Category: 2017 Film Reviews

New York Indian Film Festival Review: Bornila Chatterjee’s ‘The Hungry’

“For a play that is so much about macho-ness and the male code of honor, it is refreshing to watch Chatterjee give it a somewhat feminist tweak.”

Review: Valérie Massadian’s ‘Milla’

“Although the well worn label of ‘humanist’ may have lost its meaning by now, ‘Milla’ truly lives up to the mantle, as it is ultimately concerned with the fortitude and ability of a young woman to create a space of her own in the world.”

Review: Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Molly’s Game’

“For a film that prides itself on being ‘based on a true story,’ ‘Molly’s Game’ often relies on moments that are too coincidental, too easy. Yet, there’s nothing here to suggest that Sorkin won’t eventually figure things out behind the camera.”

Review: Fatih Akin’s ‘In the Fade’

“Writer/director Akin presents everything through a stilted lens which mistakes prosaic framing and editing for a matter of fact tone.”

Review: Nora Twomey’s ‘The Breadwinner’

“‘The Breadwinner’ is a beautifully-constructed yet grueling story of female bravery that feels both timeless and timely.”

Review: Scott Cooper’s ‘Hostiles’

“For all its attempts at dissecting human cruelty, there’s no human core to this story, which makes its 135-minute runtime feel twice as long.”

Real, All Too Real: Rakhee Sandilya’s ‘Ribbon’

“Within the context of a cinema that is high-strung and often defined by its over-the-top, spectacle-driven family dramas, ‘Ribbon’ and its smallness (and everydayness) is not just a refreshing break but an extremely well-timed breaking of the mold.”

The Story of the Girl Named Blue: Danish Renzu’s ‘Half Widow’

“Renzu’s film gives a face to the thousands of women featured in the papers, disturbingly called ‘half widows’ — not just defined by the lack of a husband, but also by this ‘half,’ not full, not a complete status of being.”

Murphy’s Law and the Man Who Murdered Himself: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat’s ‘Long Live Brij Mohan!’

“If Murphy’s Law were to be made into a film, it’d look a lot like Nikhil Nagesh Bhat’s ‘Long Live Brij Mohan!’ His production, in more ways than one, is also a metaphor for the city of Delhi.”

Review: James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’

“The Hollywood dream lives on proudly in ‘The Disaster Artist.’”

The Uninhibited Spirit of Hope: Rima Das’ ‘Village Rockstars’

“‘Village Rockstars’ represents a cultural category that is largely ignored by mainstream cinema and heralds a new chapter in the contemporary practice of serious filmmaking in India.”

Review: Martin McDonagh’s ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’

“McDonagh’s film is as much of a message movie as summiting Mount Kilimanjaro is a relaxing family-friendly vacation.”

Review: Feng Xiaogang’s ‘Youth’

“Achieving a vibrant mix of swooning sincerity and bitter irony, Feng Xiaogang’s ‘Youth’ walks the tightrope of Chinese history with a showman’s flair and a subversive wit, channelling its conflicting perceptions of the past into a single cohesive, ultimately jaded vision.”

Review: Joachim Trier’s ‘Thelma’

“It’s an odd little film, more melancholy and plaintive than outright scary or troubling, that slowly crawls under your skin.”

Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League’ Saves the Earth but Not the DC Extended Universe

“The DC Extended Universe is not doomed, but it needs its own clear identity and purpose. Rebranding ‘The Avengers’ is not the answer.”

Review: Luca Guadagnino’s ‘Call Me by Your Name’

“‘Call Me by Your Name’ skips through time like a dream, or a calcified, powerful memory.”

Sonar Baran Pakhi Movie Essay - 2016 Bobby Sarma Baruah Film

Of Elephants, Daughters and Rebels: Bobby Sarma Baruah’s ‘Sonar Baran Pakhi’

“In its thorough research and extensive reconstructing of the artist’s life, ‘Sonar Baran Pakhi’ is a document of celebration. Of the artist, the daughter, the mother. And the effortless rebel.”

Gabe Klinger’s ‘Porto’: A Middling, Moody Romance

“‘Porto’ aims for atmosphere but merely achieves it with convention.”

Review: Maysaloun Hamoud’s ‘Bar Bahar’

“‘Bar Bahar’ is an unmissable dramedy that puts women at the heart of a hypocritical world in flux.”

CIFF After Dark Review: Patrick Brice’s ‘Creep 2’

“Horror fans may need to adjust their expectations if they’re looking for more frights than laughs.”