"Dead from the neck up."
2 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "It’d be nice if Athena Perample got a career bump from Zack Snyder’s mediocrity at length "Army of the Dead."" (more)
MORE REVIEWS

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by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally," "Endangered Species" and "Port Authority."" (more)
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"Please enjoy short reviews of "Army of the Dead," "The Dry," "The Perfect Candidate," "Pink: All I Know So Far," "The Retreat" and "Seance."" (more)
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'I SAW IT THREE TIMES IN FIVE DAYS, BIATCH.'
- Superfly, On "Armageddon"
 
 

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