Author: Harris Dang

Rotten Tomatoes-approved Film Critic. Also known as that handsome Asian guy you see in the cinema with a mask on.

Polite Society is a fun, spirited and charming genre mash-up: Sundance Film Festival Review

February 2, 2023

Polite Society tells the story of two Pakistani-Muslim sisters in London; plucky Ria (Priya Kansara), who dreams of being a stuntwoman, and Lena (Ritu Arya), her world-weary older sister who wants to be an artist. With Lena recently returned home after dropping out of art school, Ria constantly goads her into helping her make YouTube […]

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Fancy Dance is a heartfelt coming-of-age drama about family bonds and the trials of Indigenous women: Sundance Film Festival

January 30, 2023

Set in present day Seneca-Cayuga Reservation in Oklahoma, Fancy Dance follows Jax (Lily Gladstone), a Native American swindler who hustles for a living while caring for her niece Roki (Isabel Deroy-Olson), taken in following the sudden disappearance of her mother. With every spare moment spent trying to find the missing parent, time is running out […]

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Fair Play is an intense, gripping thriller from Chloe Domont: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 26, 2023

Fair Play tells the story of a recently engaged young couple Emily and Luke (Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich) who both work at a corporate hedge fund in secret. As they witness a fellow employee crash and burn and is let go of their job, a new spot for PM has opened up, leaving a […]

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Shayda is a touching and harrowing look into the tribulations of Iranian women: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 26, 2023

Shayda tells the story of our titular heroine (Zar Amir Ebrahimi), an Iranian woman who is living in Australia with her 6-year-old daughter Mona (Selina Zahednia). She resides in a women’s shelter after having fled from Iran to hide from her husband Hossein (Osamah Sami) and she tries to establish a normal life for her […]

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Run Rabbit Run trips over due to lack of originality and well-done drama: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 26, 2023

Run Rabbit Run tells the story of Sarah (Sarah Snook), a fertility doctor and single mother who is trying to maintain a carefree existence for herself and her daughter Mia (Lily LaTorre). The two start to celebrate by planning Mia’s seventh birthday, with Sarah’s ex-husband Peter (Damon Herriman) his partner and their child in attendance. […]

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The Pod Generation is an amusing, if thematically lacking sci-fi satire on impending parenthood: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 26, 2023

Set in 22nd century New York, The Pod Generation tells the story of Rachel (Emilia Clarke) and Alvy (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a happy couple who live in a future where technology has become overabundant in terms of efficiency and convenience. Rachel is a rising executive at the Womb Center and Alvy is a botanist with a […]

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Film Review: Alluring, funny and engaging crime mystery Decision to Leave shows director Park Chan-wook at his peak

October 23, 2022

Decision to Leave tells the story of Hae-jun (Park Hae-Il), a city-based, young insomniac small-town detective. He is stuck in an uneventful job where very little crime occurs. His marriage with his restrictive partner Jung-an (Lee Jung-hyun) is without fire and lacking in passion. His only ray of hope is being in charge of a […]

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Film Review: Project Wolf Hunting is cinematic nirvana for fans of action cinema and grindhouse splatter

October 11, 2022

Project Wolf Hunting tells the story about a police operation that is taking place after a disastrous prisoner transport over air travel ended disastrously due to an airport bombing. The alternate route of transportation is via freighter boat and the mission is simple – transport prisoners from the Philippines through the Pacific Ocean to South […]

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Film Review: Smile trumps its lack of originality with sharp execution and a great performance from Sosie Bacon

September 30, 2022

Adapted from the short film Laura Hasn’t Slept, Smile tells the story of Rose Cutter (Sosie Bacon) – a doctor who is experiencing strange, horrifying occurrences after a traumatic incident she had with a patient who killed herself. The patient had displayed clear signs of trauma and mentioned witnessing a suicide and seeing the victim […]

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Film Review: Fall delivers the expected thrills but having the suspension of disbelief for it is a very tall order

September 22, 2022

, Fall tells the story of Becky (Grace Caroline Currey), an adventurous go-getter who is always up for a challenge in service of thrills and living life to the fullest. She is happily married to the charismatic Dan (Mason Gooding, in a small role). Whilst climbing together on a cliff face with the voracious Hunter […]

