‘VHYes’: Film Review

Its slim premise involving a couple of 13-year-old boys having fun with a camcorder in the late ’80s, “VHYes” is maybe a little too faithful to their sensibility — being exactly what a kid raised on “Saturday Night Live,” “SCTV,” and maybe cable broadc...

‘The Wave’: Film Review

A sort of “After Hours” update with a lot more drugs and time ellipses, “The Wave” throws Justin Long down a rabbit’s hole of sometimes hallucinatory, sometimes mortal peril when his button-down protagonist makes the mistake of celebrating a career bre...

‘Lingua Franca’: Film Review

— even if her script eventually muffles some of the film’s early promise. This low-key drama about a trans Filipina looking for love (and a green card) while working as a domestic in Brooklyn is low-key in the right ways, utilizing subtlety and suggest...

‘The Sonata’: Film Review

Restoration wit William Congreve opined that music had charms to soothe the savage breast, but in “The Sonata,” it has power to summon the savage beast — you know, the one usually depicted with horns, tail, and a pitchfork. This handsome horror meller ...

‘An Almost Ordinary Summer’: Film Review

The news that two hitherto heterosexual patriarchs are getting married — to each other — roils both of their families in amiable “An Almost Ordinary Summer.” This slickly produced . Released last February on its home turf, the Italian comedy was select...

‘The Perfection’: Film Review

It’s punishment more than practice that makes “The Perfection,” which is less a horror film per se than a grisly yet upscale grand guignol melodrama. Richard Shepard’s very tricky suspense film, co-written with the TV writing-producing team of Eric Cha...

‘Code 8’: Film Review

Essentially a humbler, grungier indie “X-Men” without the same dependence on splashy effects, “Code 8” is a solid genre effort from director Jeff Chan. Spun off from his prior short of the same name, the crowdfunded effort is resourceful and polished o...

Film Review: ‘Grand Isle’

A sub-Tennessee Williams potboiler triangle between restless sexpot, impotent husband, and hunky handyman ever-so-slowly congeals into a lumpy gumbo of thriller elements in “Grand Isle.” This third directorial big-screen feature for veteran Steadicam o...

Film Review: ‘I See You’

The fact that it’s a very complicated matter even identifying the “I” and “you” in “I See You” is just a sample of the narrative tricks in this very tricksy thriller. Working from an impressive first produced screenplay by actor Devon Graye, Adam Randa...

Film Review: ‘En Brazos de un Asesino’

It’s problematic when a possible franchise-launcher feels like an indifferent later entry in a series, and that is the case with “En Brazos de un Asesino” aka “In the Arms of an Assassin.” This Pantelion release has the requisite basic elements for und...

Film Review: ‘The Courier’

You don’t expect subtlety from a movie whose very first second consists of the heroine getting a fist to her face, or whose poster suggests the real “star” is her leather-clad posterior. Still, a bagful o’ hammers might provide exactly the same amount ...

Film Review: ‘Line of Duty’

High on energy if low on credibility, “Line of Duty” stars Aaron Eckhart as a cop from Birmingham, Ala., whose day gets a lot more hectic when he’s caught up in a kidnapping whose victim is under immediate mortal threat. This latest from prolific genre...

Film Review: ‘Crown Vic’

Definitely the more sober-sided of two new films involving cops and cop-killers, “Crown Vic” juggles slice-of-life observation and thriller elements as a grizzled LAPD veteran shepherds a newbie through his first patrol shift. (Also opening Nov. 15 on ...

Film Review: ‘Radioflash’

It’s the end of the world and they know it in “Radioflash,” a neither-fish-nor-fowl tale of survival after a massive, seemingly permanent power failure. At first this seems a fairly straightforward “what if” scenario of one family’s coping with the rap...

Film Review: ‘Primal’

“Primal” isn’t just a title that’s been used many times, it’s now a movie that seems to have put several prior movies in a food processor — to results that are edible, but unsurprisingly don’t taste like anything in particular, let alone induce a desir...

Film Review: ‘The Great Alaskan Race’

Based on the same real-life story that inspired the 1995 animated feature “Balto” and Disney’s forthcoming “Togo” (and sliding into theaters not long before another sled-dog tale, the latest “Call of the Wild” remake), “The Great Alaskan Race” promises...

Film Review: ‘Paradise Hills’

If you’ve ever wanted a mashup of Disney princess movies and “The Stepford Wives” or imagined “The Handmaid’s Tale” as a swoony YA fantasy, “Paradise Hills” is absolutely the movie for you. This first feature by young Spanish commercials director Alice...

Film Review: ‘Countdown’

Even the lowly jump scare can be a source of pleasure. But at its most mechanical, this least imaginative of stock devices in current horror cinema elicits less fright than annoyance — rather like a repetitive, low-level electric shock, one just potent...

Film Review: ‘The Dead Center’

There’s nothing conceptually all that special about “The Dead Center,” but sometimes it’s all in the execution, and this creepily restrained horror thriller manages to never seem entirely predictable while nonetheless drawing on numerous prior genre in...

Film Review: ‘Mary’

When Emily Mortimer says, “Evil needs a body to exist. The body was that boat,” it’s just the first of numerous unsayable lines in “Mary.” This tale of nautical terror is one leaky vessel, despite veteran cinematographer Michael Goi’s professionally co...