The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019)

When you hear the call of Harmony Korine, you are likely to either turn away or heed it. I can understand why some impulsively have no interest in him, especially considering the uncompromising oddness of his earlier works, which repulse as much as they fascinate with their brazen crudity and abject shocks to the system.…

Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood (Tarantino, 2019)

Please note that this review includes spoilers about the film’s conclusion. Fairy tales are the spaces in which our childhoods dream. Their worlds are enormous in their specificity, for the greater the specificity, the greater our imaginations roam free. They contain both the mystical and the practical. They use the lives of people far above…

Apollo 11 (Miller, 2019)

It’s so gratifying to go into a documentary and not have to be talked at for two hours. For those that feel differently, there are many other films you can watch about the Apollo 11 mission that have the traditional talking heads in place. They can give you better explanations and direct testimony about the…

Yesterday (Boyle, 2019)

The premise of Yesterday works in some respects. Imagining a world without a particular cultural commodity, with all its associated prestige and iconography, can yield intriguing implications—especially if a few select people still know such a commodity once existed. The route Yesterday takes is the easiest: what if one of those people assumed creatorship of the commodity and reaped…

Weekly Spotlight #13: On Dangerous Ground (Ray & Lupino, 1951)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. On tap for this week is another lesser-known noir from the 1950s, lushly directed by the great Nicholas Ray and with uncredited assistance from star Ida Lupino.

Knife+Heart (Gonzalez, 2018)

Yann Gonzalez wants the giallo to make a modern comeback, and honestly? I’m here for it. Knife+Heart revels in all the genre’s sleazy elements, including the impressionistic uses of vivid colour, ambient soundscapes (courtesy of synthpop band M83), and that irresistible slasher/stalker element that puts all the characters in vulnerable spots as a bloodthirsty killer lurks in…

Hotel by the River (Hong, 2018)

Hong Sang-soo continues to go from strength to strength as a filmmaker, with his latest offering, Hotel by the River, landing as one of his strongest achievements to date. It sees him testing the limits of his style and thematic proclivities in ways that still continually surprise. His camerawork, for instance, is more urgent and involved…

Weekly Spotlight #12: Hellzapoppin’ (Potter, 1941)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. This week, it’s back to the 1940s with our zaniest selection yet: a vaudeville revue that takes audience participation to a whole new level.

Weekly Spotlight #11: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Neame, 1969)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. For our eleventh recommendation, we dip back into academia once more as students everywhere begin their summer holidays, taking a look at an irresistible Muriel Spark story about idolization, predestination, and the crème de la crème: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Weekly Spotlight #10: Desert Hearts (Deitch, 1985)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. In honour of Pride Month, we turn our focus to the recently-restored lesbian romance Desert Hearts from director Donna Deitch.

Murder Mystery (Newacheck, 2019)

I’ve gobbled up my fair share of mystery novels when I was growing up. I still do, on occasion. I even took a class on detective novels in university because I thought it’d be fun. So this latest Netflix original was kind of irresistible to me, since it promised to pay homage to a genre…

Rocketman (Fletcher, 2019)

I’ll give Rocketman this much: it is a more credible endeavour than its closest antecedent, Bohemian Rhapsody. On the aesthetic front, Rocketman is not as visually shoddy or bogged down by competing artistic visions. Dexter Fletcher had a clear concept in mind and ran with it, whereas with Bohemian Rhapsody he was forced to paste together a film from scraps left behind…

Weekly Spotlight #9: The Browning Version (Asquith, 1951)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. As the current school year comes to a close, we examine the power and pathos of a lesser-known story about student-teacher relationships: Anthony Asquith’s excellent adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s The Browning Version.

Aladdin (Ritchie, 2019)

It is quite the relief when a movie that has been beleaguered with terrible promotion turns out to be better than expected. And let me tell you, Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin instilled no confidence before its release date. When Will Smith’s buff and blue Genie was finally unveiled to a flurry of online backlash and mockery, I couldn’t…

Weekly Spotlight #8: Ballad of a Soldier (Chukhray, 1959)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. This week, we introduce you to the Soviet-era war classic Ballad of a Soldier in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.