Blue Night and Tully movie reviews: Women on the edge of a nervous breakdown

Blue Night and Tully — two of the highest profile films at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival — share the same formula: stories revolving around vulnerable, middle-aged female characters written by women and starring high-profile actresses…but directed by men. Blue Night, written by Laura Eason and directed by Fabien Constant, stars Sarah Jessica Parker as

Back Roads movie review: High drama in small town USA

Actor Alex Pettyfer makes his directorial debut with a melodrama that was actually co-written (with Tawni O’Dell) by Fatal Attraction helmer Adrian Lyne. As you might guess, then, there is little nuance in the characters of this movie set against the backdrop of child abuse in small town Appalachia. Pettyfear is a youngish man (teens,

Mapplethorpe movie review: Robert’s garden of good and evil

In her narrative feature debut, director Ondi Timoner delivers a picture-perfect portrayal of enfant terrible photographer-artist Robert Mapplethorpe. The film spans his arrival as a complete unknown in the rough-and-tumble days of New York City of the Seventies to his international acclaim in the Eighties before succumbing to AIDS. Early in the film we learn

Jonathan movie review: Sci-fi role(s) for Ansel Elgort

Ansel Elgort is arguably the hottest young male Millennial actor, already known for his performances as the male lead in the melodrama The Fault in our Stars and his title role in the action-thriller Baby Driver, not to mention his supporting roles in the Divergent series. In the sci-fi drama Jonathan, he doubles down in

Review: Laura Poitras’ Julian Assange movie Risk is riveting but leaves questions

Documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras’ riveting new feature, Risk, could not be more timely. Quite literally, on Friday when the film opened in Los Angeles, the French presidential election was thrown into jeopardy by a huge hacking campaign, perhaps by some of the same Dark Internet forces explored in her film. The film, as the director

Tribeca review: My Art portrays an endearing female protagonist

In Flames, which also premiered at Tribeca, real-life artists and filmmakers Zeffrey Throwell and Josephine Decker created a docu-drama about their actual relationship. In My Art real-life artist and filmmaker Laurie Simmons takes a different approach, creating a feature that’s ostensibly narrative but seems intertwined closely with her identity. For one thing the lead character,

Tribeca review: A Gray State tells David Crowley’s strange and tragic story

In this feature documentary the stranger-than-truth story of David Crowley – a young and mediagenic rising alt-right personality – is revealed in chilling detail. A veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, Crowley was on the cusp of stardom when he, his wife and their 5-year-old daughter were found brutally murdered in their suburban middle-class

Tribeca review: Rami Malek’s Buster’s Mal Heart is like a feverish dream

Director-writer Sarah Adina Smith has tailored a film perfectly suited to its star Rami Malek (Mr. Robot). In fact, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the lead role of the Buster, except perhaps for a young Jack Nicholson. They both share a mesmerizing stare that the camera captures at once as playful and menacing.