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Film Review: Bodies Bodies Bodies proves to be as sharp as the murder weapon with its dark comedy and stellar filmmaking

September 15, 2022

Bodies Bodies Bodies tells the story of a group of exuberant 20-something youths who plan to party for the weekend in a remote mansion. Partygoers include Sophie (Amandla Stenberg), a rich kid who has a dark backstory involving drug use, her partner Bee (Maria Bakalova), a working-class reticent young woman, David (Pete Davidson), an unruly […]

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Film Review: The Quiet Girl is a low-key gem that proves the smallest gestures can warm the biggest hearts

September 9, 2022

Set in 1980’s Ireland, The Quiet Girl tells the story of Cait (Catherine Clinch), an emotionally and socially withdrawn child who lives with her destitute family in a rural village. The family is vast with many siblings and are struggling financially, leaving Cait feeling neglected and forgotten. When her mother becomes pregnant again, Cait’s parents […]

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Film Review: Prey is one of the best pure genre films of the year that does the Predator franchise proud

August 5, 2022

Set in the 16th century America, Prey tells the story of Naru (Amber Midthunder), a young warrior from the Comanche Nation who wants to prove her mettle in her tribe to become a hunter. She faces much discrimination from her tribe due to patriarchal norms and the like, while her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers) is […]

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Film Review: A brilliant Jodie Comer indicts the legal system in NT Live’s triumphant Prima Facie

July 23, 2022

Trigger warning: Sexual assault Prima Facie tells the story of Tessa (Jodie Comer), a young, tenacious and determined barrister who is at the prime of her career. With a sharp mind and an ironclad belief in the word of the law, she has never lost a case. Even when working on cases that would trigger […]

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Sydney Film Festival 2022 Dispatch #1 – Family Dinner, As in Heaven and Fire of Love

June 23, 2022

Family Dinner (dir. Peter Hengl) Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Family Dinner tells the story of a reticent and obese teenager Simi who is spending her Easter Weekend at her auntie’s house. Her aunt Clara is a popular nutritionist and comes across as passive-aggressive toward her. Her partner Stefan comes off as a ladykiller as […]

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Film Review: Men is a frustrating horror experience that is as meretricious as it is malleable

June 17, 2022

Men tells the story of Harper (Jessie Buckley), a distraught woman who is caught in the aftermath of her husband James (Pappa Essiedu), who had tragically committed suicide after a marital dispute. She takes it upon herself to grant herself a holiday by taking refuge in a manor by a countryside village by housesitting it. […]

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Film Review: The Innocents is a powerfully haunting piece of work that dives into the dark mindset of children

May 20, 2022

Set in present day Norway, The Innocents follows the story of Ida (Rakel Lenora Flottum), a young 9-year old girl who is angry with the state that she is in. Her family has moved into an apartment complex with new surroundings and she can no longer play with her older sister Anna (Alva Brunsmo Ramstad), […]

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Film Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a fast, zippy and frothy sequel that runs circles around videogame film adaptations

March 31, 2022

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 picks up after the events of the first film as the titular character (voiced by Ben Schwartz) has taken the mantle of being the hero for the people in the town of Green Hills. But his recklessness and overeager bravado has consequences as he wreaks unintentional havoc while trying to do […]

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Film Review: Flee is an ingenious piece of storytelling of survival and self-discovery that mixes animation and documentary brilliantly

February 17, 2022

Flee is the latest hybrid of both documentary and animation, giving it a similarity to the 2008 film Waltz with Bashir. They both involve storytelling of factual narratives through the medium of animation that stirs up the animation of audiences as the subjects recollect their experiences. In the case of Flee, the animation not only is […]

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Film Review: Here Out West shows a rich tapestry of multicultural Australia that we rarely get to see on-screen

February 3, 2022

Set in present-day Western Sydney, Here Out West starts off following the story of a grandmother, who is visiting her daughter who had just given birth. The grandmother is stuck with babysitting an 8-year old neighbour and they both make a trip to the hospital. However, the relationship between the grandmother and the daughter is […]

