The Silence poster

The Silence

by John R. Leonetti
Specifics
Germany, USA [2019] - 90 mins
Genre
Horror
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2.0*/5.0*

A pretty flat and simple horror flick that feels like a cheap A Quiet Place knock-off. Leonetti's direction is rather plain, the monsters are more than a little dull and even though it's supposed to be tense, the film never conjures up enough atmosphere to scare the audience. The money was clearly there, the talent wasn't.

Live by Night poster

Live by Night

by Ben Affleck
Specifics
USA [2016] - 129 mins
Genre
Crime, Drama
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2.5*/5.0*

A pretty safe but decent crime flick. Affleck directs and leads, though like most of his films he forgets to spice things up. Live by Night is a film with relatively few weak points (apart from some overly exaggerated caricatures maybe), yet it's also a film with very few highlights. An okay way to pass the time, just nothing more.

Modest Heroes poster

Modest Heroes

by Yoshiyuki Momose, Akihiko Yamashita, Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Also known as
Chiisana Eiyu: Kani to Tamago to Tomei Ningen
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 53 mins
Genre
Animation, Fantasy, Drama
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4.0*/5.0*

Modest Heroes is the first in a 3-part anthology project, made to showcase the talent that resides at Studio Ponoc (the new Studio Ghibli). It's nice to see these people finally been given a chance to prove their worth. Three beautifully animated and pleasantly touching shorts make this an easy recommend for animation fans.

The Sea of Trees poster

The Sea of Trees

by Gus Van Sant
Specifics
USA [2015] - 110 mins
Genre
Drama
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2.0*/5.0*

Aokigahara has become a popular location for movies, in the hands of Gus Van Sant (thinking of Gerry in particular) it could've been genius. Sadly the reality is a bit different. The film is overly sentimental, the drama is poor, the acting way too heavy-handed. A missed opportunity that doesn't warrant its running time.

Pet Sematary poster

Pet Sematary

by Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer
Specifics
USA [2019] - 100 mins
Genre
Horror, Thriller
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2.5*/5.0*

A rather pointless remake of the 80s original. Kölsch and Widmyer made a pretty faithful adaptation, but they failed to add anything new. What's left is a well-made film, one without any obvious faults, but also one without any obvious perks. It's all very expected and basic, a shame because they've shown lots of promise in the past.

Undeclared War poster

Undeclared War

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Sheng Zhan Feng Yun
Specifics
Hong Kong [1990] - 103 mins
Genre
Action, Crime
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1.5*/5.0*

A pretty tame and lifeless police thriller. The international elements add very little, Lam's direction is uninspired and functional and the story fails to engage. I've seen a million of these already and Undeclared War seems unwilling to add anything meaningful to the genre. It's simple filler, but even by that standard it's not very good.

Paris Is Us poster

Paris Is Us

by Elisabeth Vogler
Also known as
Paris Est à Nous
Specifics
France [2019] - 83 mins
Genre
Drama, Romance
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4.5*/5.0*

Starts off as a French variation on Drake Doremus, but turns a lot darker after the 30 minute mark. Paris Is Us is a film that doesn't rely on a solid narrative, instead it slowly morphs into a cinematic poem that reflects on the recent events in Paris. It's quite the experience, just keep your expectations in check when watching this film.

Cleo from 5 to 7 poster

Cleo from 5 to 7

by Agnès Varda
Also known as
Cléo de 5 à 7
Specifics
France, Italy [1962] - 90 mins
Genre
Drama
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3.0*/5.0*

A light and frivolous film that breathes Nouvelle Vague. Structurally it's a bit clunky (with the pointless chapters), but Marchand is perfect, the black and white cinematography is alluring and the conversations are amusing. The film ended 5 minutes late, but definitely a nice first acquaintance with the work of Varda.

The National Anthem poster

The National Anthem

by Otto Bathurst
Specifics
UK [2011] - 44 mins
Genre
Drama, Sci-fi, Thriller
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1.5*/5.0*

A very mediocre Black Mirror short. While the point that's being made is overly clear, the film seems to focus on the wrong things to get it across. Even though the film is about the power of social media, regular media and the opinion of the public, it loses itself in boring protocol and the act itself. Another missed opportunity.

The Covenant poster

The Covenant

by Renny Harlin
Specifics
USA [2006] - 97 mins
Genre
Horror
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2.5*/5.0*

A cheesy but dedicated horror film. It's a shame that Harlin is too busy courting horny teenagers, because behind all the tweeny nonsense hides a fun and amusing witch flick. The cinematography is nice enough, the visual effect are okay and the fights are adequate. There's some fun to be had here, but only if you can ignore the cheese.

Sick Nurses poster

Sick Nurses

by Piraphan Laoyont, Thodsapol Siriwiwat
Also known as
Suay Laak Sai
Specifics
Thailand [2007] - 82 mins
Genre
Horror, Thriller
More info on
4.0*/5.0*

A fun, quirky and devious revenge flick that borrows heavily from its horror neighbors. The beginning is a little challenging, but once the blood starts flowing things get a whole lot better. Very stylish, very colorful and wicked, just don't expect a typical horror flick, because Sick Nurses isn't out to scare you.

The Field Guide to Evil poster

The Field Guide to Evil

by Ashim Ahluwalia, Can Evrenol, Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz, Katrin Gebbe, Calvin Reeder, Agnieszka Smoczynska, Peter Strickland, Yannis Veslemes
Specifics
New Zealand [2018] - 117 mins
Genre
Horror, Fantasy
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3.0*/5.0*

A fine anthology with a couple of pretty cool shorts. The biggest problem is that the best ones are all at the front, which makes the second half a bit disappointing. Even so, a pretty varied and fun take on popular folklore, the Turkish short is by far the best of the bunch, the American one is the weakest. Good fun though.

Tokyo Zombie poster

Tokyo Zombie

by Sakichi Satô
Also known as
Tokyo Zonbi
Specifics
Japan [2005] - 103 mins
Genre
Comedy, Horror
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3.5*/5.0*

Ultra dry zombie comedy. Tadanobu Asano and Sho Aikawa are the clear stars of the film, sadly Sakichi Sato's direction isn't really on the same level. The film looks just a little too cheap and lazy at times, even beyond the obvious cheese. Luckily the comedy works, which does make this fun a watch.