THE BRINK – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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At which point in the political- and cultural-shitshow cycle do we stand right now? If it’s winding down and we are about to begin the upswing back toward sanity (though I conceded there is no evidence of this), then this film could be an essential chronicle of one piece of the mess that got us here, a cautionary tale of one kind of vile bastard to keep an eye out for next time. For The Brink is a documentary portrait of Donald Trump’s propagandist, chief strategist, and architect of the “Muslim ban,” Steve Bannon… and perhaps a last-gasp attempt by its human-dumpster-fire subject to demonstrate his relevance and importance.

That might explain why he gave director Alison Klayman such free rein: she embedded herself, as a one-woman filmmaking crew, in Bannon’s life and work in the year leading up to the 2018 US midterm elections, with total access; Bannon had no creative input or control over the final product. Because he knew that this might be his last opportunity to be the center of attention, because he knew he had nothing to lose? Continue reading…

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Brink is AWFJ’s Movie of the Week for March 21, 2019

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).