Cuties Is a Complicated, Uncomfortable Coming-of-Age Drama That Refuses Easy Answers

The challenging film, marred by poor marketing and controversy, "refuses to pick a side."

There is a moment in every child’s life when they realize their parents don’t have all the answers. For Amy (Fathia Youssouf), the 11-year-old protagonist of the provocative adolescent drama Cuties, it comes when she eavesdrops on her mother, tearfully explaining to her friend that her husband is taking a second wife. They are a […]

I’m Thinking of Ending Things Is Dark, Poignant, and Hard to Pin Down

Charlie Kaufman's latest takes a disturbing look at the limits of self.

The mind is a prison, at least according to films written by Charlie Kaufman. In Being John Malkovich, the hapless adult protagonist ends the film stuck in a child’s subconscious. In Adaptation, Kaufman writes himself into the screenplay, and is so full of self-loathing that he creates a fictional, more charming twin. These films are […]

Despite Its Flaws, Bill & Ted Face the Music Is A Film You Can’t Help But Root For

"Just like its protagonists, it’s sweet, stupid, and imbued with an earnest belief that music can save the world."

Even in an era stuffed with sequels that no one asked for and franchises that cannot be stopped, it’s a marvel that Bill & Ted Face the Music exists. Yes, the stars of the franchise—which include 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey—have been talking it up for years, […]

Tesla Is Not Your Average Biopic

The film takes risks and tries to reinvent the genre.

The biopic is one of the least daring movie genres. Filmmakers can be too focused on accuracy, and the lead actors often care more about mimicry than nuanced performance. From My Left Foot to Bohemian Rhapsody, viewers have a baseline expectation of where these stories will go. If Walk Hard was an attempt to skewer […]

Boys State Is an Endearing and Compelling Work

It's a riveting political documentary and a heartfelt coming-of-age drama.

In moments of deep despair, when it seems like nothing will ever get better, we can always tap into one particular reserve: our hope that future generations will be smarter than we are and be able to solve the immense problems we’ve left them. Boys State may disavow you of that notion, as it shows […]

Local Theaters Are Brimming With Films You Can Stream From Home. They Could Use Your Support.

Avalon Theatre, Suns Cinema, and AFI Silver have gone virtual.

It took about a day for Avalon Theatre’s director of programming Andrew Mencher to begin transforming the Chevy Chase independent art house cinema on Connecticut Avenue NW into a virtual theater. On Friday, March 13, the Avalon began showing the indie comedy Saint Frances. The next day, Mencher and his team decided to close the […]

She Dies Tomorrow Is a Fascinating Foray Into Death and Drama

By jumping from genre to genre, there is genuine uncertainty in how the story will unfold.

What would you do if you knew the end was imminent? Not the end for everyone, but you specifically. Would you throw a big party? Would you shut down emotionally, unable to grasp the enormity of it? Or would you finally do that one thing you’ve been putting off for years? It is to Amy […]

Strong Filmmaking and Stellar Performances Elevate The Shadow of Violence

"Guided by first-time feature director Nick Rowland, each actor creates their own riveting interpretation of our flawed, beautiful humanity."

Barry Keoghan has quickly risen to that top tier of actors that I’ll watch in absolutely anything. You might not know his name, but his face, somehow cherubic and demonic at once, is impossible to forget. He was the earnest helper on a boat journey in Dunkirk and the mysterious teenager who torments Colin Farrell […]

The Rental is Full of Broad Characters and Predictability

Dave Franco's new horror thriller is forgettable.

There is an unintentional cruelty in the timing of The Rental, the new horror thriller directed and co-written by Dave Franco: In a world where travel is significantly curtailed, this is a film about how you cannot trust the owner of your Airbnb. Current circumstances create an additional sting to the film, and that is […]

The Filmmaker Behind Kindred Spirits Talks About the Special Story and Documenting D.C. History

Cintia Cabib's film chronicles the strong connection between a local aunt and niece who became artists and educators.

Years ago, a painting on a brochure ended up sparking a documentary idea for independent filmmaker Cintia Cabib. The creator of that painting, Hilda Wilkinson Brown, is one of the subjects of her new film, Kindred Spirits: Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Lilian Thomas Burwell. It tells the story of the bond between a Black […]

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