Cinema Scope

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Jiao qu de niao (2018) Phoebe Chen There's no reliance on the easy nostalgia of period markers or a childhood boxed away as idyll; both storylines seem thoroughly contemporary. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
Joker (2019) Barbara Wurm Even if blank despair and the inability of being funny is its topic, Joker never fails to please. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
Uncut Gems (2019) Ella Kemp Uncut Gems isn't just a sadistic portrait of mistakes and punishment. There's a curiosity to dig deeper behind all that glitters; deep inside the gem, far under the skin. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
() Caitlin Quinlan Kogut's script allows gentle comedy to seep into her observations of the resilience of those working in the service of others. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
Knives Out (2019) Meg Shields It's a silly, sleuthy time at the movies, an autumnal caper and a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
Jojo Rabbit (2019) Adam Nayman If all of Waititi's smirking fascist slapstick is meant to take away Hitler's power 70 years after the fact... it's the satirical equivalent of dunking on a two-foot hoop (or a basketful of deplorables). EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
Hope (2017) Michael Sicinski Hope is clear-eyed, frank, and at times pitiless. In an alternate dimension, one that valued truth and clarity in popular art, this film might be considered an Oscar contender. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
The Laundromat (2019) Mark Asch Soderbergh aims for punchy populism, and ends up making a movie more cartoonish than his most recent iPhone fisheye dramas. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
Wasp Network (2020) Clara Miranda Scherffig It's too bad for the stellar cast, who are sacrificed for the film's admirable but undeveloped entry points: entertain telling a lesser-known story and draw parallels with todays' global migration debates. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019) Josh Cabrita It's for this reason-the close, real-time attention to behavioural nuance-that Hepburn and Tailfeathers have risked a formal gambit that could've easily seemed fraudulent. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
() Michael Sicinski Something sticky this way comes: Resin is not a very good film judged on its own merits, but it also has the additional misfortune of demanding a side-by-side comparison. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
() Phoebe Chen Glassie appears as an intermittent talking head, relaying principles that sound aphoristic, but charm with their generous reading of the world. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
August (2019) Caitlin Quinlan This debut feature is indicative of a director with a skillful eye for composition and framing, and there is an added affection for these landscapes here, the sights of the director's own hometown. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Proxima (2019) Mark Asch Between Proxima and the subjective-headspace thriller Disorder (2015), with Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kruger, Winocour has proven she has a talent for eliciting task-oriented movie-star performances in versatile modes. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Anna Swanson The craft of the film is undeniable, but with a central romance that never becomes the emotionally resonant experience it is set up to be, no amount of skilled assemblage can make Portrait of a Lady on Fire more than a beautiful decoration. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
The Antenna (2019) Madeleine Wall The Antenna functions as an odd parable, one which may be a bit too late. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
() Michael Sicinski This is one of the year's very best. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
() Anna Swanson Easy Land depicts an experience that will speak to many and does so with sensitivity and a clear affection for its headstrong characters. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
() Madeleine Wall Meddeb is the narrator, and her authorial voice is never hidden, but her willingness to let others speak on par with her is what sets this documentary apart. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
() Clara Miranda Scherffig Like her new relatives, we observe with awed, questioning eyes. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
() Adam Nayman Following up his palatably artful (and widely garlanded) Korean-language debut In Her Place, Albert Shin shows a willingness to plunge headlong into genre waters, an immersion that's bracing, if not quite purifying. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
() Clara Miranda Scherffig Sole is a reserved film, its rhythm controlled by silent, hyper-composed, mostly still shots, ut the otherwise flat narrative is stirred by several nearly imperceptible movements. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
() Madeleine Wall There is a lot of space here to do something different than the norm, but instead the film wanders through the lush woods, never able to truly progress from its starting point. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
Color Out of Space (2019) Adam Nayman What's less assured is the tone, which could generously be described as "elastic..." but strikes one more precisely as desperate, unable to commit to either full-on gross-out comedy or apocalyptic melancholy. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
Clemency (2019) Meg Shields When the most interesting scenes in a film criticizing the death penalty are the executions, that isn't just sloppy, that's a moral failing. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
Hustlers (2019) Daniel Reynolds True to its title, Hustlers races through its story, often only skimming what could have been its richest material; the muddled pacing doesn't give it much chance to exceed its gender-flipping novelty. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
