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NEW THIS WEEK
Trip to Greece, The 5
Military Wives rate me!
ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
29-May High Note, The

DVD RELEASES
26-May Invisible Man, The (2020)  
26-May Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band  
26-May Thousand Pieces of Gold  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Bodied 5
Depraved 5
Lighthouse, The 5
Last Black Man in San Francisco, The 5
Detour 5

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Lucy in the Sky 1
211 1
Fanatic, The 1
Race 3 1.86
On a Magical Night (Chambre 212) 2

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Trishna 3.71
Hysteria 3.88
Five-Year Engagement, The 3.4
Resolution 3.86
Deadfall (2012) 2
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2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Across the River 4
Plus One 3
Battery, The 3
Grand Heist, The 4
Number 10 Blues/Goodbye Saigon 3
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2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Proxy 2
Under the Skin (2014) 4.14
Fading Gigolo 3
Third Person 1
Ida 5
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2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Like Father, Like Son (2014) 5
Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The 3.6
Alan Partridge 4
Stray Dogs (2013) 2
Touch of Sin, A 5
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Cheap Thrills 3.25
Fifth Estate, The 2
Under the Rainbow (2013) 4
One Chance 3
Nordstrand 5
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2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Outlaws and Angels 4.78
Uncle Howard 4
Hollars, The 4
Captain Fantastic 1
Kate Plays Christine 2
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2016 Slamdance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Embers 4.14
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2016 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Never Let Me Go 4.38
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) 4.03
Native (2016) 5
Reconnoiter 3.12
Polder 3
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2019 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Last Black Man in San Francisco, The 5
Greener Grass 2
We Are Little Zombies 4
Paradise Hills 4
Lodge, The 3.31
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2019 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Porno 4
Tread 4
Apollo 11 5
Villains 2
Teen Spirit 1
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Independent Film Festival Boston 2019 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Luce 3
Them That Follow 4
Death of Dick Long, The 3
Greener Grass 2
Cold Case Hammarskjold 4
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2019 London Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Knives Out 4.32
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2019 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dolemite Is My Name 4.68
Marriage Story 4.13
Weathering With You 3.75
Lighthouse, The 5
Vast of Night, The 5
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2019 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Irishman, The 4.4
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2019 Fantastic Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Lodge, The 3.31
Death of Dick Long, The 3
First Love 4
Knives Out 4.32
Color Out of Space 4.5
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2019 Chicago Critics Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Saint Frances 3
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BITCHSLAP STATS
Movies Listed: 32551
Total Ratings: 249766
Total Reviews: 28521
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Islands In The Stream: Week Ten
Films I Neglected To Review: Heroes And Villains (Mostly The Latter)
Islands In The Stream: Week Nine
Films I Neglected To Review: There's A New Girl In Town
Islands In The Stream: Week Eight
Films I Neglected To Review: Dreadful Sorrow All Around
Islands In The Stream: Week Seven
Films I Neglected To Review: Capital Ideas
Islands In The Stream: Week Six
Films I Neglected To Review: Many Are Cult But Few Are Chosen
Islands In The Stream: Week Five
Films I Neglected To Review: “Off With Your Pants.”
Islands In The Stream: Week Four
Films I Neglected To Review: I Want A New Glug
Islands In the Stream: Week Three
Films I Neglected To Review: Lambs And Slaughter
Islands In The Stream: Week Two
Films I Neglected To Review: The Day The Mime Pretended To Cry
Islands In The Stream: Week One
Films I Neglected To Review: You Aren't Going Anywhere, Are You?
