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NEW THIS WEEK
Trial of the Chicago 7, The 4
Kajillionaire 2.5
Ava rate me!
Shortcut rate me!
Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles rate me!
Artist's Wife, The rate me!
Lie Exposed rate me!
Misbehaviour rate me!
Scare Me rate me!
American Murder: The Family Next Door rate me!
Boys in the Band, The (2020) rate me!
LX 2048 rate me!
Glorias, The rate me!
ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
2-Oct 12 Hour Shift
2-Oct Black Box
2-Oct Call to Spy, A
2-Oct Dick Johnson Is Dead
2-Oct Let's Scare Julie
2-Oct Lie, The (2018)
2-Oct On the Rocks
2-Oct Once Upon a River
2-Oct Possessor
2-Oct Rising Hawk, The
2-Oct Save Yourselves!
6-Oct Curse of Audrey Earnshaw, The
6-Oct Spontaneous

DVD RELEASES
29-Sep Desert One  
6-Oct Valley Girl (2020)  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
I'm Thinking of Ending Things 4
Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula 4
Words on Bathroom Walls 4
Trial of the Chicago 7, The 4
Bill & Ted Face the Music 3.77

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Unhinged 1.46
Tenet 2
Devil All the Time, The 2
Secret Garden, The (2020) 2
Kajillionaire 2.5

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Trishna 3.71
Burn 4
Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie 3
Side by Side 3.86
Jackpot 5
MORE MOVIES

2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Cheap Thrills 3.25
Hentai Kamen: Forbidden Superhero 4
Key of Life 4
Berserk Golden Age Arc 3: Descent 2.56
Garden of Words, The 5
MORE MOVIES

2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Blue Is the Warmest Color 4.56
Metallica Through The Never 3.29
Invisible Woman, The (2013) 5
Blue Ruin 4.44
Starred Up 3.33
MORE MOVIES

2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
All Is Lost 4.31
Blue Is the Warmest Color 4.56
Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The 3.6
Stray Dogs (2013) 2
Missing Picture, The 4
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Inside Llewyn Davis 4.27
12 Years a Slave 3.62
Fifth Estate, The 2
Motel Life, The 2.86
Life Feels Good 5
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2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Morris from America 5
Birth of a Nation, The (2016) 1.29
Lobster, The 3.63
Operation Avalanche 4
Cameraperson 5
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2016 Slamdance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Embers 4.14
MORE MOVIES

2016 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Pitch Black 3.56
Big Ass Spider! 4
Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, The 4
Projet-M 3
Polder 3
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2019 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Hail Satan? 3.86
Mope 3
Greener Grass 2
One Child Nation (aka Born in China) 4
Shooting the Mafia 4
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2019 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Saint Frances 3
Yes, God, Yes 4
Them That Follow 4
Us 4.16
Beach Bum, The 1
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Independent Film Festival Boston 2019 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Her Smell 5
Rusalka (aka The Siren), The 4
You Don't Nomi 3
Not for Resale 4
Official Secrets 3
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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 2.67
Guest of Honour 1
Weathering With You 3.75
Lighthouse, The 5
Whistlers, The 3
MORE MOVIES

2019 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Irishman, The 4.4
MORE MOVIES

2019 Fantastic Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Death of Dick Long, The 3
You Don't Nomi 3
First Love 4
Knives Out 4.32
Tammy and the T-Rex 3
MORE MOVIES