() Michael Scoular What sets Colectiv apart isn't just the emotional heft of its story... but how it never simply adopts the POV of any of its subjects, instead judiciously choosing scenes in offices and press rooms that represent what all the information and reports can't. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
() Steve Macfarlane Even if This is Not a Movie appears to be yet another magazine profile-style hagiography in doc form, it also uses Fisk as a litmus test for the last quarter-century's crisis of journalistic integrity. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
() Adam Nayman There are all kinds of ways to display directorial chops, and even if Tammy's Always Dying isn't much to look at, Johnson manages her cast well. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
() Mark Asch Mouaness sustains this momentum for much of the second half, riding along the crest of a high-tension early-release day with a logjam of buses and parents outside, unreliable attendance sheets, and the school secretary working the phones like a champ. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
() Angelo Muredda Zweig's reluctance to prod his interviewees on subjects about which they are clearly eager to speak... does yield some unguarded testimony, moments where the masks of therapy, inter-officer bravado, and media training fall away. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
Australian Dream (1987) Beatrice Loayza Nevertheless, it's hard not to be moved by The Australian Dream, though it's plainly obvious this is less a major feat of documentary filmmaking than a tremendous story passionately and empathetically told. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
() Anna Swanson Even when exposing her capabilities, the film maintains that she possesses a depth no one close to her-and not even Anna herself-can truly grasp. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
Guest of Honor (2019) Adam Nayman Guest of Honour is sort of a ridiculous movie, and yet the things holding it together-above all its maker's faith in the principles and possibilities of narrative as a restless, ever-shifting experiment in architecture-are worth taking seriously. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
I Know I Am Not Alone (2005) Michael Sicinski While unabashedly pro-Pashinyan, the film reveals a bit more than it probably intends to about what it takes to bring about mass political change in the age of social media, neoliberal branding, and shifting global ideologies. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
() Angelo Muredda By attending instead to the willfulness of Amir's repeated claim that he is like a laser pointer, marking targets, he's crafted a more complex and necessary sort of character study. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
Made in Bangladesh (2019) Dana Reinoos With Made in Bangladesh, Hossain has crafted an urgent cry for workers' rights, and a vision of feminist solidarity in the face of overwhelming opposition. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
Mariam (2019) Robert Koehler This is potentially the stuff of a great movie. Mariam, however, isn't even remotely great, and at times it's far less than it should be. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
() Meg Shields As a record of someone with a foot in two cultures, the loneliness that stalks Fahed across borders feels less like cultural whiplash than the condition of someone paralyzed by their own indecision. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
() Michael Scoular [A] relentless, emotionally draining triptych of separation and punishment. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
() Michael Sicinski Devil Between the Legs makes no concessions and offers no apologies. I suppose that, in its own repugnant way, it's admirable, but it's not something anyone should feel obliged to actually watch. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
Waves (2019) Adam Nayman The moment when everything starts goes wrong for Tyler involves a piece of tissue stretched well past the breaking point, a rupture caused by stubbornness and egomaniacal overreaching-it is as good a metaphor as any for the movie as a whole. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2019
() Dana Reinoos ZANA is an overwhelming emotional experience, as Kastrati lays Lume's pain out without minimizing it. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2019
Sea Fever (2019) Adam Nayman Sea Fever just sort of watchably bobs along, leaving very little in its wake. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2019
Nobadi (2019) Courtney Duckworth While it at first feels welcome that the film doesn't slide into the easy grooves of a "common-ground" story that doesn't reflect lived realities, Makovics has only replaced that rote narrative with a litany of empty hatred. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2019
My Life as a Comedian (2019) Meg Shields Ultimately, the emotional pull of Juha achieving closure packs less of a punch than his accepting responsibility for what happened. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2019
() Brendan Boyle This scene, as well as early montages of Raymond's dreams, suggest a film dominated by music and dance, but The Lost Okoroshi ultimately becomes a stranger and more ambivalent vision with every accumulated image and incident. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2019
American Woman (2019) Angelo Muredda There are inklings of a biting story here about class, gender, and race, but the film's attempts to invoke these discourses through the lens of the 1970s feel thin and phony. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2019
() Jaclyn Bruneau Karim Aïnouz has created a decadently frustrating, and thus accurate, study of longing. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
() Mallory Andrews Leading man Mantsai is an especially riveting screen presence, solid as a one-two punch. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019