War for the Planet of the Apes

This installment bridges the reboot to the original, leaving some room for growth, and is a melting pot of many genres, including The Bridge on the River Kwai and Spartacus.

Free Fire

The slick dialogue, soundtrack, and editing, reminiscent of Scorsese (one of the executive producers), serve as a reminder that there are filmmakers out there who appreciate the bare bones approach.

Kubo and the Two Strings

This has been quite the year for enchanting animated films. One can add Kubo and the Two Strings to that list.


A band of migrants brave the scorching desert, hunted by a serial killer as they cross the U.S./Mexican border.

Green Room

Writer/director Jeremy Saulnier reminds one of a young Steven Spielberg. Not the family-friendly Spielberg but the mean, young, hungry Spielberg who had a taste for genre filmmaking.

The Revenant

As has been reported often over the past year, The Revenant was a troubled shoot, where the budget rose to great heights and crew walked off over the unendurable conditions on location in the woods of Alberta, Canada, where the temperature went down to minus 40 below. To the actors’ credit, most of all Leonardo […]

A Hard Day

Written and Directed by Kim Seong-hun Produced by Cha Ji-hyun and Billy Acumen Released by Kino Lorber Korean with English subtitles South Korea 110 min. Not rated With Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Jin-woong, Jeong Man-sik, Shin Jung-keun, Jang In-sub To say that homicide detective Gun-soo (Lee Sun-kyun) isn’t having a great day would be an understatement. […]

The Dead Lands

Directed by Toa Fraser Produced by Matthew Metcalfe and Glenn Standring. Written by Glenn Standring Released by Magnet Releasing Maori with English subtitles New Zealand. 107 min Rated R With James Rolleston, Lawrence Makoare, and Te Kohe Tuhaka In terms of plot and emotional development, this brutal coming-of-age film is essentially as clichéd as any […]

The Salvation

Directed by Kristian Levring Written by Anders Thomas Jensen and Levring Produced by Sisse Graum Jorgensen Released by IFC Films English and Danish with English subtitles Denmark/UK/South Africa/Sweden/Belgium. 92 min. Rated R With Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Eric Cantona, Mikael Persbrandt, Douglas Henshall, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jonathan Pryce One unwritten rule of thumb for […]