As Zac Efront's Cole tiptoes away from his past, the film keenly observes a character who doesn't know how to secure his future, or his identity.
The only way that this film could be any more racist is if the Dwyer family holed up with Lillian Gish and waited for the Klan to save them.
The film squanders the promise of its scrutiny into how people recalibrate their sense of morality in times of crisis.
Every beautiful, resonant image in writer-director Alex Ross Perry's film is fraught with neurotic, diaphanous riddles.
The film all leads to a melodramatic climax that wraps up the main character's explosive acting out in a too-neat package.
The film is one long funereal slog in which the main character discovers something about herself that's almost immediately apparent.
A documentary whatsit acutely aware of the inherent performance people put into social discourse to maintain appearances.
An unsentimental vision of war as an arena in which men and women achieve self-actualization, suffer moral decay, and do whatever a given situation necessitates.
It wants for a keener vision of corrupted power, but at least Mora Stephens navigates her main character's sudden slew of infidelities without banalizing them.
Character relations are hinted at and even primed for confrontation, but without payoff or meaningful conclusion.
A Bourne movie turned just askew enough to be funny, American Ultra trains a bemused eye on a trope ripe for a ribbing.
It merely exudes an aura of cheap manipulation by which the audience is simply asked to rank the film's characters on a d-bag scale and root for their survival, or destruction, accordingly.
If first-timer Aleksander Bach's choices as a director are any indication, he's a filmmaker who cares less about characters and actors than about dubious surface dazzle.
Reminiscent of Woody Allen's great, under-sung Manhattan Murder Mystery, it utilizes a pulp conceit as a shorthand for the regrets that bubble up in a marriage.
Familiar as its art/life paralleling may be, it's all fueled by a filmmaker with an intimate relationship to his subject matter.
Writer-director Paul Weitz's proudly boisterous star vehicle for Lily Tomlin has about as many ambitions as it does delusions.
The film is defined by its staunch refusal to clarify its characters' emotional issues, marooning them instead in the messes those emotions have wrought.
Though J.P. Sniadecki doesn't elucidate any broad structural motive, his film gradually adopts an engrossing rhythm among its clatter of steel and ambient chatter.
Tom Shoval, who eschews stylistic flourishes in order to focus on character, leaves the film's heavy lifting to the actors and his own screenplay.
The unapologetic lack of political correctness never goes beyond a one-dimensional and tentative provocation.
Instead of using the titular metaphor as a means to seek deeper, darker ends, Isabel Coixet proceeds to restate it over and over again.
Craig William Macneill's film is a sporadically frightening slow burn with a fatally overlong fuse.
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