Stephen Saito

Stephen Saito
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
60% He Dreams of Giants (2019) The strength of He Dreams of Giants emerges gradually from its many nuances and while telling the story of this singular filmmaker from such a unique perspective, the style of the film is equally compelling as a measure of progress. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2019
No Score Yet Vas-y Coupe! (2019) Befitting of the beverage that is ultimately produced in Vas-y-Coupe, the chronicle of a season in wine country offers a gratifying taste of life there. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2019
100% MS Slavic 7 (2019) A woman who has trouble articulating herself finds a place of her own in researching the letters of her great-grandmother in this entrancing character study. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
No Score Yet Narrowsburg (2019) Wildly entertaining. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
57% The Invisible Life (2015) The Invisible Life can feel magical in creating bonds that cannot be broken, whether it's that of siblings whose love for each other can transcend any distance placed between them or that of a work of art that can reach right into your soul. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2019
90% Adam (2019) what goes without question is [director Maryam] Touzani's ability to get the maximum impact from a slender narrative, opening a door for tremendous empathy from an audience by simply asking whether her characters will let each other in. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
83% How to Build a Girl (2019) While Dolly embraces irony and sarcasm, How to Build a Girl is refreshingly earnest and sincere, a throwback to the coming-of-age comedies that were made when the film is set during the mid '90s. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
No Score Yet Born to Be (2019) Tania Cypriano brilliantly captures a moment of transition for individuals - and an entire culture - with the opening of the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
100% The Dog Doc (2019) "The Dog Doc" doesn't just tug on the heart to make its point about alternative treatment, but resonates with the mind. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
67% Human Capital (2019) "Human Capital" may show the worst in people, but in giving face to the green-eyed monster so vividly, it turns harsh economic realities into the stuff of great drama. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
100% Workforce (Mano de obra) (2019) Zonana is able to capture the abstract power that uncertainty has over their lives...elegantly expressing the strength that can emerge from a little communal generosity and the weakness of a society that has no place for them. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
83% The Obituary of Tunde Johnson (2019) A cleverly constructed drama about a young man struggling to carve out an identity for himself is bound to throw you for a loop in more ways than one. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
77% Proxima (2019) The inherent mystique that Green has primarily been asked to deploy as a means of seduction is shrewdly used here as an ineffable sense of purpose that eludes others who don't have her passion... - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
75% The County (Héradid) (2019) ...a drama that resonates as a blast of fresh country air while conveying all the ways in which it can be suffocating. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
94% The Perfect Candidate (2019) Al Bahraini is magnetic and although Maryam struggles to win supporters on the trail, the actress's confidence and charisma contributes to raising the stakes as you wonder what it would take not to cast a vote for her. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
58% The Moneychanger (Así habló el cambista) (2019) [Its] approach is sly, but fittingly for the story...The Moneychanger sneaks up on you while actually fulfilling its promise of a good time. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
81% Sea Fever (2019) Ironically, there's far more to the rest of "Sea Fever" than it appears at first glance and while the water isn't safe to swim in, the film is well worth taking a dip. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
77% The Friend (2019) The Friend may tell its story by jumping around in time, but it's just the film the world needs right now. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
70% Disappearance at Clifton Hill (2019) If it's the unknown that stays with Abby in Clifton Hill, it's how well you get to know her that ultimately sticks and like her, you're bound to get a little obsessed with finding out more. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
91% Antigone (2019) It's invigorating to see Antigone do justice to such a family and honor the complexities of their situation while delivering an emotionally direct and electrifying drama. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
100% Straight Up (2019) As a whole, Straight Up is immediately pungent - perhaps its central character may be conflicted about the person he should be, but Sweeney arrives fully-formed in his identity as a filmmaker. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
90% Plus One (2019) Simply in seeing love take various forms in different cultural contexts as Ben and Alice take in one set of vows after another, it makes whatever commitment they inevitably make to each other especially satisfying. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
88% The Days to Come (Los días que vendrán) (2019) A tender, moving experience that evokes the same panoply of feelings that its characters feel. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
100% Buffaloed (2020) It's a heavy subject, but one that is unpacked with great verve by Wexler. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2019
83% Standing Up, Falling Down (2019) ...there's a refreshing honesty to the film that makes the lack of a Hollywood ending just as satisfying as if there was. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2019
