By: Jolie Featherstone Ready or Not is a devilishly fun, macabre thriller that toys with the tumultuous nature of family and the blatantly unethical drive of the wealthy to maintain their status – with a dollop of blood thrown in for good measure.
Eddie Mensore’s environmental thriller Mine 9 is a succinct depiction of trapped coal miners in Appalachia. Coming at a time when the preservation of the coal mining industry is improbably and invariably debated, thanks to a political climate incapable of addressing an alternative to fossil fuels, Mine 9 satisfyingly addresses worker’s safety, while interrogating large corporations who allow fatal accidents like this to happen.
What do you do when you live in an age of renewed Trumpian nuclear anxiety and wish to express the doomed future of the youth therein? If you’re William Scoular, you make Survival Box, a film so navel-gazing in its execution that, by the end of its runtime, it can only be described as an answer to a question no one asked.
By: Trevor Chartrand In Dogman, a mild-mannered dog groomer named Marcello (Marcello Fonte) struggles to make ends meet in his Italian slum. He gets by in his community, which is populated by a variety of small-time crooks, by dealing cocaine to support his ex-wife and their daughter. After standing up to a notorious citizen however, the former boxer and town bully Simoncino (Edoardo Pesce), Marcello loses the respect of his neighbors and is forced to…
Jordan Peele follows up his trailblazing, Oscar-winning debut Get Out with Us, a thriller that flips the script on Peele’s trademark storytelling. This time, the social commentary exists behind a creepy and tense home invasion flick.
By: Trevor Chartrand On their anniversary, successful films often get a special edition re-release that includes new bonus features, interviews, and a high-def restoration that celebrates the film’s impact and longevity. With a film like 2009’s After Last Season, however, the tenth anniversary brings us nothing but bootlegs and a handful of rare DVDs that sell for $300 online.
By: Jessica Goddard Campy, far-fetched, but generally fun, Tate Taylor’s Ma is a passable thriller made watchable by Octavia Spencer’s casting.
A feature-length story being dissected into individual short films is a concept full of possibilities, only to be expanded on when three filmmakers sign up to shape the narrative. Canadian thriller Ordinary Days take a swing at this challenge but, unfortunately, produces weak results.
Hats off to Sophie Cookson, an actor who turns lemons into lemonade to some avail in Trevor Nunn’s tepid period drama Red Joan.
Dragged Across Concrete is an excellent contemporary crime thriller that feels painstakingly real. From its characterizations of bitter people blaming PC culture and 24/7 surveillance for their own faults to the drawn-out investigations that suggest other criminal activities are afoot, this is a divisive film that is identifiable and purposely tough on the viewer.