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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sundance Review and Roundup: 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'

    Writer-director David Lowery has been putting in his 10,000 hours over the past few years, working as an editor and cinematographer for hire on many micro-indie projects, as part of the growing multi-tasking barter indie culture. SXSW has championed the Texas filmmaker, playing his shorts and featur...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sundance Review and Roundup: Park Chan-Wook's Creepy 'Stoker'

    There's a risk every time a noted foreign filmmaker takes a stab at an English-language movie. Clearly, Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook ("Old Boy") knows his Hollywood history: he admits that Alfred Hitchcock not only inspired him to become a filmmaker but that "Psycho," "Shadow of a Doubt," and "Th...

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  • Indiewire
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    Sundance Review: Why Shane Carruth's Provocative 'Upstream Color' Will Baffle You in the Best Ways

    Shane Carruth's 2004 time travel drama "Primer" provoked endless scrutiny for its heavy reliance on tech speak that the director refused to dumb down. His long-awaited followup, "Upstream Color," also maintains a seriously cryptic progression that's nearly impossible to comprehend in precise terms, ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'I Am Not A Hipster' Charming, Deep Dive Dramedy Into The Effects Of Grief On Creativity

    "I Am Not A Hipster" opens with indie rock darling Brooke Hyde (Dominic Bogart) bailing on the opening number of his show to puke up his one-too-many whiskey shots in the bathroom of the local venue, stranding his band onstage. Clearly this guy, while talented (from the little bit we get to hear of ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: David Gordon Green Returns To Form With The Meditative, Funny & Sublime 'Prince Avalanche'

    It's the summer of 1988 and a violent wildfire has swept through Texas, destroying 43,000 acres and some 16,000 homes. In the wake of this horrific devastation -- a freak of nature that no experts can explain -- two highway road crew workers spend the season in isolation, painting and repairing the ...

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  • Indiewire
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    Sundance Review: Tonally Odd 'Prince Avalanche' Combines Two Tendencies of David Gordon Green's Career

    David Gordon Green's career since his acclaimed 2000 debut "George Washington" has followed one of the more bizarre pathways of contemporary American filmmakers. At first heralded as an emerging Malickian poet southern life -- a quality that continued with follow-ups "All the Real Girls," "Undertow...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Sundance 2013 Review: John Akomfrah’s 'The Stuart Hall Project '

    It would be unfair to call The Stuart Hall Project a simple documentary. The film, directed by John Akomfrah, is a visual and sonic excursion into the life and philosophies of the Jamaican-born intellectual, a finely crafted collage of memory, distilling hundreds of hours of archival footage of...

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  • Indiewire
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    Sundance Review: Ryan Coogler's 'Fruitvale' Renders a Tragic Police Shooting in Personal Terms

    Moments after New Years Day 2009, 22-year-old Bay Area resident Oscar Grant was shot by a police officer at the Fruitvale BART station in altercation that didn't call for it. The officer, whose actions were captured on numerous cell phone videos, claimed he mistook his gun for his taser and eventual...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Idiosyncratic & Hilarious ‘Toy’s House’ Heralds The Arrival Of A Fresh New Comic Voice

    After the premiere screening of his wonderful debut feature “Toy’s House,” director Jordan Vogt-Roberts – responsible for the short “Successful Alcoholics” and a veteran of “Funny Or Die Presents…” – told the audience his influences for his first feature included early Amblin films like “The Goonies...

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  • The Playlist
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    Recap: Minor Key 'Girls' Finds Hannah & Marnie Getting Some New Ideas

    If the season premiere was a bit of shakeup to reorient the gang in "Girls" for wherever the new season will take them, the second episode almost seems like an addendum. It's as if Lena Dunham and company decided they needed to make yet another shift to get the show in the direction they needed, and...

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