What emerges is a portrait of a fully committed band that could never quite make it.
In its refusal to bring an easy understanding to its main character’s behavior, it comes dangerously close to presenting her as a willing perpetrator in her own victimhood.
A cursory history lesson with no interest in probing the deeper or more complex implications of Mandela’s positions and their relationship to his country’s shifting landscape.
Alternating between self-consciously offbeat comedy and existential J-horror, Satoshi Miki’s film never quite satisfies in either mode.
Kat Coiro’s film takes comedy of discomfort to new levels of cringe-worthiness.
The film smartly avoids the sort of cynical hijinks that characterize the majority of Vegas-set flicks, though it can’t come up with anything more compelling to place in its stead.
Ralph Fiennes’s film feels not so much rooted in the past as it is mired in conventions about how to portray that past.
Tsai Ming-liang isn’t making a social-problem film here, and his critique of patriarchal control is secondary to his portrait of unbearable psychic conditions.
A nose-to-the-ground crime thriller that also doubles as a wide-ranging portrait of official corruption in the Philippines, On the Job has little trouble delivering the genre goods.
Not only a study of the contemporary American university, but a wide-ranging inquiry into the larger institutions and contradictions that define life in the United States.
The film scores all of its thematic points early, commenting intriguingly, if ultimately rather obviously, on the demands of Japanese patriarchy.
Is an exploration of sex addiction, in all its different manifestations, the new flavor of the week in contemporary American cinema?
It gives a true sense of how the forces of a hypocritically religious country has burdened countless young women with a lifetime of misplaced guilt.
It does for porn-dependence what Shame did for sex addiction by offering a surface-level look at the effects of its specific pathology on its lead male character.
Lynn Shelton crafts a film of astonishingly sustained mood, tying its beguiling atmosphere to the mental states of her characters.
The film rarely takes us past its rather obvious conclusions about the potential bestial nature of kids and how that may translate to the larger battlefields.
For all of the director’s willingness to explore his characters’ unexpected depths, he’s still hamstrung by his perpetually tasteful cinema-of-quality aesthetic.
If nothing else, Dan Mazer’s I Give It a Year serves as a corrective to the married-with-children worldview that dominates a certain strand of mainstream comedies.
Given the film’s early promise, it’s unfortunate how it turns into a largely reductive Freudian character piece in which the main character has to come to terms with his old man.