Fish Tank

Studio: IFC Films

Jan 30, 2010 Cinema Issue #29 - Year End 2009 - Best of the Decade

First-time actress Katie Jarvis delivers a wonderfully expressive and nuanced lead performance as Mia, an aimless Essex teen in English writer/director Andrea Arnold's superb second feature, Fish Tank. Mia, a foul-mouthed 15-year-old loner with a nose for trouble, lives in a council flat with her single mom (Kierston Wareing) and tween sister (Rebecca Griffiths). More

The Young Victoria

Studio: Apparition
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée; Starring: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson and Jim Broadbent

Dec 18, 2009 Cinema Web Exclusive

Emily Blunt is assured and stately in her role as the British monarch whose accession to the throne in 1837 launched the Victorian era, yet so much is made of Victoria's youth during the early section of the film that the smarts and resolve Blunt brings to her performance becomes a distraction. More

Tormented

Studio: IFC Films
Directed by John Wright; Starring: Alex Pettyfer, April Pearson, Dimitri Leonidas, Calvin Dean, Tuppence Middleton and Georgia King

Dec 10, 2009 Cinema Web Exclusive

The cruelty of high school is one of horror movies' most familiar motifs, but few high schools are more purely miserable than the parochial school in Tormented, where even the teachers join the popular kids in humiliating the outcasts. More

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Studio: Fox Searchlight
Directed by: Wes Anderson; Starring (the voices of): George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray

Nov 30, 2009 Cinema Web Exclusive

In spite of their finely tailored clothes, the animated creatures in Fantastic Mr. Fox aren't little furry humans, à la Disney. They're wild animals, with dirty, cavity-ridden teeth and barbaric primal instincts. More

Broken Embraces

Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar; Starring: Penélope Cruz and Lluís Homar

Nov 23, 2009 Cinema

Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz have become an unstoppable duo, and Cruz, more than any other of Almodóvar's regular actors, has the versatility to express the incredibly complex sentiments of her director's vision. More

The Messenger

Studio: Oscilloscope Laboratories
Directed by Oren Moverman; Starring: Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton and Jena Malone

Nov 11, 2009 Cinema Issue #28 Fall 2009 - Monsters of Folk

Hats off to Adam Yauch's Oscilloscope Laboratories for picking up this potent 2009 Sundance selection starring Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson as Army Casualty Notification Officers, whose duty is to report the deaths of soldiers to their next of kin. More

Death Bell

Studio: IFC Films
Directed by Yoon Hong-Seung; Starring: Lee Beom-soo, Nam Gyu-ri, Yoon Jeong-hee and Kim Bum

Oct 30, 2009 Cinema Web Exclusive

Whatever or whoever is killing students in Death Bell is that much more terrifying because it's probably not a ghost. More

Antichrist

Studio: IFC Films
Directed by Lars von Trier; Starring: Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg

Oct 28, 2009 Cinema Issue #28 Fall 2009 - Monsters of Folk

With Antichrist, director Lars von Trier becomes a late entry in the contest against M. Night Shyamalan to see who can fall the farthest the fastest. More

Black Dynamite

Studio: Apparition
Directed by Scott Sanders; Starring: Michael Jai White

Oct 23, 2009 Cinema Web Exclusive

Cancel the Oscars, Black Dynamite is the best film of 2009assuming, that is, that your definition of fine cinema includes kung fu, adulterated malt liquor, fightin' The Man, drug-addled orphans, pimps, exploding cars going over cliffs, soul music, helicopter explosions, Vietnam vets, dudes getting thrown through walls, nunchuck fights, and former first lady Pat Nixon being pimp-slapped. More