by Craig J. Clark
Alex Holdridge and Linnea Saasen turn their personal experience into fodder for this slight but charming indie about a frustrated American filmmaker and a Norwegian dancer he loved and lost.
Despite repeated attempts to off himself, an Aussie theorizes that he cannot commit suicide successfully until he feels genuine and complete happiness. Given that catch-22 of a premise, this twisty drama is full of ironies.
Nostalgia for the earnestness and moral clarity of ’80s genre movies accounts for the Blu-ray release of two mild exploitation movies, one a proto-Transformers about robots and the other featuring a skateboarding Josh Brolin.
Jaromil Jires’ 1970 Czech New Wave classic delves into the subconscious of a 13-year-old girl, which takes her through a fantasy realm, but reflects the adolescent experience as well as any coming-of-age film ever made.
Socialist director Ken Loach mixes Irish politics with dance-hall giddiness in what may be his final film, a period piece about James Gralton, the only Irishman ever to be deported from his country.
This French-Belgian animated co-production takes its designs from Disney, its setting from Michel Ocelot, and its story from history. But in spite of the complications, it’s a fairly simple film.
Ami Canaan Mann’s third feature offers a refreshingly mature, tender romance between two musicians over the course of a few days in Ogden, Utah. But she retreats to convention when it matters.
Bob Rafelson’s New Hollywood classic is remembered for its famous diner scene, but there’s much more to cherish about this character study, which explores the surprising roots of Jack Nicholson’s blue-collar oilman.
The entrenched conflict between Israelis and Arabs comes to light in Eran Riklis’ occasionally funny but mostly sobering coming-of-age tale about an Arab teenager trying to fit into Israeli society.
Argentinian director Matías Piñeiro (Viola) continues his weightless riffs on Shakespeare with this wispy tale of a lothario gathering a cast for a radio version of Love’s Labour’s Lost.
Three sisters gather in their childhood home after their mother disappears into the adjoining lake in Sarah Adina Smith’s found-footage horror/thriller, which walks the fine line between unsettling and aimless.
In Jennifer Phang’s ambitious, visually impressive science fiction feature, terrorist explosions are an everyday occurrence and a cratered economy has drastically turned back the clock on women in the workplace and society at large.
A dramatization of the waning power of drug lord Pablo Escobar observes the action from a far distance.
The resplendent gardens of Versailles take on heavy metaphorical value in Alan Rickman’s love story about the forbidden romance between Kate Winslet as the garden’s lower-class architect and Matthias Schoenaerts as a royal.
While folding a story of redemption into a modern fable, Terry Gilliam re-created New York in his own image.
With his 1959 narrative debut, Bernhard Wicki turned a “hymn to German courage” into an anti-war film by focusing on the boys behind the soldiers.
The Amanda Knox case gets a lightly fictionalized treatment in a Michael Winterbottom film that has trouble being about much of anything.
Rory Culkin’s mesmerizing but not showy performance as a mentally ill young man anchors this stunning debut from writer-director Lou Howe.
Though uneven and hampered by go-nowhere subplots, Rick Famuyiwa’s Sundance hit mostly lives up to its title, especially when it hangs within the margins of the margins alongside teenage geeks living in the L.A. suburb of Inglewood.