The Congress Review


A great cast gives it their all but are sampled one time too many by Ari Folman’s sci-fi monster.Screened at the 40th Seattle International Film Festival, Ari Folman’s follow-up to his Oscar nominated “Waltz with Bashir” is an engaging live action-animation hybrid that runs a hard race but fails to make the big score. At […]

The Green Prince Review


A real life spy thriller proving the truth is stranger than fiction.It is unusual, but not unheard of, for a young Palestinian to be recruited by Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence machine to provide inside information on Hamas. So there is little amazing in the 2010 ABC News story that Mosab Hassan Yousef , “The Green […]

Last Days in Vietnam Review

Last Days in Vietnam

Emotion packed thriller of America’s Southeast Asia Dunkirk.In the year of 1975 both American and the Republic of South Vietnam were struggling, against the odds, to bring peace with dignity to Southeast Asia. The Paris Peace accords of two years’ earlier had established a framework of commitment and cooperation to end the war. In 1974 […]

Ida Review

Still of Agata Kulesza and Agata Trzebuchowska in Ida

A brutal and unapologetic investigation into the heart of darkness of the holocaust.Screened at the 40th Seattle International Film Festival, Pawel Pawlikowski’s atmospheric “Ida” opened June 13, 2014 at the SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle. Presented in 35mm format, this film is one of the most visually striking black and white productions to be seen. […]

The Rover Review


Australian mystery thriller with all the grit in the outback and a little more.David Michôd ups the ante and hauls in a big one in this Aussie thriller set in the desolate outback ten year after the collapse. The collapse? The comedians in the audience will point out that the outback ten years after the […]

The Hornet’s Nest Review


Great live action footage fails to make up for poor narration and organization. It is hard to say where this film fatally diverges from what appears to be its inspiration, “Restrepo,” but it might be that the narration is the first cut. The movie is a documentary of two US military teams pushing into one of […]

Think Like a Man Too. Ouch. Review.

Kevin Hart and  Romany Malco

Kevin Hart and Romany MalcoKevin Hart’s latest box office topping comedy is a sore disappointment to this critic.  Hart’s terrific in the Real Husbands of Hollywood and in other TV and film projects but despite his boundless energy and willingness to play the fool, this sequel is so low energy it hurts. Set in familiar […]

Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus Review

Not just another theatrical performance, Unstable Elements acts to liveScreened at the 40th Seattle International Film Festival, Madeleine Sackler’s awesome, thrilling and beautiful biopic of the underground theatrical group “Unstable Elements of Belarus” is part nail biting spy story and part inspirational political performance art. The Unstable Elements performs theatrical productions critical of the dictatorship […]

Anna Review


Sci-fi psychodrama that fails to deliver on the promise of a mysterious story of extra sensory perception.Mark Strong (Jim Prideaux in the 2011 remake of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”), comes back a good guy. He is still as cold and calculating as ever, approaching the diagnosis of his most recent case as he approached the […]

We Are the Best Review


A coming of age frolic with lessons for all ages.Take a wild ride to 1980’s Stockholm and join Klara, Bobo and Hedwig as they transform 13 year-old Swedish society and find themselves at the same time. It does not matter whether the artist is 13 or 113, the object is to make people laugh, cry […]

The Signal Review

The Signal

New director William Eubank gives it a good try but fails to capitalize on a good idea,Screened at the 40th Seattle International Film Festival, computer hackers Brenton Thwaites (playing Nic Eastman) and Beau Knapp (playing Jonah Breck) receive a very mysterious message. A couple quick replies indicate they are being challenged to a computer dual. […]

40 Day of Silence Review

40 days of silence

A minimalist investigation into Turkish women bearing the sins of the world.Screened at the 40th Seattle International Film Festival, Saodat Ismailova’s “Chilla” came as a surprise to an audience expecting the Indian crime thriller “Monsoon Shootout.” As the SIFF staff pointed out, “this is no Monsoon Shootout.” Indeed, Ismailov’s movie probably produces more lasting impact […]

Stand Clear of the Closing doors Review


A fantastic and supremely realistic journey into the underworld of the subway and the nether world of the illegal alien.Emerging Director Sam Fleischner is able to put his dozen-plus lenser creds to good use in this surrealistic yet grounded narrative of a boy lost in the New York subways. Winner of a Special Jury Mention […]

Skeleton Twins Review

skeleton twins

No history-making drama here, but a sincere journey into solidly founded fears that dog the parents of the new millenniumScreened at the 40th Seattle International Film Festival, Craig Johnson directs “Saturday Night Live” alums Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader as estranged twins reuniting after ten years of silence. The film starts off with the twins […]

Jimi: All Is by My Side Review

Jimi: All Is by My Side Review

Jimi: All Is by My Side – A powerful look at the crucial years in an artist’s trajectory when the thrill of success begins to yield to the curse of fameScreened at the 40th Seattle International Film Festival, André Benjamin channels Jimi Hendrix in this vibrant indie production, written and directed by John Ridley. As in […]

The Double Review

A scene from The Double

The reigning king of dark comedies for 2014, “The Double’ picks up where “The Office” leaves offWriter/director Richard Ayoade’s second film follows up his well-received “Submarine” with a gutsy adaptation of Dostoevsky’s redoubtable novel. Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska, the film trots out a remarkable cast of famous actors, even more remarkable for their […]

No God, No Master Review

No God, No Master

Great history and plenty of bombs and explosions but lacking the glitz to be a great crime thrillerTaking place in the fiery hot summer of 1919, this story unfolds amidst the tense urban strife of the biggest Italian immigration in US history. Between 1880 and 1920, more than 4 million Italians came to America. Many […]

Particle Fever Review


Trouble in Boson City but the spunky brainiacs of the Hadron Collider right the ship and identify the illusive link to the beginning of the universe.The first half of this film it is a straight-on exploration of the greatest experiment taking place today, a venture with unfathomable potential for immense success or bottomless failure: Barack […]

The Last of the Unjust Review

The Last of the Unjust2

 A glimpse into the horrific life of an unlikely statesman chosen to destroy his people.Director Claude Lanzmann’s sweeping documentary of the Holocaust screened at the 2013 New York Film Festival to mixed reviews. The rambling 220 minute saga centered on interviews with, and information provided by, Benjamin Murmelstein. Murmelstein was the last Jewish elder, or […]

Afternoon of a Faun Review

Afternoon of a Faun3

A fascinating story of American ballet and one of the greatest ballerinas in the world.Known as “Tanny” to several generations of American ballet insiders, Tanaquille le Clercq lived the perfect life of the ballerina in pre-war America. Married to one of the legends of ballet, George Balanchine, and pursued by another, Jerome Robbins, she dominated […]

Nymphomaniac: Vol. I Review

Nymphomaniac has been controversial. Read Ron's review.

Aside from the outrageous format,  Nymphomaniac offers several powerful performances and sheds light on a subject that needs it.The buzz about Lars Von trier’s sex lollapalooza “Nymphomaniac” has preceded the film like a tidal wave. As might be expected, von trier had bigger things in mind when he decided to invite viewers inside the head of […]

Divergent Review


Shailene Woodley is woman of the hour about now. She stars in Divergent one of the most anticipated youth market film franchises since The Hunger Games which is resembles and she’s in all three films of the trilogy. Woodley is the charismatic lead in this book based tween sci-fi extravaganza, so she’s sitting in cream.She […]

The Muppets Most Wanted Review


The Muppets are irresistible, no matter if you’re a film snob, part of the young male demographic, a grandparent or a genre fan. The films are that good. The talented people behind the films, the guest stars and scripts and Muppet touches are magical, consistently and fulsomely. But there is another thing that keeps them […]

Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 Review


Inflammatory subject matter, big Hollywood stars and a controversial director collide to create Nymphomaniac, a detailed character study of a sex addict from birth to age 50 that will challenge movie goers as few films have in recent years. It screened at Cannes and word on unsimulated sex and violence precedes it.Do not take lightly […]

Grand Budapest Hotel Review


I love Wes Anderson’s light touch and unique sense of style. Extreme sophistication and childlike wonder co-exist in beautiful, intriguing, delicious harmony, joys to watch and hear. Anderson’s writing is informed by things of great arcane weight, classical education, art and design through the ages, arts and letters of the past, reverence for his characters […]