Into the Dark: My Valentine

“Into the Dark: My Valentine” starts with some of the most interesting themes in the history of this monthly Hulu/Blumhouse series of original horror movies. It’s a film about true toxic masculinity, the kind that sees women not only as possessions but interchangeable ones at that. You know the kind of guy whose girlfriends all …

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And Then We Danced

Dance is both a personal expression of freedom and an oppressive enclosure in “And Then We Danced,” Swedish-born filmmaker Levan Akin’s passionate coming-of-age tale, set in contemporary Tbilisi. In a statement, the writer/director (of Georgian descent) reflects that the time-honored folkloric dance, the Church, and traditional polyphonic singing stand as the three most important pillars …

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Cane River

“Cane River” is a cinematic valentine straight from the mind and soul of writer/director Horace B. Jenkins, who died before the project’s original release in 1982. It’s the only movie that he directed, and it was made with an all African American cast and crew. Newly restored by IndieCollect (from a print acquired by the …

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Waiting for Anya

“Waiting for Anya” begins with a helpful explanation of what was going on in 1942, the first indicator that the target audience may be those who have not yet learned some basic history about WWII. It is not the last. The film is based on a popular YA book by Michael Morpurgo, author of The War …

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Netflix’s Locke and Key Adaptation Lacks Edge

Some of our most engrossing stories share one very specific strand of DNA: They begin with a child discovering the impossible. The Narnia books. The Harry Potter series. Many of the great (or at least, the most enduring) family films spring forth from such a point: “E.T.,” “The Neverending Story,” “The Iron Giant,” “Coraline,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” the …

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The American Pavilion Announces the Insider’s Cannes Program

The American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival has just announced an Insider’s Cannes Program for its 2020 installment running from Monday, May 18th, through Sunday, May 24th. Program members will be invited to attend the festival, with accommodations provided by The Best Western Cannes Riviera Hotel and Spa, which is within walking distance of the Palais …

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Watch the Academy Awards and the Film Independent Spirit Awards This Weekend

The Super Bowl for movie lovers will be aired this weekend, as the 92nd Academy Awards are aired at 7pm CST on Sunday, February 9th on ABC, following the Film Independent Spirit Awards airing at 4pm CST on Saturday, February 8th on IFC. Several of the films on my Top Ten list (which you can …

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Kirk Douglas: 1916-2020

As a result of having caught the movie bug at a very early age, I must confess that in many cases, I cannot specifically remember when I first encountered many of the greats of the silver screen for the first time—I have adored the Marx Brothers for as long as I can recall but I …

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USA Network’s Briarpatch is Not Worth the Visit

USA Network tries to conjure up their own “Twin Peaks” with the highly self-amused mystery series, “Briarpatch” (premiering on February 6). Based on the book by Ross Thomas, the series leans into that comparison by focusing on a small town of eccentrics that leads one detective toward a larger underground conspiracy. They even have the same …

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The 2020 Oscar-Nominated Scores

This year’s Best Original Score category is especially fierce–with three previous winners, one regular nominee, and a one newcomer, it’s anybody’s question as to who is going to win. With the winner set to be announced on Sunday at the 92nd Academy Awards, let’s take a look (and listen) through all of the nominees, and see what …

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Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Margot Robbie is the most adorable sociopath you’d ever want to hang out and blow stuff up with in “Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).” The sour “Suicide Squad” gave us a little taste of the artist formerly known as Harleen Quinzel in 2016, when she was the Joker’s dutifully …

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Sundance 2020: Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia, La Leyenda Negra, Beast Beast, I Carry You With Me

Sundance Film Festival’s eclectic NEXT section is proof that a story can come from anywhere and be told in many different ways. No two movies are quite alike in this section, which sometimes feels like a catch-all for gems that were either too risky to run against likely crowd-pleasers, or are passion projects that make giant leaps …

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Sundance 2020: Boys State, A Thousand Cuts, The Social Dilemma

Sometimes you see a slew of young faces in the midst of amazing circumstances, and you can just tell what they’re going to be like in 10 or even 50 years from now. “Boys State” takes place on such an edge of maturity, as it follows a group of high school-age political science nerds in …

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The Best Films of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival

Almost everyone in Park City agreed that this year was one of the strongest overall slates in a long time. Yes, the fest seemed to lack a true breakout like “Manchester by the Sea” or “Brooklyn” – films you instantly knew would be talked about all year – but the overall “yeah, that was pretty …

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The Best Performances of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival

Our team of writers saw around a hundred movies this year, featuring dozens of performances we loved. What’s so wonderful about these particular acting turns is the breadth of style contained within this feature. A festival like Sundance offers an opportunity to see familiar faces reaching a new level as performers alongside brand new names …

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​They’ve Gotta Have Us Charts Black Experience in Cinema

Over the last seven years, from the Best Picture win for “12 Years a Slave” to the box-office dominance of “Black Panther,” Black cinema has exploded with expanded stories and roles for actors and creatives. While individual voices have tried to approximate the importance of this era, never have those perspectives been joined together nor …

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Sundance 2020: The Last Shift, Dream Horse, Tesla

Richard Jenkins gives one of his most soulful performances in years in Andrew Cohn’s “The Last Shift,” a drama about one man’s devotion to his job, and the ways in which is employer takes advantage of his pride. From when we first see him—crafting a chicken specialty he calls the “Stanwich”—Jenkins’ everyman quality is put to …

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Short Films in Focus: The 2020 Oscar-Nominated Shorts

In anticipation of the Oscars this Sunday, our short films expert Collin Souter reviews each of the nominated shorts from each category. For more information about each short, click here.  Animated “Daughter” – A woman visits her father on his deathbed, and when a bird crashes through a hospital window, she is transported back to a …

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#373 February 4, 2020

Matt writes: The 2020 Sundance Film Festival came to a close this past Sunday, and RogerEbert.com was there to cover all the highlights. Check out our official table of contents to skim through our complete line-up of dispatches penned by Brian Tallerico, Nick Allen, Carlos Aguilar, Monica Castillo, Robert Daniels and Tomris Laffly, as well …

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Sundance 2020: Run Sweetheart Run, The Nowhere Inn

A fascinating meta odyssey of rock stardom, Bill Benz’s “The Nowhere Inn” is a perfect antidote-turned-hallucinogenic for the festival’s opening night Taylor Swift documentary, “Miss Americana.” It raises a great question that not music documentaries do: “Just how boring are rock stars when they get off stage?” That’s the case with Annie Clark, known in rock music …

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