The End of the Tour

Observant, probing, poignant, and thought-provoking, The End of the Tour is a hipster road trip bromance that addresses perplexing themes for our times; a wise and wacky cautionary tale about a cultural titan and the reporter trailing in his wake; and an illuminating exposé about the nebulous relationship between interviewer and subject. Wonderfully performed and filled with dexterous repartee, it’s a true Sundance gem.

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The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Incisive, adventurous, bawdy, and ferociously honest, The Diary of a Teenage Girl is an uncompromising examination of the voyage into womanhood; a non-judgmental story of life-altering sexual experience that’s both specific and universal; and an unconventional, non-sanitized portrayal of hormonal bloodbath. Refreshingly attuned to the self-doubt, turmoil, and voracious appetite that defines adolescence, it’s a difficult and rewarding indie film stuffed with bitter truth.

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Meticulously crafted, emotionally resonant, and aggressively idiosyncratic, Amy is an enveloping journey of recovery and relapse; a grief-stricken experience laced with much-needed corrective; and a bittersweet catalogue of a nosedive that resulted in unparalleled creative breakthrough. Sensitive and soul-shattering, yet devoid of sensationalism, it’s a stirring testimony to a singular, once-in-a-generation talent.

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Assured, tragic, absurd, and heartbreaking, Phoenix is a complex Hitchcockian tale of a woman’s search for answers amidst devastation; a reverse riff on Vertigo; and a spellbinding enigma of identity, deception, and illusion. Through immaculate filmmaking and acting, an implausible, preposterous plot is methodically turned into a gripping and profound allegory.

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The Tribe

Purposeful, confrontational, and unremittingly bleak, The Tribe is an innovative, haunting drama about the darkest corners of humanity; a flawed-but-forceful addition to the cinema of the downtrodden; and a silent horror story that makes one writhe in discomfort on multiple occasions. Nihilistic and provocative beyond measure, it’s an experimental social portrait of no sound and all fury, where wordless dialogue screams in agony.

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Compassionate, celebratory, cautionary, and curiously affective, Eden is a muted commentary on the road to maturity; an intoxicating arthouse party cloaked in a “failure story”; and a perceptive two-decades memoir about someone trapped in early-20s purgatory. Neither dazzling star-is-born parable nor dour soul-is-lost tale, it has a mystical cadence and a marvellous mood.

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Inside Out

Terrifically sad, riotously beautiful, wondrously alive, and potentially therapeutic, Inside Out is a bright comedy about dark feelings; an intriguing reaffirmation of Pixar’s singular talents; and a smart, optimistic adventure aimed at the child inside all of us. Audacious in its premise, Freudian in its subject, mature in its manner, and immense in its ambition, it’s a sweet, inventive, special film.

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