The people are the point of ‘The Propaganda Game’

So many documentaries about North Korea focus on Kim Jong-un's regime. Interviews with the citizens emphasize the horror they live under, but not who...

“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...

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...

‘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”...

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.

By putting characters first, ‘Ixcanul’ becomes a transcendental experience

Guatemalan drama starts slow, surprises later with its striking characters and deemphasized setting

“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....

‘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...

‘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 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...

‘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...

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...

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.'

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...

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?

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.

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...

‘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...

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...

‘We Are Not Alone’ feels like nothing at all

If I taught a horror history course, I’d open it with the Peruvian bore, “We Are Not Alone.” Not because it’s anything special, mind...

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,”...

‘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...

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...

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.

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...

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,...

Looking back on ‘The Clone Returns Home’ and the Foreign Film Fanatic

Five years ago, “The Clone Returns Home” was the first movie I reviewed for this column. And as a movie about returns to life,...

“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....

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...