The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

This review was originally published at Filmwell.-Four pairs of eyes — or better, four gazes — create the frame in which a compelling, troubling drama plays out in The Secret in Their Eyes.There's the gaze of the dead woman, sprawled naked on the floor, her eyes staring blankly at the ceiling from a face bruised and bloodied.This shocks and traumatizes the investigator, Benjamin (Ricardo Darin), who sees her lying there. It pulls his gaze away from his work, and more importantly, … [Read more...]

MINE (2009)

This review was originally published at Good Letters, the blog hosted by Image.-As I’m writing this, my magnificent mutt of a cat—Jonathan Mardukas—is purring like he’s never been happier.Mardukas (or “The Duke”) does this when he knows I’m not feeling well, or when he’s feeling neglected.This time, he’s climbed onto my chest so he can stand between me and my laptop. Big, black, and beautiful, he’s overpowering my protests.His timing is uncanny. I’m trying to write about a mov … [Read more...]

The Secret of the Grain (2008)

My review of The Secret of the Grain is posted at Good Letters, the blog at … [Read more...]

Two Lovers (2009)

My first impression of James Gray's film Two Lovers is posted at Filmwell. … [Read more...]

The Wolfman (2010)

My thoughts on The Wolfman have been published at Good Letters, the daily blog for Image. … [Read more...]

Police, Adjective (2010)

My review of Police, Adjective is posted at Image. Here's how it starts. … [Read more...]

Gommorah (2009)

Portions of this reviews were previously published at the Image blog Good Letters.-Martin Scorsese was so impressed by Matteo Garrone's film about the Italian mafia, Gommora, that he stamped his name on it to attract a larger American audience.And yet, it’s so very different from any gangster epic that he, Francis Ford Coppola, or any American filmmakers have made. This isn’t a story about how a nobody worked his way up to become a monster, or about some charismatic bad guys who are f … [Read more...]

Letters to Father Jacob (2009) – Guest Reviewer N.W. Douglas

[Note: This review was submitted by N.W Douglas, an undergraduate film student at Simon Fraser University. He's fired up about a film he recently discovered, and his enthusiasm has certainly put the title on my list of films to see in 2009. - Jeffrey]•A guest review by N.W. Douglas.•In the vein of Robert Bresson, Klaus Härö's Letters To Father Jacob is simple and staggering.Leila (Kaarina Hazard), an incarcerated criminal, receives an unexpected early pardon from her life se … [Read more...]

The Girlfriend Experience (2009)

a review by Jeffrey Overstreet • Magnolia Pictures. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Starring Sasha Grey, Chris Santos,Peter Zizzo, Glenn Kenny. Written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien. 77 minutes. Rated R (for sexual content, nudity and language). •No, I can’t say I found it fun to watch a real porn star (Sasha Grey) dramatize an expensive call-girl’s tedious, humiliating, self-destructive work.But I can say I found it, um, "revealing" to watch The Girlfriend Experience — Steven Sod … [Read more...]

Avatar (2009)

This review of Avatar was originally published at Image. Also recommended: Steven Greydanus's review at Decent Films.-If you didn’t have one, you had a friend who did: The Big Toybox.You know the one I mean: A wooden crate like the Ark of the Covenant, full of mystery and revelation. Opened and overturned, it set loose a tidal wave of miscellaneous pieces from a hundred different worlds spilled across the floor. Building blocks, LEGOs, Tinkertoys, adventure sets, action figures, pie … [Read more...]