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NEW THIS WEEK
Locked Down 4
MLK/FBI 4
American Skin rate me!
Marksman, The (2021) rate me!
ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
22-Jan No Man's Land (2021)
22-Jan Our Friend

DVD RELEASES
12-Jan Ammonite  
12-Jan Jungleland  
12-Jan Minding the Gap  
12-Jan Spell  
19-Jan Climb, The  
19-Jan Dreamland (2020)  
19-Jan Kid Detective, The  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Minari 5
Wolfwalkers 5
Sylvie's Love 4
Luxor 4
Wild Mountain Thyme 4

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Very Excellent Mr. Dundee, The 1
Prom, The 1
Promising Young Woman 1
Love, Weddings & Other Disasters 1.57
Midnight Sky, The 2

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Headshot (2012) 4
Keep the Lights On 3
Resolution 3.86
Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie 3
Side by Side 3.86
MORE MOVIES

2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
It's Me, It's Me 3
Shield of Straw 5
Helter Skelter (2013) 5
Bounty Killer 4
Horror Stories 3
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2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Why Don't You Play in Hell? 4.88
Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story 3
Third Person 1
Begin Again 3.95
Grand Seduction, The 2.75
MORE MOVIES

2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Like Father, Like Son (2014) 5
Blue Is the Warmest Color 4.56
Stranger by the Lake 4
Only Lovers Left Alive 4
Stray Dogs (2013) 2
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
12 Years a Slave 3.62
Despite the Gods 4
Cheap Thrills 3.25
Of Good Report 5
Labor Day (2013) 1
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2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Swiss Army Man 4
Green Room 3.67
Hunt for the Wilderpeople 4
Certain Women 4.14
Manchester by the Sea 3.5
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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
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) 1
Survivalist, The 3
House of Time 3
Arrowhead (2017) 3
400 Days 1
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2019 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Mope 3
Greener Grass 2
One Child Nation (aka Born in China) 4
Cold Case Hammarskjold 4
We Are Little Zombies 4
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2019 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Apollo 11 5
Booksmart 4.92
Long Shot 4.14
Villains 2
Teen Spirit 1
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Independent Film Festival Boston 2019 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
In Fabric 3.71
When Lambs Become Lions 5
We Are Not Princesses 4
Greener Grass 2
Pahokee 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
Ford v Ferrari 4.44
Marriage Story 4.22
Lighthouse, The 5
Color Out of Space 4.44
Whistlers, The 3
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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
Lodge, The 3.31
Koko-di Koko-da 4
Swallow 5
First Love 4
Color Out of Space 4.44
MORE MOVIES

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
Pelican Blood 3
Black Bear 3.71
Doorman, The (2020) 2
MORE MOVIES

