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NEW THIS WEEK
Secret Garden, The (2020) 2
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ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
14-Aug Fatima (2020)
14-Aug One and Only Ivan, The
14-Aug Untitled Universal Event Film III (2021)

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Da 5 Bloods 4.5
Outpost, The 4
Truth, The (2019) 4
We Are Little Zombies 4
Painted Bird, The 4

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Rental, The 2
Secret Garden, The (2020) 2
Irresistible (2020) 2
Old Guard, The 2.43
She Dies Tomorrow 3

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Sleepless Night 4.14
Five-Year Engagement, The 3.4
Keep the Lights On 3
Graceland 4
In Their Skin 5
MORE MOVIES

2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Big Ass Spider! 4
Lesson of the Evil 3
Shield of Straw 5
When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep 4
Grand Heist, The 4
MORE MOVIES

2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Railway Man, The 3
Enough Said 4
August: Osage County 1.78
Right Kind of Wrong, The 2
Mystery Road 3
MORE MOVIES

2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Captain Phillips 4.29
Jimmy P. 4.14
Only Lovers Left Alive 4
Invisible Woman, The (2013) 5
Nebraska 3.63
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Immigrant, The 4.23
Book Thief, The 3
Under the Rainbow (2013) 4
Nebraska 3.63
Philomena 4.17
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2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Birth of a Nation, The (2016) 1.29
31 3
Uncle Howard 4
Wiener-Dog 2
Kate Plays Christine 2
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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
Never Let Me Go 4.38
They Live 3.6
Skyquake 1.86
Displacement 3.14
400 Days 1
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2019 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Late Night 2.33
Hail Satan? 3.86
Mope 3
Monos 4
Shooting the Mafia 4
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2019 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Alice (2019) 5
Yes, God, Yes 4
Tread 4
Us 4.16
Villains 2
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Independent Film Festival Boston 2019 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Shadow 5
In Fabric 3.71
When Lambs Become Lions 5
Greener Grass 2
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
Jojo Rabbit 2.25
Knives Out 4.32
Joker 2.54
Dolemite Is My Name 4.68
Lucy in the Sky 1
MORE MOVIES

