Jillian Bell (Office Christmas Party) and Steve Zahn (Saving Silverman) play against their comedic type in Cowboys, a solid family drama that could also be interpreted as an unconventional buddy western between Zahn and young breakout Sasha Knight.
By: Jolie Featherstone Imbued with dry wit and heaps of quirk, Keith Bearden’s high school-outsider dramedy Antarctica leans into absurdist humour to highlight the pressures and barriers teenage girls are facing today.
You don’t so much watch Freaks as you do discover it. As the writers and directors of this terrific flick, Zach Lipovsky (co-producer of Afflicted) and Adam Stein do a good job building anticipation in their sci-fi/thriller. Each scene contains clues, and it’s up to the audience to piece the film’s premise together up until the somewhat typical finale.
Family history is a dependable theme for filmmakers to explore. The Last Black Man in San Francisco, however, is more about what it means to preserve that lineage. In their breakout feature film debut, filmmaker Joe Talbot and actor Jimmie Fails unpack an observational story that’s related to that, based on elements of Fails’ real-life experiences.
By: Jolie Featherstone When a movie opens with an inspirational, expletive-filled meditation guide voiced by Maya Rudolph, you know you’ve chosen the right movie.
Giant Little Ones is a very sweet movie about confronting and dealing with homophobia as a teenager. If that reads like I’m patronizing the film, I don’t mean to be. This is an important coming-of-age story with a unique voice, and filmmaker Keith Behrman should be proud of his accomplished indie. It’s a hopeful movie that will hit home with audiences.
Documentarian Rama Rau (The Market, League of Exotique Dancers) takes a break from documentary filmmaking to make Honey Bee, a coming-of-age drama for mature audiences.
By: Jessica Goddard Mid90s is a coming-of-age period piece, chronicling how a mild 13-year-old boy finds acceptance and belonging with a reckless crowd of skateboarders. Our pint-sized protagonist, Stevie (Sunny Suljic), perfectly captures the in-the-middleness suggested by the title – we can’t help but see a child when he’s next to his older (taller) friends, but the mischief he gets up to makes him feel much more adult than we’re comfortable with.
By: Trevor Chartrand Apatow-comedy veteran Jonah Hill has diversified his career path considerably in recent years, taking on darker and more intense roles. Now he’s taken another step into new territory, this time helming a film from behind the camera: Mid90s is Hill’s directorial debut, and it’s chock-full of surprises.
The Netflix Gods heard my distain for the streaming service’s teen flick hit To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and they’ve gifted me a charming high school comedy titled Sierra Burgess Is a Loser as an apologetic gesture. Call it coincidental timing, I call it wishful thinking.