2019 Chicago Critics Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Saint Frances 3
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EFC STATS
Movies Listed: 32774
Total Ratings: 249992
Total Reviews: 28663
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Films I Neglected To Review: Hope-Less Romantics
Reflections from the Toronto Film Festival (Virtual Edition 2020)
Fantasia Film Festival (Reviews from the 2020 Edition)
Films I Neglected To Review: Take A Picture, It'll Last Longer.
Films I Neglected to Review: All The Hits
Films I Neglected To Review: The Docs Are In
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)
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LATEST REVIEWS
NEW MUTANTS, THE
"All the right pieces but none of the luck."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... ""The New Mutants" has been a punchline or running gag for the past couple of years as it got pushed down the schedule as much as a result of things well outside filmmakers Josh Boone's control as the movie's own faults, from another movie being delayed to one studio consuming another and pushing the whole slate out months until, finally, the new studio decided this was an appropriate bone to throw theaters in the middle of the pandemic (after deciding not to do the sort of reshoots that probably would have helped because the young cast members could no longer pass for teenagers). It is, by and large, much better than its cursed path would indicate, but one can certainly see why it was always the thing that got pushed back while other movies were given priority." (more)
ON THE ROCKS
"Occasional Accidents"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Not counting brief appearances in a handful of films throughout the Eighties, Sofia Coppola’s first major film credit came at the age on 18 when she collaborated with her father, Francis, on the screenplay for “Life Without Zoe,” his contribution to “New York Stories” (1989), his contribution to “New York Stories,” an anthology movie that also included works by Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen. While Scorsese did a driving drama on art and obsession and Allen came up with an inspired farce about a middle-aged man whose domination by his elderly mother takes on an insane new dimension following a mystical mishap, the Coppolas came up with a whimsical fantasy, one clearly inspired by the old “Eloise” stories (and presumably their own relationship to some degree), about a rich-but-sweet 12-year-old girl who lives at the Sherry-Netherland Hotel and, left mostly alone by her famous and glamorous parents, gets involved in a number of misadventures. The end result was pretty dire—even their much-maligned collaboration the next year on “The Godfather III” offered greater artistic dividends—and as Coppola unexpectedly made her transformation from the poster child for nepotism to one of the most exciting American filmmakers at work today with such films as “The Virgin Suicides” (2000), “Lost in Translation” (2003), “Marie Antoinette” (2006) and her remake of “The Beguiled” (2017), that short has pretty much been forgotten by all." (more)
SPONTANEOUS
"Combustion Junction"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "As a rule, I try to cover as many of the new movies coming out each week as possible but even with my best efforts, I cannot always get to every single one. I make a point to tackle all the major releases, of course, but when it comes to the smaller and less heralded titles, I sometimes find myself needing to pick and choose what I am going to cover and what I am going to put aside. If the film in question has a premise that sounds vaguely intriguing, I am usually willing to give it a chance. Likewise, if any of the people who are connected with it are those whose work I have admired in the past, that is oftentimes enough to lure me in. And, of course, there are those films that look so utterly ridiculous (“Money Plane” anyone?) that wild horses could not keep me away. Granted, this is not a flawless system by any means—I have wound up seeing any number of terrible movies this way and I suspect that just as many fine ones have eluded me as well—but for the most part, it seems to work out reasonably well." (more)
KAJILLIONAIRE
"Insipid to the Point of Inertia"
1 stars
Jack Sommersby says... "Both mainstream and art-house viewers will be highly displeased by this unsatisfying nonsense." (more)
TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7, THE
"The Revolution Will Not Be Streamed (At Least Until October)"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” a docudrama based on the conspiracy trial of a group of anti-Vietnam War protestors whose conspiracy trial related to charge that they incited riots at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago became the focus of worldwide attention, is a project that has come close to being made several times over the last decade or so without ever quite making it before the cameras. Written by Aaron Sorkin, for whom the combination of courtroom drama and politics must have been artistic catnip, the film was originally set to be directed by Steven Spielberg with Sacha Baron Cohen as Yippie agitator Abbie Hoffman, Will Smith as Black Panthers co-founder Bobby Seale and the late Heath Ledger as SDS co-founder Tom Hayden. A Writers Guild strike shut that iteration down and when Spielberg moved on to other things, other filmmakers like Paul Greenglass and Ben Stiller were mentioned as possibilities to film Sorkin’s script but these versions failed to pan out as well. After all this time, the film has finally been made, with Sorkin himself tapped to direct his screenplay, and it is a supreme irony that after so many years in which it might have been looked upon simply as a period piece, it arrives in theaters (albeit briefly, though it will be on Netflix, who bought the film from Paramount once Covid-19 tanked the theatrical release schedule, beginning October 16) with themes and ideas that seem as if it was specifically cultivated to come out at this precise moment in time, one at least as tumultuous as the period that it documents." (more)
KAJILLIONAIRE
"More Than Just "Parawhite""
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "In 2005, author and performance artist Miranda July made her debut as a writer-director with “Me and You and Everyone We Know,” an offbeat, engaging and utterly original comedy about interpersonal relationships involving a cast of quirky characters that was funny and observant in the ways that they dealt (or didn’t) with questions about love and sex without ever becoming too twee for its own good. Six years later, she followed that up with the vaguely similar “The Future” and while the end result was not quite the standout work that her previous achievement was, it was still smart and amusing and reiterated July as an artist who was willing to march to the beat of her own drum, no matter where it might take her. Now, nearly a decade after that film, she has finally returned with her third feature, “Kajillionaire,” and for the first time, she is working within the confines of a recognizable genre, though it may not be that recognizable once she is through with it. Although the film is uneven and takes a long time to finally hit its stride, it is ultimately an entertaining and occasionally moving work that allows her to tell a story that is more overtly accessible to mass audiences without losing the distinctive touches that made her previous efforts so unique." (more)
12 HOUR SHIFT
"Doesn't feel a minute longer than an hour and a half."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "As good as Angela Bettis and Chloe Farnworth in "12 Hour Shift", I'm mildly surprised that writer/director Brea Grant didn't keep either role for herself; it wouldn't be her first time on both sides of the camera and it certainly feels like the sort of part a filmmaker writes for herself. It's a great showcase but it might be nice if there were a little more around it - in trying to create an overwhelming situation, Grant doesn't give any particular thing much chance to be particularly stressful." (more)
ALONE (2020)
"Driven To Fears"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "It was the great Jean-Luc Godard who once famously “In order to criticize a movie, you have to make another movie.” Even though it is based on a 2011 Swedish film and had to have been in production at least several months ago, it is extremely tempting to look upon “Alone” as a film made as a response to and a critique of the recent Russell Crowe road rage nonsense “Unhinged.” Both films have somewhat similar initial concepts and share such stylistic conceits as an extremely limited cast of characters. However, in practical every imaginable area, it beats its predecessor with a lean and effective thriller that takes a familiar premise and breathes new life and no small amount of genuine dread into it." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: HOPE-LESS ROMANTICS
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Dreaming Grand Avenue," "Enola Holmes," "Jay Sebring. . . Cutting to the Truth," "Misbehaviour" and "Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood History."" (more)
REFLECTIONS FROM THE TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL (VIRTUAL EDITION 2020)
by Erik Childress
"Here you will find reviews from this year's (virtual) Toronto Film Festival. My first time not attending the festival in person since 2004. Keep checking this spot for updates." (more)
FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL (REVIEWS FROM THE 2020 EDITION)
by Jay Seaver & Erik Childress
"This year's Fantasia Film Festival went virtual and we have collected coverage done by Jay Seaver and Erik Childress. You can read capsules and full reviews linked right here." (more)
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