“Angel’s Melancholy” is garbage

“Angel’s Melancholy” is the artsy torture trash your parents warned you about. There’s a right way to make hardcore horror, and this movie is...

“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...

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...

Even in ‘The Painting,’ the world is divided

If central metaphor of “The Painting” is too on-the-nose for some, it’s well deserved. The movie makes no qualms about its socially conscious aims....

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...

“Childish Games” is a treat for horror fans

Title: Director: Country: Genre: Release date: Rating: "Childish Games" Antonio Chavarrias Spain Horror March 9, 2012 4/5 Taking “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt” to the extreme, the compact Spanish thriller, “Childish Games”...

Once is never enough for the murky thriller ‘Bluebeard’

Like the great crime thrillers “Bluebeard” tries to be, it leaves you with more questions than answers. Unlike those same movies, however, it’s not smart enough to let viewers come up with the answers.

‘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...

The timely “XXY” dives deep

Sometimes, a simple narrative is best. It seems that the complex subject of intersexuality would lend itself to something more intricate. What's so good...

‘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.

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...

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...

‘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...

‘A Most Wanted Man’ is a fitting swan-song

Title: Director: Country: Genre: Release date: Rating: “A Most Wanted Man” Anton Corbijn U.K. Thriller July 24, 2014 4/5 Lauded spy novelist John Le Carre’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” made it to the big screen in...

‘Come Out and Play’ fails to justify its existence

In an impressive feat, “Come Out and Play” manages to destroy viewers’ sympathy and investment within the first 15 minutes. How is this accomplished?...

Despite predicability, “Goodnight Mommy” terrifies

Title: “Goodnight Mommy” Director: Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala Release date: Jan. 8, 2015 Genre: Horror Country: Austria Rating: 4 out of 5Let's get this out of the way: “Goodnight...

In ‘Raw,’ the family that eats together, keeps together

Save the cannibalistic urges, relating to “Raw’s” protagonist Justine (Garance Marillier) as she navigates the bloody sex maze of Veterinarian school is easy. She’s...

“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....

‘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...

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 good in ‘JeruZalem’ emphasizes the bad

Reviewing two zombie movies in a row seems excessive, but hear me out. “JeruZalem” is another in a long line of Israeli genre flicks...

Incompetency reigns in the Spanish hodgepodge ‘The Invisible Guardian’

“The Invisible Guardian” is another banal crime thriller slapped together with all the good pieces of better crime thrillers.

‘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...

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,...

‘Sword Master’ tries to hide its well-trod story

The fight scenes are grand, the performances are larger than life, and the set design is lavish.

‘Bad Guy’ meditates on evil, mixed results

Title: “Bad Guy” Director: Ki-duk Kim Release date: Feb. 11, 2005 Genre: Drama Country: South Korea Rating: 3/5 Some people are just born evil. As for the wordless sociopath at...

‘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”...

‘I’m Not Scared’ lives up to its name

Sometimes it’s fun to watch a movie fall apart, but those movies usually start out with no promise of getting better. “I’m Not Scared” is the opposite. The first act is foreboding and feels like Hitchcock at his best, but the final two thirds feel like a “Downhill” slide.

‘Audition’ holds up after a decade

Japanese auteur Takashi Miike has probably one of the strangest career trajectories in film. He’s made incest-laden allegories like “Visitor Q” and off-the-wall comedies...

‘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,...