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EFC STATS
Movies Listed: 32414
Total Ratings: 249366
Total Reviews: 28769
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Films I Neglected To Review: Are We Out Of The Woods Yet?
Films I Neglected To Review: Light Entertainment Division
Films I Neglected To Review: One Last Bit Of Exorcise For 2020
Films I Neglected To Review: The Hunts Continue
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)
Islands In The Stream: Week Thirteen
Islands In The Stream: Week Twelve
Islands In The Stream: Week Eleven
Islands In The Stream: Week Ten
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
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
MLK/FBI
"Keeping tabs on a good man"
4 stars
alejandroariera says... "If you still find it hard to believe that a significant number of Americans approve of the storming of the Capitol building by supporters of President Trump as the Congress began the process of certifying the votes from the Electoral Colleges, then consider the following: at the height of the Civil War movement more Americans trusted and believed J. Edgar Hoover, even considered him a hero, than Martin Luther King, Jr. Hoover, like Trump after him, was a master media manipulator. He presented himself as “the guardian of the American way of life,” and the entertainment industry was his willing accomplices, pumping out such propagandistic malarkey as “G-Men” (1935) and “I Was a Communist for the F.B.I.” (1951), and the TV series “The FBI” which ran for nine seasons (1965-74). And what was that American way of life Mr. Hoover wanted to safeguard? Why, a mostly white American way of life where minorities “knew their place.” Nothing scared him more than the arrival of a Black Messiah. Nothing scared him more than Martin Luther King, Jr." (more)
LOCKED DOWN
"West End Promises"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "The last couple of months have seen the first trickles of what is sure to be a deluge of films inspired by or dealing explicitly with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, including the surprise “Borat” sequel, the gross exploitation exercise “Songbird” and such instant documentaries as “Totally Under Control” and “76 Days.” Now comes “Locked Down,” a project which was filmed in a couple of weeks in secrecy, and which boasts a number of familiar names on both sides of he camera and the intriguing premise of the pandemic restrictions being used as the catalyst for a high-stakes heist. The project may have been conceived in haste and may not necessarily stand the test of time but the end result is an offbeat comedy-drama that may understandably lack the visceral thrills that one might expect from a heist-related film but which does a surprisingly effective job of capturing the strange rhythms of life and love in the time of Covid." (more)
SHADOW IN THE CLOUD
"Making The Illogical Logical"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "“Shadow in the Cloud” is a movie that is so completely nutso that one doesn’t watch it so much as stare at it in slack-jawed wonder as it starts off at a near-fever pitch and somehow manages to go even further over the course of its 83-minute running time. It is the kind of film where describing it as “frothing mad” is not so much a criticism as it is a simple observation. After a couple of months of staid, serious-minded examples of Oscar bait, here is a film that is so relentlessly wild and over-the-top that you spend the first half astounded that such a thing could have ever gotten produced in the first place and the second half astounded that it is working as well as it does." (more)
SYLVIE'S LOVE
"There’s Always Tomorrow."
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Even in a cinematic period made topsy-turvy by the global pandemic, the last few weeks have offered up such a glut of titles jockeying for the various end-of-year awards and whatnot that some perfectly good movies run the risk of falling through the cracks. One such film is “Sylvie’s Love,” writer-director Eugene Ashe’s period drama charting the on-and-off relationship between a pair of star-crossed lovers that is admittedly uneven, awkward and oftentimes contrived beyond belief but which contains enough other moments of sheer cinematic bliss to let viewers—at least the more romantic ones—forgive most of its flaws." (more)
WONDER WOMAN 1984
"Beware The Savage Lure"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "The first “Wonder Woman” (2017) was one of the better examples of the glut in superhero-related movies that have pretty much dominated American filmmaking in the last few years—it told a reasonably engaging story, utilized a light touch that stood in stark relief to most other examples of the genre and contained a central performance by Gal Gadot that, like Christopher Reeve did when he played Superman, perfectly embodied the sincerity and idealism of her character without demonstrating even a shred of irony or cynicism. The only things that kept it from quite attaining the same heights as the best superhero movies were the lack of a truly memorable villain and a final half-hour in which all the wit and nuance was pushed to the side to make way for the usual orgy of anonymous special effects. Now, after months of delays and enough sturm und drang to fuel a movie or two, the sequel, “Wonder Woman 1984, “ has at long last arrived with its key players—Gadot, co-star Chris Pine and director Patty Jenkins—once again returning for duty. Alas, the flaws that dogged the original film have returned as well, along with a host of new ones to boot. The result is a far more uneven experience that still contains moments of undeniable entertainment that don’t quite manage to compensate for strange pacing issues and a curiously uninvolving story that always seems on the cusp of finally coming together without ever quite doing so." (more)
SOUL (2020)
"Work, Love, Life And All That Jazz"
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Although it probably ranks relatively low on the list of problems, the simple truth is that 2020 has not been a particularly good or fertile period for animated feature films. Oh sure, there have been smaller efforts like “Marona’s Fantastic Tale” and “Wolfwalkers” that are worth seeking out but for the most part, the major ones that have emerged have been listless affairs like “Trolls World Tour,” “Over the Moon” and “The Croods: A New Age.” Even Pixar stumbled earlier this year with “Onward,” a film that tried a little harder than, say, the Trolls brawl but was a bit of a unsatisfying mess. Now Pixar has returned with their second film of the year, “Soul,” and while it is definitely a step up from “Onward,” it too is kind of a mixed bag. Here is a film that, like the best Pixar films is audacious and ambitious in equal measure—even more so when you consider that it is ostensibly being targeted at families with young children—and contains numerous moments of visual beauty, some big laughs and even leaves viewers of all ages with some things to contemplate about themselves afterwards. And yet, despite all that, it never quite finds a way to bring these elements and its far-reaching ambitious together into a package as dramatically and emotionally satisfying as their best work. This result is not necessarily a bad film, per se, but it never quite manages to be as great, powerful or thought-provoking as it would clearly like to be." (more)
NEWS OF THE WORLD
"Kidds Say The Darndest Things"
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "After appearing earlier this year in the WWII submarine drama “Greyhound,” you might think that it would be impossible for Tom Hanks to find another film that projected as much of a “Dad movie” vibe as it did. However, he has managed to just that with his latest film, “News of the World,” a low-key Western that is about as familiar and non-threatening as an old shoe. Under normal circumstances, that would not necessarily be a problem but considering the potentially provocative nature of the material, it seems strange that it has been presented in such a declawed and decidedly benign manner." (more)
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
"We'll Always Have Paris"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "“Promising Young Woman” arrives in theaters (among other delivery systems) intent on doing more than just merely entertaining audiences—it wants to shake them and provoke them and stand as a clarion call to those who need to hear it that the bad old ways that have existed for so long are coming to an end and woe unto anyone who is unwilling/able to get with the program. (It also clearly wants to score a few Oscar nominations as well, but it is only slightly less upfront about that.) As someone who is always down for a cinematic provocation, that sounds great because Lord knows we could always use more movies designed to shake things up and send viewers out into the parking lot—even a metaphorical one, as the case may be these days—arguing passionately about what it is that they have just seen. My only request along those lines is that the film in question at least has the sense and common decency to be good or, at the very least, bad in an interesting way. Unfortunately, “Promising Young Woman” fails to clear that one hurdle and the result is one of the most bizarrely and infuriatingly bad movies of the year—a stab at would-be outrage that starts off with a potentially incendiary premise and proceeds to squander it with a screenplay that pulls its punches more often than a boxer throwing a fight before lurching into a conclusion so misconceived that it essentially winds up denuding its own subversive stance right before our disbelieving eyes." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: ARE WE OUT OF THE WOODS YET?
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Hunted," "The Marksman," "One Night in Miami," "Outside the Wire" and "WandaVision."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT DIVISION
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Gun And A Hotel Bible," "Pieces Of A Woman" and "Redemption Day."" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: ONE LAST BIT OF EXORCISE FOR 2020
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "The Cleansing Hour" and "The Passionate Thief."" (more)
MORE FEATURES

'I DO NOT MEAN TO PRY, BUT YOU DON'T BY ANY CHANCE HAPPEN TO HAVE SIX FINGERS ON YOUR RIGHT HAND?'
- Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
 
 

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