Past Stories

Full Battle Rattle

Documentarians Tony Gerber and Jesse Moss shine a disturbing light on an angle of the Iraq War most of us don’t even know exists: the new, and some might say delusional face of counterinsurgency training. Deep in the hear...


What on Earth? Inside the Crop Circle Mystery

What on Earth? is a charming, sometimes loopy, sometimes mind-blowing documentary on the subject of crop circles. For those not in the know, crop circles are wonderfully intricate geometric designs that show up in corn fields u...


Second Skin

Second Skin is a compelling, sometimes troubling look into the world of online gaming. Games such as World of Warcraft and Everquest are vastly popular right now, huge cash cows and to some evidence of the Internet’s more...



Calle 13: Sin Mapa.

Calle 13: Sin Mapa is a documentary that both brings to light some of the poorer areas of South America, the humble lives lived by it’s indigenous people and a glimpse into the private moments when a rock star feels…


The Chieftains: Live at Montreux 1997

Few bands are more ingrained in Celtic music tradition than The Chieftains. You hear ’em at folk fests and St. Paddy’s Day parties, piping through authentic Irish pubs and during PBS concert broadcasts. Still going ...


Alien Trespass

Billed as a loving tribute to bad sci-fi films, this Canadian export starring ex-Will & Grace hunk Eric McCormack sets off on the right course, but just like the spaceship of its unfortunate alien hero, plummets head first ...



Bridge to Nowhere

Bridge to Nowhere is the story of four young men from a working-class neighborhood who turn to crime (in this case prostitution) to try to escape their dead-end futures, and the dangers, temptations and attendant joys they expe...


The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh is an adaptation of Michael Chabon’s 1988 novel of the same name. It is directed by Rawson Michael Thurber, the man who gave the world that great cinematic masterpiece Dodgeball. Really, I kid....


Explicit Ills

Explicit Ills is first-time writer/director Mark Webber’s gritty paean to his home city of Philadelphia. It is sometimes spot on and absorbing about class, race and that bitch, poverty, but it falls into paint-by-numbers ...



The Union

The Union is a wonderful movie about why pot became illegal, the absurdity of it remaining illegal and how it remains a potent force in daily life despite the prohibition. The movie is a Canadian take on the subject, ably…


The Unknown Woman

Winner of five Donatello Awards (the Italian equivalent of the Oscars), director Giuseppe Tornatore turns darkly away from his much-lauded Cinema Paradiso with this gritty, fascinating look at a Ukrainian sex slave’s atte...


The Edge of Love

The Edge of Love by director John Maybury is a sometimes entertaining, sometimes plodding, talented mess. It is stuffed with ambitions of the highest order—in the overly literary script, the mannered yet only intermittent...



Resolved

The oft-stigmatized students of high school speech and debate programs take center stage in this documentary that is less about the personal stories and characters involved in debate than the overwhelming notion that we as a so...


Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Nietzsche said, when you stare at the abyss long enough, the abyss stares back at you. You better fuggin’ believe the abyss is staring back at you in this movie—an empty, nihilistic void that swallows all art, brain...


PHOEBE IN WONDERLAND

Phoebe in Wonderland is a fine movie, which unfortunately was given the “we don’t know what to do with this” treatment in its theatrical release. After all, it doesn’t really hit the studios’ favor...



DEPECHE MODE: THE DARK PROGRESSION

Be warned . . . watching this new “unauthorized” documentary on Depeche Mode will make you spend money. You’ll want to immediately run out and buy (or download) all your old faves from the ‘80s era to wa...


GRAN TORINO

Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial effort—and last foray into acting, so he says—is one of those movies that can be called compelling without being called good. In Gran Torino, Eastwood plays Walt “don&...


REVOLUTIONARY ROAD

Suburbia isn’t exactly the most literary setting for all things profound—and then that’s always the point. Richard Yates’ 1961 book, Revolutionary Road, sought to demonstrate that the idyllic outward app...



THE RAMEN GIRL

Ah, direct to video. Just knowing that going in should set your expectations pretty low for The Ramen Girl. Confused about whether it’s a coming-of-age film, a food movie, or a romantic comedy—it is all these things...


VALKYRIE

It was one hell of a “Merry Christmas!”—but that’s what the studios said to us when they released Valkyrie, Tom Cruise’s “plot against Hitler” Nazi pic, on Christmas Day 2008. Pass the ...


JCVD

You remember Jean-Claude Van Damme, don’t you? Chances are you do, but just saying his name makes you smirk or laugh dismissively. His “big” films back in the day weren’t exactly Oscar-caliber dramas and...



Wendy and Lucy

The most tragic part of Wendy and Lucy—director Kelly Reichardt’s tale of a young Alaska-bound woman and her dog—is not so much how things end up with them but that the protag is so downtrodden in life that sh...


Bride Wars

Ostensibly a sort of female buddy flick disguised as a romantic comedy, Bride Wars succeeds in making the bonds of friendship seem more valuable than the bonds of matrimony. On almost every other level, however, it fails misera...


The Wrestler

Should Mickey Rourke have won the Oscar for his performance as Randy “The Ram” Robinson? The answer is: Dunno, but it’s kind of a shame he didn’t. Rourke’s life has been as abusive as The Ram&rsquo...



Lost in Austen

Imagine if you stepped through a hidden door in your bathroom and found yourself in Pride and Prejudice. That’s what happens to Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) in this British mini-series repackaged here as a feature film. A...


The Small Screen

Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog’s Oscar haul—eight of ‘em, including Best Picture, Best Director & Best Adapted Screenplay—seems a little bewildering. It’s certainly a good film, but is it the kind...


The Small Screen

Rachel Getting Married Directed by Jonathan Demme, and featuring an Oscar-nominated performance by Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married is hard to watch at times because it’s so damn real. We’ve all sat through aw...



The Small Screen

Milk Simply put, Milk is a moving film about a guy who wanted to change the way things worked, and actually did so, which is not an easy thing to accomplish. As Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected…