The true star of ‘Radius’ is its story

With serviceable performances and a killer narrative, “Radius” rides on its formal strengths more than anything.

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...

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.

‘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...

Revenge is cold as can be in ‘Bad Day for the Cut’

Nigel O’Neill leads the pack as protagonist Donal, the fiercely loyal son of Florence (Stella McCusker) who fills his days looking after his mother and their farm. One night, he drinks himself to sleep and wakes up to see a “fancy sort of boy” and his shadowy associate leaving his home. Inside, he finds his mother bludgeoned to death on the carpet, her mantle clock as the murder weapon.

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...

‘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...

Artsy action elevates ‘No Tears for the Dead’

Well done genre fare is a treat. While “No Tears for the Dead” takes the action genre a step further, it works best when...

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...

“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 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...

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...

Like its central relationship, ‘On Body and Soul’ missteps at a crucial moment

“On Body and Soul” is Hungarian director Ildikó Enyedi’s first feature in 18 years, so maybe that misstep is understandable...

‘Night of the Wild Boar?’ More like ‘Night of the Wild Bore’

Sitting through “Night of the Wild Boar” is like walking on cold coals: by the end, you’ve overcome no obstacle and just end up with dirty feet.

‘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 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...

Thrilling and complex, “7 Años” spares no one

Title: “7 Años” Director: Roger Gual Release date: Oct. 28, 2016 Genre: Crime drama Country: Spain Rating: 4 out of 5 Stick five desperate people in a room and...

Art and commerce are the rich man’s game in ‘Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery’

In its most striking moments, “Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery” drops its sympathetic eye and watches the artist work.

“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 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...

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 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...

34 years on, there’s no movie like ‘Eight Diagram Pole Fighter’

I first watched the Shaw Brothers masterpiece “Eight Diagram Pole Fighter” on a Saturday with my now fiancée. I knew what the Shaw Brothers...

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...

‘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...

Some stories are black-and-white, ‘A Yellow Bird’ is black and blacker

Siva (Sivakumar Palakrishnan) is always on the outside looking in. As an ex-convict, getting out of prison only presented more challenges. Life outside it...

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.

‘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.

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...

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...