MY WONDERFUL WANDA – Review by Lois Alter Mark

My Wonderful Wanda is such a trip, you’re better off not knowing much about the movie ahead of time so you can just let writer-director, Bettina Oberli, take you for a ride. Because, oh, what a ride it is. Oberli has created a satire that gets to the heart of family dynamics, privilege, motherhood, class – and lack of it. In so many ways, My Wonderful Wanda is pretty wonderful.

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STREET GANG: HOW WE GOT TO SESAME – Review by Liz Braun

One doesn’t expect to need a hanky watching a documentary about a kids’ TV show. Yet here we are. The engrossing and surprisingly moving Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street is all about the inception and first 20 years of the game-changing children’s television show.

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THE COLUMNIST – Review by Maitland McDonagh

A darkly comic thriller about the perils of social-media obsession, this handsome and well-acted film is undermined–at least for non-Dutch speakers–by inexplicably haphazard subtitles. Columnist Femke writes for a popular website, appealing to readers who appreciate her sharp but non-confrontational musings about being a divorced single mother trying to get through the day and support her smart. rebellious. fledgling-feminist daughter’s war against conformist high-school culture.

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THE MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY – Review by Leslie Combemale

Writer/director Craig Pryce’s film The Marijuana Conspiracy proves that a fascinating, little-known, and rather dark chapter in Canadian history does not necessarily make for a fascinating movie. The fact-based story basis for the film is one that has been largely buried in time.

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CONCRETE COWBOY – Review by Susan Granger

Writer/director Ricky Staub looked outside his office window in North Philadelphia and was stunned to see a horse and buggy going down the street – like a remnant of another century. On further investigation, he realized his office was only a mile away from the Fletcher Street stables, a non-profit organization that’s been dedicated to inner-city horsemanship for 100 years. That prompted him to write this fictionalized, coming-of-age family drama, revolving around this riding culture.

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HOPE – Review by Diane Carson

Norwegian director Maria Sødahl’s autobiographical film Hope sounds, at first glance, potentially off-putting. Instead, embrace this jewel. Anja Richter, a middle-aged dance choreographer, returns to Oslo from a successful performance in Amsterdam, pleased with reviews. But something feels off, just not right. Anja’s dizzy and has trouble seeing clearly even with her glasses. An MRI will confirm her suspicion.

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THUNDER FORCE – Review by Martha K Baker

The problem with Thunder Force is that it’s unnecessarily complex. Two fine actors — Melissa McCarthy and Olivia Spencer — expend breathless monologues to explain the plot design, and, still they do not succeed to make it plausible or even fantastic enough for awe. So, bottom line, the problem is Ben Falcone. Falcone, McCarthy’s husband, wrote and directed Thunder Force.

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A LITTLE MORE FLESH II – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

I am not the only woman film critic – indeed, not the only woman – who flinches when those seemingly unavoidable cloying, clingy self-identifying Male Feminists™ start brandishing their liberated gender political credentials at you like they are applying for a job. A Little More Flesh II is a scathing, searing and unrestrained examination of men in the film industry by men in the film industry about what monumental creeps they can be.

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OUR TOWNS – Review by Martha K Baker

If Our Towns: A Panoramic Yet Intimate Look at Small Towns Throughout America were just a travelogue through America’s small and growing towns, it would be worthy. If it were an argument for rethinking what works to raise declining towns from the economic slough, it would be worth watching. If Our Towns were merely an exercise in beautiful film-making, it would be 97 minutes of loveliness.

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