Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘Abacus: Small Enough to Jail’

Thomas Sung and two of his daughters as they appear in the documentary, “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.” (Sean Lyness)
Thomas Sung and two of his daughters as they appear in the documentary, “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.” (Sean Lyness)

There is no question the media would have pilloried Rudy Giuliani if he ever conducted a prosecution of an African American community bank in the...

  • (L-R) Michael Peña as Ponch and Dax Shepard as Jon in Warner Bros. Pictures' action comedy "CHiPS.” (Peter iovino/Warner Bros Entertainment Inc./Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC.)

    Movie Review: ‘CHIPS’ Lowbrow and Very Funny

    R | 1 hour 40 min | Action, Comedy, Crime | 24 March 2017 (USA) Dax Shepard is a Hollywood “triple-threat”—an actor who acts, writes,... Read more

  • Pierre Niney and Paula Beer in "Frantz."  (Mandarin Films)

    Film Review: ‘Frantz’

    Adrien Rivoire and Frantz Hoffmeister were practically like the Crittenden siblings in the American Civil War. The two friends were as close as brothers, yet... Read more

  • Hiroshi Abe and Yôko Maki in “After the Storm.” (Aoi Promotion)

    Film Review: ‘After the Storm’

    Given the more rigid social norms, it must be especially difficult coming to terms with personal and professional failure in conservative Japan, but at least... Read more

  • Machiko Kyô and Masayuki Mori in “Ugetsu.” (Daiei Studios)

    Film Review: ‘Ugetsu’

    Most Japanese social critics agree Kenji Mizoguchi’s final film, “Street of Shame” played a crucial role bringing about the legal criminalization of prostitution. It was an issue... Read more

  • (pepper&bones)

    Film Review: ‘Karl Marx City’

    Michael Tucker often serves as the director of photography on the documentaries he co-directs with his wife and creative partner, Petra Epperlein, but he has... Read more

  • (Xin Xu)

    Film Review: ‘Beyond the Curtain’ (short)

    Even though Chinese opera has a long tradition, all but eight so-called “model operas” were banned during the Cultural Revolution. Not surprisingly, comic books faced... Read more

  • (Devil's Harvest Production)

    Film Review: ‘Bitter Harvest’

    On the spectrum of human enormity, the Holodomor, Stalin’s genocidal campaign to starve Ukraine to the brink of extinction, ranks somewhere near the Cambodian Killing... Read more

  • (Die Kulturingenieure 2016)

    Film Review: ‘Kaputt/Broken—The Women’s Prison at Hoheneck’ (short)

    Exploiting vulnerable labor for profit is everything socialist propaganda crusades against. Yet, the exploitation of the inmates at Hoheneck Prison helped keep the financially ailing... Read more

  • Hong Kong activist-politician Joshua Wong attends a political forum hosted by Taiwan's grassroot New Power Party (NPP) in Taipei on January 8, 2017. A new documentary film about Wong, "Joshua: Teenager vs Superpower," premiered at the Sundance Festival on Jan. 20, 2017. (Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images)

    Film Review—Joshua: Teenager Vs Superpower

    Mention the name “Joshua Wong,” and anyone vaguely interested in the Umbrella Movement and other pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong over the last four years... Read more

  • Joshua Wong holding his hand up with the peace sign. (2016 Sundance Institute)

    Film Review: Joshua: ‘Teenager vs. Superpower’

    A teenager should not feel personally responsible for saving his homeland’s values and way of life, but this is the role Joshua Wong has voluntarily... Read more

  • (L—R) Zhiyong Zhang, Gang Xu, and Weihua Wang in "Free and Easy."(Weihua Wang)

    Film Review: ‘Free and Easy’

    Zhang Zhiyong is a soap salesman just like Ryan O’Neal who sold Bibles in “Paper Moon” and Robert Preston who sold musical instruments in “The... Read more

  • (CNEX)

    Film Review: ‘Plastic China’

    In China, they recycle plastic, but throw away lives. China is the leading importer of plastic waste from the West, but education is a luxury,... Read more

  • (Ama Productions)

    Film Review: ‘What Tears Us Apart’

    If Shen Dai had remained in China, there is no way an Isabelle Huppert-like film star ever would have been part of her social circle... Read more

  • (X-Filme Creative Pool)

    Film Review: ‘Alone in Berlin’

    German novelist Hans Fallada had a complicated relationship with the National Socialists. He survived to watch the regime fall, but not long enough to see... Read more

  • (L–R) Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae, left), Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) and Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) celebrate their stunning achievements in one of the greatest operations in history, in “Hidden Figures.” (Hopper Stone/Twentieth Century Fox Film).

    Movie Review: ‘Hidden Figures’: NASA’s First Black Female Math Wizards

    So there was this African-American woman in the 1960s, see, whose math skills not only outstripped all her male rocket-scientist colleagues, but also put the... Read more

  • (Hey Jude Productions)

    Film Review: ‘On the Map’

    1972 was the worst year ever for international sports. During the notorious Munich Olympics, eleven members of the Israeli delegation were killed by Black September,... Read more

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