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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Eden

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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A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Expertly assembled, grimly engaging, and intentionally far-fetched, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is nutty and profound absurdism, a bitter piece of Swedish drollery, and a Scandinavian twist on Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. It’s a hyper-stylized, hyper-composed take on the human condition that ignores logic, cohesion, and convention in favour of something grander and more entrancing.

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Buoyant, rousing, and simmering with simple charms, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a quirky, endearing coming-of-age chronicle; an energetic, respectful sleeper hit; and a fresh take on the quiet stumbles between adolescence and adulthood. If it’s coy and cute and a bit cloying, it’s also heartfelt and handmade entertainment that will have you reaching for a tissue.

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Love & Mercy

Unobtrusively directed, hair-raisingly watchable, and aurally vivid, Love & Mercy is a sincere, uncomplicated journey of sanity, healing, and the fecklessness of the California dream; a deeply satisfying pop biopic with good vibrations. Sensitive and profound, it captures with few missteps the visceral power of the artist.

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Mad Max: Fury Road

Boisterous, bountiful, bombastic, berserk, and bonkers, Mad Max: Fury Road is a barn-burner of an operatic extravaganza; a scrap-metal demolition derby of a popcorn flick; and a gargantuan grunge symphony of vehicular mayhem and twisted metal. Extravagantly deranged and utterly unhinged, it’s gutsy, unapologetic, peripatetic, high-octane, and unstoppable, a defiantly individual riposte to committee-led blockbusters that tend to steamroll the summer season.

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