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.

‘Verónica’s’ paranormal drama can go two ways, and both are tired

After her father’s death, unstable teenager Verónica (Sandra Escacena) tries to contact him via ouija board, only to be possessed by a dark force.

‘Only God Forgives’ is incoherent and tantalizing

Rating: 3/5Title: Only God ForgivesDirector: Nicolas Winding RefnRelease date: May 30, 2013Genre: ThrillerCountry: DenmarkDirector Nicolas Winding Refn creates worlds of color. The characters in...

Beneath the artistry, ‘When Animals Dream’ is nothing new

It's tiring sitting through the same horror movie time and again. There are a few diamonds in the rhinestones, but “When Animals Dream” is...

‘The Day the Sky Exploded’ is just boring

Before Italian science fiction lost its collective mind with madcap creations like “Super Argo and the Faceless Giants” and “King of Kong Island,” there...

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 jokes in ‘No Filter’ are wrung dry

It's easy to drive a joke into the ground. “No Filter,” for some reason, makes it a point to do so. Every gag, and...

‘The Last King’ makes quiet moments feel like a race

There's a moment in “The Last King,” a Norwegian historical action flick, where farmers turned royal bodyguards Skjervald (Jakob Oftebro, “Masteren”) and Torstein (Kristofer...

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.

‘The Raid: Redemption’ is mostly bad

Most martial arts movies have bad character development and stories. They’re only redeemed through their fight scenes. A swift kick to the jaw or...

‘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...

‘Kung Fu Dunk’ comes on and slams

It’s the last five minutes of the second half. Your team is down by three. There’s no stopping your ruthless opponents. You take the shot from the free-throw line. You miss. All hope is lost. The game is done.

With “The Wailing,” a new classic is born

As I see it, there are two stages to watching a great movie: recognition and surrender. Recognition is simply knowing you’re watching something great,...

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies’ is hilarious, drags on

Ian Fleming brought James Bond into existence in 1953, but French author Jean Bruce cranked out no less than 88 espionage pulp novels about...

‘I Saw the Devil’ is perverse fun

Revenge flicks have been done and redone to death. Man loves woman, woman is killed, man avenges woman’s death. Who avenges whom is interchangeable,...

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...

The painful ‘After the Wedding’ hits hard

The best family dramas can be unbearable to watch. Anyone who's had a tense confrontation with a loved one can attest that complicated dynamics...

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 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.

‘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...

‘The Turin Horse’ is toil for viewers

There was a point in watching “The Turin Horse” where I wanted to curl up in a dark place somewhere and sleep forever. It’s depressing. But not in the “I want to cry” way. It’s depressing in the “Oh, so life is meaningless?” kind of way.

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 frustrating ‘Huba’ overstates its point

Foreign Film Fanatic Jacob Holley-Kline says the story of Polish film 'Huba' is 'too thin to be interesting.'

‘Outrage’ is a muddled thrill ride

When it comes to gangster epics, shifting alliances and betrayal are commonplace. Few achieve the near-perfect balance of “The Godfather,” but many try. “Outrage”...

‘Miss Violence’ is quiet, too quiet

Calling the group of people in “Miss Violence” a family is like calling prisoners of war safe because they have shelter. There’s no truth...

Blink and you might miss the fierce Indian crime caper ‘Delhi Belly’

In this dark Indian comedy, Tashi’s empty-headed fiancee Sonia unknowingly plays courier for a crime syndicate but can’t follow through, so she thrusts the responsibility onto Tashi, who thrusts onto Nitin, who thrusts it onto Arup.

Plotlessness kills the mood of ‘When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism’

Movies with a one-track mind can be frustrating. The needlessly titled “When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism” has just such a mind. Watching...

Yorgos Lanthimos trades hilarity for horror in ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’

Foreign Film Fanatic Jacob Holley-Kline says there’s nothing funny about Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” but that didn't keep him from laughing at it.

‘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...

By putting characters first, ‘Ixcanul’ becomes a transcendental experience

Guatemalan drama starts slow, surprises later with its striking characters and deemphasized setting