Category Archives: Reviews

Leave No Trace

Beautifully understated and incredibly moving, Leave No Trace is a contemplative, terrifically shot father-daughter drama from a talented director that’s been away for far too long. Environmentally aware yet convincing in its narrative simplicity, Leave No Trace is a small, quiet, and phenomenally effective film about fatherhood, family, and the importance of staying true to oneself no matter the consequences.

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Lady Bird

Witty, wise, and wonderfully grounded, Lady Bird is a funny, realistic coming-of-age tale that sidesteps cliché in favour of presenting two complex, sympathetic female characters at odds and yet somehow wishing that they could come to understand the other. It’s a pithy, well-sculpted comedy-drama of affectionate precision that embraces adolescence’s messy realities, by a star and filmmaker that are simultaneously young and excellent far beyond their years.

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Twin Peaks: The Return

Dense, dour, dark, and downright transporting, Twin Peaks: The Return is an ode to lamps, beautiful ladies, and dimly-lit nightclubs, a bonkers cauldron of chaos from the master of the grotesque that’s constantly shifting, evolving, and changing shape. It’s creepy and funny, nostalgic and modern, strange and sad, indulgent and audacious, surreal and heartbreaking. 

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Columbus

Clean, crisp, concise, and as potent as the hallucinogenic drug referenced in the film, Columbus is a near-miracle of independent filmmaking: a quasi-mood piece from an unknown artist that will now be permanently on the cinematic map, showcasing lived-in performances that ultimately become larger-than-life. Clear-eyed, well-made, and sincerely affecting, it’s one of the best films of the year.

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A Ghost Story

Ambiguous, opaque, and highly original, A Ghost Story is an otherworldly brew that’s both wrenching and dryly funny; a gorgeously-shot-and-scored meditation on time, loss, grief, and mortality; and a potent reminder that great cinema requires nothing more than courage, vision, and execution. If you are patient and can get on its wavelength (and perhaps only some will), it’s absolutely devastating.

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Baby Driver

Slick and superlatively choreographed, with a super-charged look and feel, Baby Driver is a pedal-to-the-metal action thriller that rarely lets up, in the vein of The Driver, Point Break, and Heat. Frenzied, frenetic, and as fast-paced as a Ferrari in the red, it’s both a blast and a mess, with a strong opening and a second half that whimpers (or flames out?) before it crosses the finish line.

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It Comes at Night

Restrained, rigorous, and unrelentingly bleak, It Comes at Night is a daunting drama with a grueling mood; a lithe exploration of family amidst intense scrutiny and paranoia; and a patient, pulse-pounding thriller that’s – refreshingly, terrifyingly – not about the things that go bump in the night. Lean and mean, it comes packaged to rouse people from their slumber and keep them up shaking in their beds.

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