Films I Neglected To Review: Now Playing At A Theater You Will Be Avoiding
Films I Neglected To Review: True(ish) Stories
Slamdance Film Festival 2020 & The Docs That Stood Out
Films I Neglected To Review: Winded
Sundance Film Festival 2020 (Day 4)
Sundance Film Festival 2020 (Day 3)
Sundance Film Festival 2020 (Days 1-2)
Celebrity Exclusive Interviews
Film Festivals of the World
Criticwatch
Rants and Raves
DVD Reviews
Movies & Money with Erik Childress
The Oscar Eye
Films I Neglected To Review with Peter Sobczynski
Short Stuff
WGN Radio's Movie Reviews Podcast (w/ Nick Digilio, Erik Childress & Collin Souter)
DVD/Blu-ray Schedules
Movie Madness Podcast (with Erik Childress)
MORE FEATURES
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LATEST REVIEWS
LUCKY GRANDMA
"Tsai Chin is less lucky than just plain good here."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "It's not a trick that works every time, or even the thought process that most filmmakers are using, but you'll probably get something interesting by taking a story that has been done a lot and then adding twenty years or so to the main character's age. Sure, it may seem like suicide commercially, but you'll wind up with a terrific character actor in the lead, new challenges and solutions in the story, and the chance for nifty juxtapositions. It makes for one of the more intriguing bag-of-money movies to come out in a while." (more)
VAST OF NIGHT, THE
"Night Skies"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "In the last few weeks, I have seen a number of genre films—including current box-office champ “The Wretched”—that struck me as projects that might have worked perfectly as an episode of an anthology show like “The Twilight Zone” or “The Outer Limits” but wound up losing something along the way in the effort to stretch things out enough to make them into features. In the case of “The Vast of Night” (premiering on Amazon Prime), it takes that a step further by presenting itself as an episode of “Paradox Theater,” an ersatz anthology show whose opening, in which a narrator speaking in clipped cadences informs us that “you are entering a realm between clandestine and forgotten,” will certainly sound familiar to many viewers. The irony is that while those other films did not quite work because they were telling stories that might have been more effective in a shorter format, this one is a creatively audacious and smashingly entertaining throwback to everything from those aforementioned shows to the wild creations of the late, great Arch Oboler—the producer who chilled radio audiences with exquisitely designed sonic landscapes that convinced listeners that they were hearing people pulled inside out by a fog or the sounds of a giant chicken heart destroying the world—that finds debuting director Andrew Patterson working wonders with what I can only presume was a micro-sized budget." (more)
HIGH NOTE, THE
"Not Exactly Supreme"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "The omnipresent television commercials for “The High Note” suggest that it is going to be a film centering on a veteran pop star who has been coasting on her past hits and legacy for years and who comes to a crossroads where she has to decide whether she is going to record her first album of new material in over a decade—a potentially risky move from a commercial standpoint—or take on an extended Las Vegas residency that would have her churning out the same old hits night after night—a highly lucrative deal but one that would essentially signal her complete creative standstill. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a potentially fascinating movie that could possibly offer up some real insight into the creative process and how celebrated artists wrestle with the question of trying new things as opposed to giving the audience more of what they already like. To make things more intriguing, the singer is played by Tracee Ellis Ross, the daughter of Diana, and while she clearly landed the role based on her own considerable talents, her presence adds an additional layer of frisson to the premise that probably would not be there if another actress got the part. And yet, anyone intrigued by the possibilities suggested by those commercials are going to be hugely disappointed when they see it for themselves and learns that most of them have been kicked to the side in order to make room for a narrative thrust and characters that are far less interesting and which transform the film into a cup of extremely weak tea that has been steeped in cliches and which pays lips service to female empowerment without actually having any notable thoughts on the subject as it heads to one of the more embarrassing wrap-ups in recent memory." (more)
TRIP TO GREECE, THE