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Sharp Stick is an inconsistent, weird and endearing sophomore effort from filmmaker Lena Dunham: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 31, 2022

Multi-talent Lena Dunham is back into the realm of filmmaking after 11 years since her feature-film debut Tiny Furniture. For her latest film Sharp Stick, she writes, directs and appears in a supporting role in a story that invites discussion about sexual freedom, depiction and perceptions via gender, media, hypocrisy and empowerment. While the film […]

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You Won’t Be Alone is an engagingly wistful look into humanity wrapped up as a supernatural horror: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 31, 2022

A unique if uneven take of supernatural horror told through the veil of existentialism that is frustrating, beguiling and eventually emotionally rewarding. The film follows the story of a young woman who is kidnapped from her mother by a wolf-eateress, rendered mute and then turned into a shape-shifting demon. We see her inhabit various characters […]

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Piggy meshes both realistic horror and well-worn genre tropes into one aggressive experience: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 31, 2022

What make horror films successful is how it examines ideas that are truthful about the human condition with bloodcurdling, cinematic panache. In the case of Carlota Pereda’s feature-length film debut Piggy, she succeeds with flying colours. Adapted from her 2018 short film of the same name; Pereda has ample time to explore the horrors of […]

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The gloriously entertaining horror flick Hatching will provide you a nice egg in this trying time: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 28, 2022

Hatching tells the story of Tinja (Siiri Solalinna), a 12-year old rising star gymnast who lives in the supposed perfect existence of domesticated suburbia; led by her image-perfectionist mother (Sophia Heikkilä), who runs a popular blog about exactly that. Tinja’s family also consists of her taciturn father (Jani Volanen) and her spoiled, irritable younger brother […]

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Maika is a flawed family film that has plenty of energy and charm but not enough innovation: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 28, 2022

Maika tells the story of Hung (Truong Phu), an 8-year old boy who is grieving over the loss of his mother who had died almost a year ago due to a severe illness. One would think that this type of emotional baggage is bad enough. However, it not only rains but it pours. His best […]

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Cha Cha Real Smooth is a funny, charming and poignant crowd-pleaser about people who hesitate to grow up: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 25, 2022

Cha Cha Real Smooth tells the story of 22-year old Andrew (writer/director Cooper Raiff), a recent college graduate who is stuck in his own purgatory before adulthood. Stuck in a dead-end job selling fast food and back living with his family including his mother (Leslie Mann), his step-father (Brad Garrett) and his younger brother David […]

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There is Something in the Dirt from Benson and Moorhead, but it doesn’t amount to much: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 25, 2022

Set-in present-day Hollywood Hills, Something in the Dirt tells the story of two neighbours Levi and John (Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead), who both meet after Levi had recently moved into an apartment, following a large amount of predicaments. The two strike up a quick camaraderie as they exchange life stories, intimate secrets and their […]

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Alice fails to marry its ambitions satisfyingly; despite Keke Palmer’s standout performance: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 25, 2022

Alice tells the story of its titular character played by Keke Palmer, a slave who has spent her entire life enslaved in a rural Georgia plantation. Like many of her family members, she yearns for freedom. Her recently wedded husband Joseph (Gaius Charles) plots an escape for the entire plantation but the plan backfires due […]

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Living, buoyed by innovative storytelling and Bill Nighy, makes a strong case for remakes: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 24, 2022

Set in 1950’s Britain, Living tells the story of Mr. Williams (Bill Nighy), a veteran civil servant who works every day in a meticulous and repetitive fashion in a government office while leading a group of colleagues to help him out. His work ethic and reputation are well known around the inner circle but the […]

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Leonor Will Never Die is an enjoyably oddball and whimsical ode to cinematic escapism: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 24, 2022

Leonor Will Never Die tells the story of its titular character Leonor Reyes (Sheila Francisco), a once successful screenwriter in the Filipino film industry. Now, she is an aging mother who is struggling to keep her household in check. Desperately trying to recapture past glories as a path to escapism, she discovers a newspaper advertisement […]

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