“Rams” is tragicomedy at its bleakest

Icelandic humor has got to be the darkest kind of humor out there. Looking at the country's history, it makes sense: in around 1260,...

“Moloch Tropical” doesn’t reach its ambitions

TV movies rightfully get a bad wrap. The Lifetime television network alone deserves a separate section at the Razzie awards. But, disproving the notion...

‘Bio Zombie’ is delirious fun

“Bio Zombie” is “Resident Evil” through the eyes of “Shaun of the dead,” with enough goofy gimmicks to keep viewers entertained, at least for...

‘District 9’ falls apart in the end

“District 9” was released seven years ago to critical acclaim. Much of it was well-deserved. Director Neill Blomkamp had managed, in many ways, to...

There’s not a dull moment in ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’

“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is one of those movies where everything about it just works. It's a remarkable thing, given how disparate so many...

‘Pusher’ is a ferocious tale

At its core, the brilliant film ‘Pusher’ is about men and the things they do to maintain their manhood. In today’s society, men can...

It’s a dangerous world in “Theeb”

A typical coming-of-age tale starts with a confused kid. Coming to understand what they didn't before is what evolves the character, but “Theeb,” a...

‘The Babadook’ is a horror movie about horror

In “The Babadook,” an Australian horror flick from newcomer Jennifer Kent, horror films are as much of a character as the damaged mother and...

“Sauna” just misses the mark

Horror has the potential to be the most culturally reflective genre in cinema. Beneath the darkness, beneath the bloodshed, there’s something deeper at work....

There’s a terrifying secret hiding ‘Under the Shadow’

There’s something to be said for the horror genre repeating itself. Like other genre fiction, horror has some very specific tropes and archetypes it...

The uninspired ‘Serra Pelada’ retreads old territory

The post “Breaking Bad” glut of anti-hero centric crime flicks only had so much to work with. A man, seeking fortune or some means...

Looking back on ‘The Clone Returns Home’ and the Foreign Film Fanatic

Five years ago, “The Clone Returns Home” was the first movie I reviewed for this column. And as a movie about returns to life,...

‘The Look of Silence’ goes where ‘The Act of Killing’ couldn’t

The critically acclaimed precursor to “The Look of Silence,” “The Act of Killing,” was criticized for its ethical problems. In making its subjects, those...

‘Beyond the Black Rainbow’ is beautiful, empty

Title: Director: Country: Release date: Rating: "Beyond the Black Rainbow" Panos Cosmatos Canada December 31, 2010 3/5 stars The annals of sci-fi are haunted by the campiness, and occasional genius, of the ‘70s and...

When ‘Magical Girl’ relaxes, it captivates

By the climax, Vermut threatens to overstate his point, but he gets engrossed in his story instead and lets it breathe.

A tired story doesn’t drag down ‘Headshot’s’ ferocious spectacle

You don’t need to read this review to know what to expect from “Headshot,” a go-for-broke martial arts romp from Indonesia. It’s right there...

‘Shoah’ is definitely an uncompromising epic

In the lonely interior of Poland, far away from any big city or town, is the small village of Chelmno nad Nerem. From 1941 to 1945 it was here that between 152,000 and 340,000 Jews were exterminated. Of the victims kept there, only two survived.

34 years on, there’s no movie like ‘Eight Diagram Pole Fighter’

I first watched the Shaw Brothers masterpiece “Eight Diagram Pole Fighter” on a Saturday with my now fiancée. I knew what the Shaw Brothers...

‘Hell of the Living Dead’ transcends nonsense

Horror has a history of reveling in disaster. Where other genres lock away their failures, horror holds a special place for its own. A...

‘Predestination’ runs laps around viewers

A good time travel movie makes the viewer naive. It’s a wonder that genre fare like it has stuck around for as long as...

Art and commerce are the rich man’s game in ‘Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery’

In its most striking moments, “Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery” drops its sympathetic eye and watches the artist work.

‘The Quiet Earth” is Sci-Fi done right

Title: Director: Country: Release date: Rating: "The Quiet Earth" Geoff Murphy New Zealand October 18, 1985 4/5 The best science fiction embraces its premise. This is clear 20 minutes into “The Quiet Earth,” when...

‘We Are Not Alone’ feels like nothing at all

If I taught a horror history course, I’d open it with the Peruvian bore, “We Are Not Alone.” Not because it’s anything special, mind...

The earnest “Dukhtar” reaches, but never grasps

A movie like “Dukhtar” has an inherent power to it. That power can be unlocked by a good director, but director Afia Nathaniel isn't...

‘The Clone Returns Home’: Sci-fi with a twist

In the world of “The Clone Returns Home” cloning a body is possible, but what about the spirit? “Even if you extract the memories and destroy the original body, the original soul will still remain,” says Professor Teshigawara (Toru Shinagawa, “Dark Water”) in a scene from the film.

The classic sci-fi sensibility of ‘The Similars’ is impossible to resist

Director Isaac Ezban has a deep love for form, stretching a shallow plot to its absolute limit and driving his characters insane in the process. Watching them break down in the midst of some kind of invasion is a joy, and getting wrapped up in the chaos is inevitable.

Some stories are black-and-white, ‘A Yellow Bird’ is black and blacker

Siva (Sivakumar Palakrishnan) is always on the outside looking in. As an ex-convict, getting out of prison only presented more challenges. Life outside it...

The people are the point of ‘The Propaganda Game’

So many documentaries about North Korea focus on Kim Jong-un's regime. Interviews with the citizens emphasize the horror they live under, but not who...

Stellan Skarsgard saves ‘In Order of Disappearance’

It's hard to make violence in movies meaningful. So hard, in fact, that most movies, especially big budget releases, can't get their head around...

‘Night of the Wild Boar?’ More like ‘Night of the Wild Bore’

Sitting through “Night of the Wild Boar” is like walking on cold coals: by the end, you’ve overcome no obstacle and just end up with dirty feet.