Sundance Film Festival

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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Resurrection is a gripping, unpredictably wild thriller that commits to its perverse nature: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 29, 2022

Whilst Resurrection never deviates from its grim examination of motherhood, Andrew Semans‘ gripping, ultimately bonkers thriller refuses to stay on the course you expect it to. Portraying very much the type of Rebecca Hall-encapsulated character that Rebecca Hall effortlessly portrays, the actress here, strong-willed and properly presented, is Margaret, a pharmaceutical company representative who offsets […]

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Emily the Criminal; Aubrey Plaza personifies charming chaos in scrappy, oft intense thriller: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 29, 2022

They say crime doesn’t pay, but whoever stated as such may want to have a chat with the titular criminal in John Patton Ford‘s scrappy, oft intense thriller, one that furthers Aubrey Plaza‘s hold on chaos personified characters in the off-kilter subsect of cinema. Plaza’s Emily is a former art student with a $70,000 debt […]

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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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Am I OK? is a neatly crafted journey of self-discovery and sexual acceptance: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 27, 2022

There’s something of a full circle moment experienced with Am I OK?, Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne‘s co-directorial feature debut.  The real-life couple, who met on the set of a Sundance selection title (2013’s In A World…), return to the festival as married women detailing their own journey of self-discovery and acceptance with a film […]

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Dual is a blend of deadpan satire and high concept sci-fi that mainly succeeds off Karen Gillan’s fascinating performance: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 25, 2022

With its mix of deadpan satire and high concept sci-fi – comparisons to Yorgos Lanthimos’ 2015 dystopian black comedy The Lobster feel imminent – Dual may be an off-putting experiment to many who can’t readily accept Riley Stearns‘ mentality.  It certainly helps that the film is headlined by the wonderful Karen Gillan though, delivering two […]

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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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Summering is an appealing, if safe, drama about the bonds of female adolescence: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 24, 2022

Comparisons to Rob Reiner’s 1986 coming-of-age drama Stand By Me will be inevitable when discussing James Ponsoldt‘s Summering; the Sundance fixture returning to the festival following his last effort, the critically mauled 2017 Tom Hanks vehicle The Circle, the first of his filmography to not screen at the festival.  The dark elements, thematic inclinations, and […]

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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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Speak No Evil taps into the awkwardness of human interaction and squeezes out all the horror to excruciating effect: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 24, 2022

Speak No Evil tells the story of a Danish family who are having a vacation in Tuscany, Italy. They meet a friendly and jovial family who are from the Netherlands. They both share common interests, they both have children the same age but most importantly, it is the polite camaraderie that they share that makes […]

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Emergency finds the danger and darkness within ’80s comedy hijinks in this racially-charged comedy/drama: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 24, 2022

Emergency tells the story of two best friends, the academic and accomplished Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) and the jovial and casual Sean (RJ Cyler). After all the stresses of school, the two are determined to make school history by being the first Black students to complete the legendary frat party tour. With a laid-out plan, […]

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Good Luck To You, Leo Grande is an intelligent sex-positive comedy headlined by a career-best Emma Thompson: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 23, 2022

Whilst there’s no surprise revealed in the fact that Emma Thompson truly deserves to be considered one of the greatest living actresses working today, it’s always appreciated when a performance solidifies such a statement.  And in the deliriously charming and strikingly emotional Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, Thompson turns in career-best work that leans […]

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Watcher is a formulaic, but no less tension-filled thriller carried by a striking Maika Monroe: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 22, 2022

A thriller that both leans into the formulaic mentality of the genre whilst simultaneously hoping to combat it, Watcher, from director Chloe Okuno (V/H/S/ 94), is a dread-filled effort that plays on the terrors of voyeurism. Gorgeously shot, though consistently lingering with uncertainty, Watcher lays focus on Julia (Maika Monroe, always a welcome presence in […]

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Jesse Eisenberg’s When You Finish Saving the World is a shallow drama that lacks true satirical bite: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 22, 2022