100% Initials SG (2019) Set amidst an Argentinian bid to win the World Cup for the first time in a generation when the nation's imagination may be consumed by soccer, Initials S.G. carves out another place to get your kicks. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
88% Picture Character (2019) Ian Cheney and Martha Shane's entertaining doc reflects a shared humanity. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
78% Dreamland (2019) A film of great emotional clarity with just enough reality to hold onto while letting the imagination run wild. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
100% Rewind (2019) One brave and truly exceptional film. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
100% Colewell (2019) While there's an uncertainty about where things will lead for both women, there's none when it comes to whether you want to follow them in this piercing drama. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2019
86% The Seer and the Unseen (2019) It's Dosa's ability to make such abstract yet pressing concerns so tangible and within reach that makes her latest film as extraordinary as its setting. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2019
No Score Yet Around the Sun (2018) Make no mistake, "Around the Sun" is a small, unassuming film, but one that contains multitudes and by the end, you suspect if Maggie and Bernard can forge a bond, you've been let in on one of the bigger secrets of the universe. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
90% Saint Frances (2019) Naturally, it's a film you'll be eager to share with others yourself. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
95% Boyz in the Wood (2019) Every second of "Boyz in the Woods" is utterly ridiculous, but the silliness only contributes to how funny it is and as with any action comedy worth its salt, the dynamic visuals only sharpen the punchlines. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
100% It Started As a Joke (2019) "It Started As a Joke" really makes it feel like you've been privy to something special, not only in terms of comedy, but in terms of the potential of people. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
84% Villains (2019) Your conscience may tell you everyone is up to no good, but it's too much devious fun not to enjoy. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2019
100% South Mountain (2019) The writer/director infuses rich, granular details more commonly associated with literature even in a lean 85 minutes. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
100% Yes God Yes (2019) Yes, God, Yes captures the uncertainty of those post-pubescent years in all their excruciating, cringe-inducing glory so well it deserves an amen and its laughs are cathartic. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
75% Olympic Dreams (2020) You realize that in pairing an athlete's mentality with an artist's imagination, the filmmakers behind "Olympic Dreams" articulate a truly beautiful way of looking at the world, all the more so in pulling the curtain back on parts of it we've never seen. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
100% Mickey and the Bear (2019) Attanasio shows off a distinctive voice all her own, unusually empathetic without sentimentality and cinematically bold without being pretentious. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
100% Jezebel (2019) While the characters may have to fight for every inch of the lives they carve out for themselves, the filmmaker's light touch with such combustible material show an ease with pushing into new territory. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
93% Midnight in Paris (2011) The lack of professional polish feels just right to tell the story of kids who aren't 100 percent sure of what to expect from the big night, but those big, brassy anticipatory trumpets blaring The Temptations' "Get Ready" can't be denied. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2019
81% The Hottest August (2019) "The Hottest August" is nonetheless resplendent when it comes to showing people of all walks of life co-existing in the same place. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2019
96% The Edge of Democracy (2019) A dense, complex undertaking Costa impressively wraps her arms - and our minds - around, made even more daunting by the dual purpose "The Edge of Democracy" serves as both an immediate witness to an extraordinarily precarious historical moment. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2019
90% The Elephant Queen (2019) While "The Elephant Queen" is family friendly, it sets up real stakes and the filmmakers take great care in conveying hardship once it hits, ably balancing the exuberant moments from the circle of life with capturing its less savory aspects. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2019
100% Driveways (2019) Although "Driveways" carries considerable weight, it never feels heavy and as it follows its characters take small steps out of their comfort zone, it becomes extraordinarily moving. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
75% Serendipity (2019) "Serendipity" comes by its galvanizing power quite organically, neither making you ever feel pity for Nourry in her unenviable current circumstances or offer some manipulative-feeling sense of empowerment by its end. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
96% Hail Satan? (2019) "Hail Satan?" finds that simply presenting reason and historical precedent proves to be audacious and Lane follows the lead of her subjects in showing that it can be done with enormous amounts of fun. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
100% Midnight Traveler (2019) Fazili's musings when paired with the staggering imagery he collects of the family's journey gives human dimension to a migrant crisis so often only seen from a macro perspective, but then again that's why it feels like such a monumental undertaking. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
100% Selah and the Spades (2019) As fun as the it becomes to watch Selah scheme, the way in which Poe's grand design for her emerges over time is extremely satisfying, clearing the room to really watch her think as doubts set in. - Moveable Fest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019