"Get Them To The Greeks"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "If you had come up to me ten years ago and asked me to pick the one new film that would inspire the most unexpectedly durable and artistically satisfying franchise of the ensuing decade, I am not entirely sure which one I would have picked—in an era that gave us the likes of “MacGruber,” “Marmaduke” and that Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe, who could possibly pick just one? I am fairly certain, however, that I would not have picked Michael Winterbottom’s “The Trip” for that honor. This is not to say that I did not like the film—like many, I was delighted with the largely improvised chronicle of comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing slightly exaggerated versions of themselves, touring the finest restaurants of Northern England while engaging in a constant game of one-upmanship punctuated with astoundingly detailed impersonations of actors more famous than them. However, comedies, as a rule, don’t really lend themselves well to sequels, let alone franchises, because all the inspired jokes have pretty much been used up the first time around and there is little left to do but repeat those familiar gags. (If you saw the entire “Hangover” series, you know what I mean. And yet, Winterbottom, Coogan and Brydon would return for “The Trip to Italy” (2014) and “The Trip to Spain” and while the basic outlines for those film would not deviate from the original, that concept proved to be a durable launching point for hilarious new improvisations and impersonations while occasionally moving, however subtly, into deeper and more thoughtful waters. Now comes “The Trip to Greece,” which all involved are claiming will be the last one and indeed, there is a sense of finality that hangs out on the edges this time around, though it is likely that you will be too busy laughing to notice until it takes center stage for its surprisingly affecting conclusion." (more)
ALICE (2019)
"A genuinely delightful discovery."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... ""Alice" - whether referring to the film's title or its main character - is a lot of different things over the course of the film's running time, and what's really impressive is how well it manages to be all of them. Filmmaker Josephine Mackerras takes an idea that could be the plot of a sex comedy or a scathing critique, does a bit of both, and gets from one to the other in the smart way that acknowledges that all this stuff happens together." (more)
ON A MAGICAL NIGHT (CHAMBRE 212)
"Why are we doing this, again?"
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "It's a rare film that's improvised or shot in sequence, and there's almost no way that "On a Magical Night" is one of them. Nevertheless, to watch it is to get the impression of someone having an idea, running with it, getting distracted, forgetting how all this works, and just winding up in a place that makes no damn sense whatsoever. And, sure, this isn't a movie one goes into with any sort of expectation of logical consistency, but this movie just completely loses track of what makes it work." (more)
DEERSKIN
"A bit more introspective but still kind of 'Wrong'."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "About six years and three features ago, when reviewing Quentin Dupieux's "Wrong Cops", I joked that the director of some of the decade's most entertaining bits of cinematic nonsense was "only a few films away from doing something eccentric but basically sensible". "Deerskin" doesn't have him quite there, but it's grounded in a way Dupieux's other films are not, for better or worse. It's maybe more mature, but less zany fun." (more)
SHOOTING THE MAFIA
"Interesting despite a couple of gaps."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2019 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: This is an intriguing but odd documentary, in that it seems like it could be more focused or detailed or illustrative, but instead the filmmakers just let their subject take them where she would, and if that wasn't where they expected, so be it. It helps to have the sort of subject who is willing to take you places in that case, although sometimes that means being ready for them to just not be interested in certain parts of the story." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
ISLANDS IN THE STREAM: WEEK TEN
by Peter Sobczynski
"This will be a short-but-silly week of streaming recommendations to help pass the pandemic. Come back every day for a new selection and hopefully you will find something up your alley. If you do or you don't or you have suggestions/scathing criticisms to make, drop me a line at petersob@efilmcritic.com and I try to get to them" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: HEROES AND VILLAINS (MOSTLY THE LATTER)
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Body Cam," "Inheritance," "Lance," "Military Wives," "Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films Of All-Time--Vol. 2 Horror and Sci-Fi" and "Villain."" (more)
ISLANDS IN THE STREAM: WEEK NINE
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy another collection of suggestions for films--ranging from the popular to those off the beaten path--to help pass the pandemic. Come back every day for a new selection and hopefully you will find something up your alley. If you do or you don't or you have suggestions/scathing criticisms to make, drop me a line at petersob@efilmcritic.com and I try to get to them" (more)
MORE FEATURES

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