The uninspired ‘Serra Pelada’ retreads old territory

The post “Breaking Bad” glut of anti-hero centric crime flicks only had so much to work with. A man, seeking fortune or some means...

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...

‘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...

“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....

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...

“Rams” is tragicomedy at its bleakest

Icelandic humor has got to be the darkest kind of humor out there. Looking at the country's history, it makes sense: in around 1260,...

‘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.

‘Baskin’ breaks through finals week blues

Finals week crushes even the strongest students. It's a stressful, grating time where it's not unheard of to break down every once and 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...

‘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...

‘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...

‘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?...

‘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...

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.

‘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...

‘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,...

‘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...

‘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...

‘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...

‘Shoah’ is definitely an uncompromising epic

In the lonely interior of Poland, far away from any big city or town, is the small village of Chelmno nad Nerem. From 1941 to 1945 it was here that between 152,000 and 340,000 Jews were exterminated. Of the victims kept there, only two survived.

The xenophobic “Them” falls short

In a tight 77 minutes, “Them” manages to convey an unsettling message, one not easily forgotten. However, that message is enough to undermine the...

‘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 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...

The earnest “Dukhtar” reaches, but never grasps

A movie like “Dukhtar” has an inherent power to it. That power can be unlocked by a good director, but director Afia Nathaniel isn't...

‘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...

‘Once’ is a bittersweet lullaby

Tales of star-crossed lovers have graced movie screens since the beginning of cinema. Some are fine with being sappy, others strive for realism, but...

‘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...

‘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.

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...

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...