There are flashes of an interesting film present within Jesse Eisenberg‘s directorial debut When You Finish Saving the World, it’s just a shame that the satirical flourishes and occasional nuances teased throughout aren’t devoted enough to to be deemed an overall success.  The film’s closing 20 minutes leans into the emotional gut-punch Eisenberg clearly hopes […]

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Fresh is an ambitious, genre-skewering effort that should satisfy those with off-kilter pallets: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 22, 2022

Off-putting it may be, there’s enough deliciousness throughout the wicked Fresh that your pallet is sure to be satisfied in spite of the cannibalistic practices laid forth. An initial romantic dramedy, director Mimi Cave sets up the dating scene with all the discouragement you’d expect, with Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) endlessly swiping through her Tinder-esque apps, […]

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Sundance Review: I Was a Simple Man is a beautifully assembled and yet malnourished film

February 11, 2021

Set in the present-day Oahu, Hawaii, the film follows the story of Masao (Steve Iwamoto), an aging patriarch who is spending his serene days in his home, with his vast family who intermittently keep him company. His health is deteriorating and his relationship with his family becomes more and more estranged. When he contemplates his […]

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Sundance Review: We’re All Going to the World’s Fair is an outstanding directorial debut from Schoenbrun

February 11, 2021

Set in present day America, the film follows the story of Casey, a lonely teenager who participates in an online game known as the World’s Fair Challenge; a game that promises to be the scariest game in existence. After starting the game, Casey records videos of herself and posts them online in order to document […]

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Sundance Review: In Prisoners of the Ghostland, Nic Cage’s acting style fits Sono’s direction like a glove

February 11, 2021

When one hears of a collaboration between acclaimed Japanese maverick filmmaker Sion Sono between American’s acting dynamo Nicolas Cage; one cannot help but be intrigued. Even people who dislike their work would love to see the final result of their work just to see what it would be like because the very idea of such […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: In the Earth is Ben Wheatley back on maverick, transgressive, genre-shifting form

February 8, 2021

Set in a tumultuous time in the world that is overtaken by a virus, Joel Fry stars as Martin Lowery, a doctor who is tasked on a mission to venture to reach test site ATU327A, a research area that is deep in the Arboreal forest; led by Dr. Wendle (Hayley Squires). Lowery is guided by […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Eight for Silver is an enjoyably gnarly time from director Sean Ellis

February 7, 2021

Set in the late 1800s, a pathologist John McBride (Boyd Holbrook) has been sent to a distant village that has been terrorized by a wild animal, resulting in numerous deaths. He has been sent there to find a missing child; whom the parents (Alistair Petrie and Mary Reilly) presume with utter conviction that he is […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: The Pink Cloud is more than just an eerie prophecy of the world today

February 5, 2021

One of the things that is very reflective about film is how cinematic storytelling can reflect the current condition of the world today. But it is that very same quality that can make the storytelling of said film feel dated. The main reason would be due to the time spent on development in getting the […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Passing is a fantastic directorial debut from Rebecca Hall

February 3, 2021

Passing is the feature-length directorial debut from acclaimed actress Rebecca Hall. She is best known for her astounding performances in Vicky Christina Barcelona, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women and Christine; as well as her appearances in blockbusters like The Prestige and Iron Man 3. Her interest in adapting the source material of the same […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Judas and the Black Messiah is an impactful drama that’s all too aware of its topical relevance

February 2, 2021

After proving a formidable plot point in last year’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 – however secondary it may have been – the killing of Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton in 1969, at the age of only 21 years, is given the right, timely treatment in Shaka King‘s equally impactful (perhaps even more so) […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: The Blazing World is a tarnished world of immense beauty

February 2, 2021

The Blazing World is the type of film where the ideas of logic, plot or conventional storytelling need not apply; and that is absolutely fine with the story it is telling. Expanded from a short film of the same name, it is the feature-length directorial debut from established actress turned writer/director Carlson Young. The short […]

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