MY FRIEND DAHMER 2017

Fourteen Amazing Films You Might Have Missed in 2017

2017 was a pretty good year for American film. Sure, there were plenty of head scratchers, disappointments, and outright train wrecks, but that’s for another column. (Which will be called “Head Scratchers, Disappointments & Outright Train Wrecks” – it’s all about the ampersand.) Today, we celebrate the minor gems. “Minor” only in the sense that…

By Jonathan Eig
Cat People

Cat People Turns 75 – Celebrating the Legacy of Val Lewton

Last year filmmakers, film historians, film critics and hardcore cinephiles across the world celebrated the 75th Diamond Anniversary of the film the American Film Institute calls the “greatest motion picture ever made”: Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941). Lead actor, director, co-writer and co-producer Welles brought the film to life when he was only in his…

By Jeffrey DeCristofaro
Downsizing

Review: ‘Downsizing’ Goes Big with Ideas But Stays Small in Execution

Alexander Payne’s 2017 science-fiction picture Downsizing is so cleverly conceived you might forget how poorly made it is. Undoubtedly, it’s not a horrible movie. In fact, it’s quite watchable, though it drags at certain points and has its share of frustrating moments. The problem is that it should have been better, given the talent behind…

By Simon Hardy Butler
In the Fade - European Union Film Showcase

American Film Institute: 2018 European Union Film Showcase

The American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre held the 30th edition of its European Union Film Showcase this December. Always a highlight, the 2017 Showcase screened 44 new movies from the 28 EU member nations. Here is a brief recap of this year’s Showcase. THE SUBLIME The Workshop (Laurent Cantet, France) On Body and Soul (Ildiko…

By Jonathan Eig
Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok – The God of Thunder Trades Hammer for Humor

2017: a year in which a movie about The Goddess of Death is the gut-busting comedy of the year. Irony has rarely been penned so beautifully, and so surprisingly signed off by a major, family-friendly studio. Thor: Ragnarok, the latest title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is as much like its predecessors as Shakespeare is…

By Cory Woodroof
The Florida Project

Review: The Florida Project finds sunshine in the rain

At numerous times in Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, the director and co-writer splices together two starkly different realities. One – the city of dreams, where tucked between the highways and residential Orlando lies Disney World, the other happiest place on Earth, where people take family vacation, spend honeymoons and anniversaries, ride roller coasters, stay…

By Cory Woodroof
la fille inconnue

Review: La fille inconnue (The Unknown Girl)

You know that old saying “Lesser Dardennes is still better than most anything else?” OK, it’s not an old saying because I just made it up. But it should be. Because with Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes, movies that fall several notches down on their list of achievements are significantly better than the vast bulk of…

By Jonathan Eig