Category: 2021 Film Reviews

Drive My Car Movie Review - 2021 Ryûsuke Hamaguchi Film

‘Drive My Car’: Hamaguchi Takes the Wheel

“For all the viewers who give themselves over to Hamaguchi’s meticulous attention to detail and powerful expression of character, the entire movie flies.”

Memoria Movie Review - 2021 Apichatpong Weerasethakul Film

This Is the Sound: Apichatpong Weerasethakul Contemplates ‘Memoria’

“Reading ‘Memoria’ as metanarrative unlocks only one layer of joy — Weerasethakul treats Jessica’s quest with complete respect. The source of the sound is eventually revealed. And with that revelation, the filmmaker just GOES FOR IT.”

The Hand of God Movie Review - 2021 Paolo Sorrentino Film

Mind Your Manners at the House of Sorrentino

“In a time when filmmakers get hung out to dry for depicting problematic characters, why is it still OK to mock Italian culture every time a big Italian-themed movie releases?”

Project Space 13 Movie Review - 2021 Michael M. Bilandic Film

Review: Michael M. Bilandic’s ‘Project Space 13’

“In films like ‘Hellaware’ and ‘Jobe’z World,’ Bilandic favors the abstract over character development. ‘Project Space 13’ is much more refined and practical; the jokes land better because of the depth and organic qualities.”

Licorice Pizza Movie Review - 2021 Paul Thomas Anderson Film

Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Licorice Pizza’ Has All the Best Toppings

“Both ‘Licorice Pizza’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ nail the anything-is-possible look and feel of Southern California dreaming.”

Nightmare Alley Movie Review - 2021 Guillermo del Toro Film

Review: Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Nightmare Alley’

“Those who’ve come to love del Toro for his auteurist elements may be put off by ‘Nightmare Alley’ — it’s recognizably his film, yet it jettisons the presence of a supernatural element as well as twists the usual empathy found in his movies toward darker ends.”

This Is Cristina Movie Review - 2019 Gonzalo Maza Film

Review: Gonzalo Maza’s ‘This Is Cristina’

“‘This Is Cristina’ makes a strong case for the idea that truly honest art emerges when one feels like they have lost everything else.”

The Last Matinee Movie Review - 2020 Maximiliano Contenti Film

Review: Maximiliano Contenti’s ‘The Last Matinee’

“‘The Last Matinee’ doesn’t necessarily celebrate gore cinema, but rather the concept that moviegoers can evolve and mature by directly facing their fears.”

The Power of the Dog Review - 2021 Jane Campion Netflix Movie

Review: Jane Campion’s ‘The Power of the Dog’

“It is surely a disservice to reduce Campion’s filmography to a study in gender, despite the longstanding focus of so much scholarship.”

The Real Charlie Chaplin Review - 2021 Showtime Documentary

Review: Peter Middleton and James Spinney’s ‘The Real Charlie Chaplin’

“With almost surgical precision, filmmakers Peter Middleton and James Spinney dissect the life and work of a legend in ‘The Real Charlie Chaplin,’ a worthwhile addition to the many studies of one of the most recognizable screen performers in cinema history.”

House of Gucci Movie Review - 2021 Ridley Scott Film

‘House of Gucci’: A Disappointing Oddity

“Right from the get-go in ‘House of Gucci,’ it’s clear that something is amiss.”

Prisoners of the Ghostland Movie Review - 2021 Sion Sono Shudder Film

Review: Sion Sono’s ‘Prisoners of the Ghostland’

“‘Prisoners of the Ghostland’ is like a failed yet well-made pilot episode, one that teases high drama but doesn’t have anything interesting to say about the characters.”

Clerk Documentary Review - 2021 Malcolm Ingram Film

Review: Malcolm Ingram’s ‘Clerk’

“The biggest takeaway from ‘Clerk,’ aside from the fact that the terrific Joey Lauren Adams should’ve had a bigger career, is that nobody is more surprised by Smith’s success than the man himself.”

Black Friday Movie Review - 2021 Casey Tebo Film

Review: Casey Tebo’s ‘Black Friday’

“Tebo’s low-stakes take on holiday horror is a lot like Christmas candy; ‘Black Friday’ hits the spot, but you might be left craving something slightly more substantial soon afterwards.”

Chocolate Road Documentary Review - 2021 Tanya Chuturkova Film

Review: Tanya Chuturkova’s ‘Chocolate Road’

“I’ll never be the same after watching ‘Chocolate Road.’ No longer will I eat a bonbon without seeing a massive cacao plant. I won’t be able to watch ‘Chocolat’ without thinking about Central American cacao plant clones. That’s a good thing…”

Listening to Kenny G Review - 2021 Penny Lane Documentary Film

Review: Penny Lane’s ‘Listening to Kenny G’

“With ‘Listening to Kenny G,’ Lane affirms her status as one of the most talented nonfiction storytellers working today.”

The Bengali Documentary Review - 2021 Kavery Kaul Film

Review: Kavery Kaul’s ‘The Bengali’

“There’s plenty of skepticism to be found in ‘The Bengali’; however, that’s just the starting point for an important conversation about first encounters, cultural education and life-changing travel experiences.”

Great White Movie Review - 2021 Shudder Film

Review: Martin Wilson’s ‘Great White’

“‘Great White’ may not be a groundbreaking or unique film, but it’s made with respect, and that deserves to be reciprocated.”

Lair Movie Review - 2021 Adam Ethan Crow Film

Review: Adam Ethan Crow’s ‘Lair’

“‘Lair’ succeeds with its female-led possession story but fails with the flat adjacent flat subplot.”

Bergman Island Movie Review - 2021 Mia Hansen-Love Film

Review: Mia Hansen-Løve’s ‘Bergman Island’

“The Fårö setting in ‘Bergman Island’ provides Hansen-Løve with a treasure chest of opportunities to indulge and explore cinephilia, reflexivity, homage and intertext, but the potential autobiographical interpretations are equally enticing.”