SWORD OF TRUST – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Lynn Shelton’s Sword of Trust might be a mumblecore boondoggle whose oddly relevant narrative for our divisive times gets unraveled when it devolves into a wacky road trip during its conclusion. But luckily, the filmmaker puts her trust in her actors, especially WTF podcast star and Glow co-star Marc Maron as a sarcastic pawnshop owner in Birmingham, Ala., and gives them enough improv rope to allow them to feel like real people – some of whom we would be glad to know.

Read more

MAIDEN – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Sometimes the word “heroine” just won’t do. The documentary Maiden tells the inspirational story of Tracy Edwards, a true feminist hero who, at the age of 24, willed herself into becoming the skipper of the first all-women yacht crew to race around the world in 1989. Her only real sea-faring experience was as a cook and cleaner on charter boats. But with King Hussein of Jordan as her unlikely benefactor, she and her 12-women team managed collect enough money to renovate an aluminum vessel that they dubbed Maiden and made unexpected history.

Read more

LATE NIGHT – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

When Thompson and Kaling are together, the sparks fly. But all the boys-will-be-boys humor attached to the previously all-male writing team often smells a little stale and overdone. But is Late Night worth watching? Very much so, thanks primarily to the ladies, who include Amy Ryan’s no-nonsense network executive. Let’s just say it lives up to Newbury’s own show-ending catchphrase – it earns the privilege of your time.

Read more

WINE COUNTRY – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Netflix’s Wine Country isn’t quite Sideways for a gaggle of six middle-aged gals. For one, it is set in Napa and not Santa Barbara. For another, writers Emily Spivey and Liz Cackowski, who show up on the screen as well, keep the dialogue at a sitcom-level pitch and packed with zingers.

Read more

FAMILY – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

this comedy gets Orange Is the New Black’s Taylor Schilling out of her prison garb and into a millennial power-suit as Kate, a tactless working gal trying to climb the ladder of success at her hedge fund job while lacking any kind of filter when spewing demands and insults at her co-workers. She is nothing but scathingly honest. Suddenly, she is recruited by her estranged brother to be a caretaker for her awkward tween niece, Maddie (Bryn Vale), who is bullied in school, sneaks out of ballet class to take martial arts lessons instead and likes to eat salt off of pretzel sticks.

Read more

BE NATURAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY BLACHE – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese are among her most ardent admirers. From 1896 to 1920, she directed over 1,000 films, with 150 that still exist and 22 that are feature-length. She was one of the first filmmakers to make movies with a fictional storyline and is thought to be the first female director ever. She was a co-founder of Solax Studios, which eventually was headquartered in Fort Lee, N.J., which was the epicenter of American filmmaking at that time. In 1912, she made the first movie, A Fool and His Money, to feature all-African- American cast.

Read more

ROLL RED ROLL – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

The toxicity of male behavior these days is stinking up the joint that we call our nation. From R. Kelly and Michael Jackson to the Hollywood revelations of the #MeToo movement and even the accusations against our current president and his hush money lifestyle. It hurts to learn that supposedly admirable icons like Bill Cosby failed us utterly, but even worse, that they are protected by those who benefit from not calling out such behavior for so long.

Read more

SAINT JUDY – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Saint Judy is a true-life tale of a female crusader, a legal eagle named Judy Wood who is responsible for a landmark case that strives to protect female immigrants who seek asylum in the U.S. to avoid persecution and possible death in their homelands. While we have seen this sort of high-minded advocate story on film before, this one has the presence of Michelle Monaghan, who avoids turning her Judy into a do-gooder bore.

Read more

WOMAN AT WAR – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Woman at War is about a 49-year-old Iceland native named Halla (Hallodora Geirharodottir) who by day is a joy-filled choir director and tai chi enthusiast who has portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandala hanging in her living room. But make no mistake. She is indeed a warrior on a mission to save Mother Earth, as she regularly sabotages an aluminum plant that is helping to destroy the environment.

Read more