by Charles Bramesco
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.
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.
Mixing the personal with the cultural and historical, David Thorpe’s documentary investigates the changing sound of his own voice and the way gay men present themselves.
While shooting Winter’s Bone, director Debra Granik met Ron “Stray Dog” Hall and began shooting a portrait of his life. Her doc about him is at least five films in one.
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.
Mel Rodriguez III’s ostensible romantic comedy concerns the on-again/off-again relationship between two intensely unlikeable people, but doesn’t seem to recognize what disagreeable company they make.
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.
Senna director Asif Kapadia unpacks the mysteries of Amy Winehouse’s tragic life with a heartbreaking documentary that exposes the toxic influences around her, and the mysteries at the core of her music.
A thrilling documentary explores the borderland where those on both sides of the drug war end up with dirty hands.
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.
The fifth entry in the increasingly convoluted Terminator series gets some mileage out of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s turn as an aging T-800, but the franchise has exhausted its creative energy.
Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini’s ambitious documentary surveys nine people in Puerto Rico at unique points on the spectrum of transgender and transexual experience.
Long considered the great lost Les Blank documentary, this digressive portrait of rootsy rock star Leon Russell, now restored and released after four decades, finds poetic ways around its surly subject.
A sequel to Steven Soderbergh’s hit film about male strippers entertainers delivers the goods on a bigger, looser, just-as-entertaining scale.
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.
Seth MacFarlane’s signature mix of thoughtless provocation, lazy gag-writing, and sitcom technique combine for a hugely disappointing sequel to his surprise 2012 comedy hit.
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.
This documentary tracking a viral-phenomenon Make-A-Wish Foundation project is the feel-good documentary of the year, but there are niggling doubts under all those good feelings.