‘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...

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.

‘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...

Ambition sets “So Young” apart

Title: “So Young” Director: Zhao Wei Release date: June 14, 2013 Genre: Romance Country: China Rating: 3 out of 5 To give credit where...

“Train to Busan” plows ahead at all costs

Zombies have been done time again and again. “Maggie” and “World War Z,” while not great, managed to inject some originality into the genre....

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...

‘Big Bad Wolves’ shows its teeth

There’s a fine line between torture porn and torture art. The difference between the two could mean lingering on a sliced throat or torn toenail for too long. “Big Bad Wolves” walks that tightrope with finesse and a vicious moral center.

‘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...

‘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”...

‘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 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...

‘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...

‘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.

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...

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...

Darkness reigns in ‘Burke and Hare’

Getting by is hard. This adage is so true in the British dark comedy “Burke and Hare” that it drives the titular characters to...

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...

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.

‘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 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...

Despite a valiant effort, ‘Extraordinary Tales’ falls flat

It’s hard to add to an artistic legacy like Edgar Allen Poe’s. The first adaptation of his work was released over 100 years ago,...

‘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.

‘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...

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...

‘Shin Godzilla’ propels Gojira into the 21st century

Thank the lord for the linear thrill ride of “Shin Godzilla.” In a world where white supremacists are on the march again and our...

“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...

‘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...

In ‘The Blind Christ,’ faith is more important than miracles

A Chilean drama that’s as much a poem as it is a movie, makes a mesmerizing effort to put a fresh spin on the story of Christ.

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,...

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...