2019 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Irishman, The 4.4
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2019 Fantastic Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Lodge, The 3.31
Happy Face 4
You Don't Nomi 3
First Love 4
Vast of Night, The 5
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2019 Chicago Critics Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Saint Frances 3
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EFC STATS
Movies Listed: 32639
Total Ratings: 249914
Total Reviews: 28577
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Films I Neglected To Review: Blackberry Wine, Anyone?
Films I Neglected To Review: The Displaced Persons
Films I Neglected To Review: Life's A Beach And Then You Die (Sometimes More Than Once).
Films I Neglected To Review: Trouble
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
SECRET GARDEN, THE (2020)
"Think Twice."
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Up until now, there have been no fewer than five film adaptations of “The Secret Garden,” the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett that has gone on to become one of the most-beloved classics of children’s literature. Although I cannot say that I have seen all of them, I am a great admirer of the 1993 version from Agnieszka Holland, which was nicely acted, visually striking and boldly embraced the darker themes present in the original text, and the 1949 version with Margaret O’Brien and a young Dean Stockwell is not without interest either. However, there have been enough versions of it over the years (and I am not even counting the various TV and stage adaptations that have cropped up) so that anyone electing to put the story through its paces once again had better find a new angle or approach to the material in order to make it come alive, the sort of thing that Greta Gerwig did to transform her version of “Little Women” into perhaps the definitive adaptation of that often-filmed book. Unfortunately, the result here is a clunky and dispiriting work that just never clicks, especially in the areas where it elects to ignore the text and go its own way with generally dismal results." (more)
GREYHOUND
"No-frills, drum-tight, but minor."
3 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Maybe, like me, you’re in just the right mood for something like "Greyhound," a taut, exciting, no-nonsense war movie that weighs in, less the end credits, at one hour and twenty-three minutes." (more)
PAINTED BIRD, THE
"Well-crafted, but a rough sit."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "An intense and prolonged experience about the inhumanity of war, "The Painted Bird" might take its rightful place as the most prestigious endurance test since 1985’s "Come and See."" (more)
SECRET, THE: DARE TO DREAM
"BS On The Bayou"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "For those of you who had either forgotten about it or have until now remained blissfully unaware of its existence, “The Secret” was a self-help book by Rhonda Byrne that managed to spawn an entire cottage industry back in the mid-2000s after Oprah Winfrey publicly endorsed it. The popularity certainly wasn’t the result of its underlying thesis, which was little more than reheated Norman Vincent Peale-style piffle about how if you really desire something in life and think really hard about how much you want it, the universe will snap into ask-and-ye-shall-receive mode. After a few years, the craze died down and I had assumed that it vanished to the grand metaphorical closet where all the pop cultural embarrassments of that period are tossed away and quickly forgotten. And yet, for reasons that I am at a loss to explain, along comes “The Secret: Dare to Dream,” a film that takes its inspiration, for lack of a better word, from the book’s teachings, for lack of a better word, and jams them together into a film that also seems like a refugee from about 15 years ago and not just because that was around the last time that one might normally have seen the likes of Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas scoring top billing in a film." (more)
SHE DIES TOMORROW
"The Sun Will Not Come Out. . ."
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Amy Seimetz’s “She Dies Tomorrow” is a low-fi horror movie that seems to have everything going for it—a simple but undeniably gripping premise, strong performances across the board, a screenplay that resists succumbing to the usual gene cliches at every turn and a quietly haunting visual style that adds just the right touch of understated dread to the proceedings. And yet, while I admire it for all of those reasons, I found myself unable to really get involved with what was going on as I was watching it. The whole thing is more like an intellectual exercise and while it does work on that particular level, the end result simply left me cold and too far removed from the proceedings." (more)
YES, GOD, YES
"Are You There, AOL? It's Me, Alce. . ."
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "My guess is that if you are female, Catholic (current or otherwise) or spent your adolescent years during those bygone years when AOL was all the rage, many aspects of “Yes, God, Yes” will resonate with you with pinpoint clarity. However, even if you do not happen to fall into any of these categories, there is still much to enjoy about the film." (more)
RENTAL, THE
"BnB BS"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Marking the directorial debut of Dave Franco, “The Rental” is a film that starts off as a low-fi relationship drama in the vein of the work of Joe Swanberg (which makes sense since he co-wrote it with Franco), ends as a gory horror film and fails to impress at either end of the occasion." (more)
CARMILLA
"Blood Red Is The Warmest Color"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 novella “Carmilla” is arguably the most famous vampire-related tale not named “Dracula” (it actually predates Bram Stoker’s creation by 26 years) and over the years has inspired, directly or otherwise, any number of screen versions, including “Vampyr” (1932), “Dracula’s Daughter” (1936) and “The Vampire Lovers” (1972), to name just a few. The reason for its long-running popularity and influence is not especially difficult to divine—the story of a young and innocent maiden being pursued by a more worldly woman who turns out to be a vampire provided filmmakers with a gateway to delve into lesbian-related themes under the guise of being a horror film and, perhaps more importantly, allowed them to mix those two most exploitable of ingredients—sex and violence—into one package. Of course, things have changes and it is no longer necessary to bring in the supernatural as an excuse to explore a Sapphic-themed narrative. In response to that, writer-director Emily Harris has now presented us with an adaptation of “Carmilla” that has essentially eliminated all of the supernatural elements in order to present a more straightforward take on the material. The result is a film that is conceptually interesting and undeniably stylish but which, ironically, has now been rendered bloodless, like a grad school paper on the original story brought only nominally to life." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: GHOSTS OF OPPRESSED POPULACES PAST
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Creem: America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine," "CRSHD," "La Llorona," "The Lake Michigan Monster," "Paydirt," "Red Penguins," "The Silencing," "Star Light," "The Tax Collector," "A Thousand Cuts" and "Work It."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: BLACKBERRY WINE, ANYONE?
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind," "I Used To Go Here," "My Dog Stupid," "Rebuilding Paradise" and "Summerland."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: KINKS AND CLINKS
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Amulet," "Fisherman's Friends," "The Great Unified Theory of Howard Bloom," "Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful," "Most Wanted" and "Radioactive."" (more)
MORE FEATURES

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