‘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.

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...

It’s a war of tones in the tryhard Austrian flick ‘Sarajevo’

Never has a movie been as blindingly overexposed as “Sarajevo.”

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...

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...

‘Chinese Take-Out’ undercuts humor with grief

People of a certain personality just can’t stand folks in their space. It’s not that they hate people, necessarily, their ecosystem is just delicate...

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.'

“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....

‘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...

‘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...

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...

‘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...

‘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...

Every opportunity ‘The Windmill’ has, it squanders

It’s rare to have a slasher so frontloaded with exposition that it feels rushed in its last half, but here we have “The Windmill,”...

‘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”...

‘Hounds of Love’ should have had a tighter leash

For all its earnest intensity, “Hounds of Love” has remarkably boring stretches. I was puzzled by those moments because everything on-screen was important and...

Top 5 foreign films the fanatic watched this year

Do American movies seem stale to you? Are there moments when you want nothing more than to read subtitles? It’s a big, cinematic world out there filled to the brim with non-American films. With 2013’s “Nairobi Half Life,” and “Fanie Fourie’s Lobola,” Kenya and South Africa’s movie industries are on the rise. South Korea is still experiencing a renaissance. Thailand’s industry is growing along with China’s. Argentina and Colombia are coming into some serious economic growth thanks in part to films like 2012’s “Elefante Blanco” and “La Sirga.” But until those movies make it onto DVD, here are five foreign flicks to sate your appetite.

‘In Bruges’ is impossibly poignant

It is said that on the final day, the Son of Man will return to earth and separate the good from the evil, the...

Dour, thy name is ‘The Ritual’

Really, “The Ritual” has an identity problem: is it a monster flick smart enough to look original but too dumb to work? Or is it a coming-of-age story for four friends whose trauma keeps them apart?

‘The Second Woman’ doesn’t trust its audience

Watching “The Second Woman” is a bizarre experience. To begin with, it's bad with some good sprinkled on. The good is that it's very...

‘Infection’ is a deliciously repulsive mess

  Title: “Infection” Director: Masayuki Ochiai Release date: Oct. 2, 2004 Genre: J-Horror Country: Japan Rating: 3 out of 5 If David Lynch created “All My Children,” it would probably look...

‘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...

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...

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.

‘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...

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...

‘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...

‘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...

God save us from ‘Rise of the Legend’

The martial arts genre is built on Wong Fei-hung's life. Born in 1847, the Chinese folk hero ran a martial arts school and medical...

‘Noroi: The Curse’ is slow to build, quick to release

Title: Director: Release Date: Genre: Country: Rating: “Noroi: The Curse” Koji Shiraishi Aug. 20, 2005 Japanese Horror Japan 4/5 When Japanese horror took the United States by storm in the early 2000s, movie theaters saw a...