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...

‘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...

‘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?...

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....

‘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...

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...

“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...

‘Force Majeure’ is unbearably tense

In many other movies, an avalanche would be the climax. The hero, at the end of his rope, hanging over some infinitely black cavern,...

‘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...

‘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...

‘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,...

‘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...

‘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...

‘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...

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...

‘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”...

‘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...

‘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...

‘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...

‘Brazil’ is dystopian at its best

  Title: Brazil Release date: Feb. 20, 1985 Director: Terry Gilliam Genre: Sci-Fi Country: United Kingdom Rating: 4 out of 5   Every single bureaucrat and piece of technology in Terry Gilliam’s...

‘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...

‘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...

“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”...

‘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...

‘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...

‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1’ is lusty indulgence

Film: &nbsp Director: Release date: Rating: Country: "Nymphomaniac: Volume 1" Lars von Trier March 6, 2014 4/5 stars Denmark If the viewer could look into filmmaker Lars von Trier’s mind, chances are it would look almost...

‘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...

‘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...

“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...

‘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...