THE WILD ONE (Tribeca 2022) – Reviewed by Marilyn Ferdinand

If you don’t know who Jack Garfein is, you’re not alone. Garfein was one of the most influential movers in the acting profession—he discovered Steve McQueen, Bruce Dern, George Peppard, Ben Gazzara, Pat Hingle, and Albert Salmi. He also introduced Irish playwright Samuel Beckett to American audiences. But his uncompromising approach to telling the truth through art put him on the outs with the entertainment establishment. He made only two films, and retreated to stage directing and educating a whole new kind of movie actor.

Read more

THE CARD COUNTER – Review by Susan Granger

When Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter opens with graphic shots of the torture chambers at Abu Ghraib prison, it immediately telegraphs that this drama will be more about brutality than blackjack. Haunted by memories of what he’s done, ascetic William Tillich is a disgraced former military ‘interrogator’ who uses the surname ‘Tell’ and roams the country living under the radar as part of the low-stakes casino circuit, never wanting to draw attention to himself as a big winner.

Read more

THE NORTHMAN – Review by T.J. Callahan

This film is barbaric, black and white and bloody. It’s vicious Viking vengeance that very well could make you vomit. The Northman is brutal on many levels with one being it’s 2 hour and 16 minute run time. There’s pillaging, conjuring, screaming, grunting and howling like wolves. The Northman is a turn of the 10th century soap opera that was expertly and artfully filmed for the big screen and will have fans of the medieval genre on the edge of their seats cheering. As for me, when the heads rolled, so did my eyes.

Read more

THE NORTHMAN – Review by Susan Granger

If you like brawling, bloody brutality, head for The Northman, Robert Eggers’ intense Nordic nightmare. Eggers’ previous films – The Witch (2015) and The Lighthouse (2019) – blurred the boundary between fantasy and reality, so it’s not surprising that this Viking revenge saga follows suit. The dialogue is banal – apparently, Vikings weren’t very articulate – so Eggers and his DP Jarin Blaschke concentrate on violent, medieval mayhem.

Read more

NIGHTMARE ALLEY – Reviewed by T. J. Callahan

Nightmare Alley is the remake of a 1947 noir thriller that starred that swashbuckling heartthrob, Tyrone Power. Bradley Cooper steps into the role trying his best to be wickedly suave as a carny with a murderous past who learns the tricks of the traveling sideshow trade to swindle the rich as a manipulating mind reader. He’s a high plains drifter grifter.

Read more

NIGHTMARE ALLEY – Review by Diane Carson

A remake of director Edmund Goulding’s shattering and, at the time, shockingly macabre 1947 noir Nightmare Alley may not seem the least bit necessary. But the imaginative Guillermo del Toro, with a screenplay by him and Kim Morgan, proves that this grim story still delivers a powerful experience and a weighty warning in his compelling, superbly cinematic reinterpretation.

Read more

THE CARD COUNTER – Review by Diane Carson

Buried deep within his PTSD throughout The Card Counter, William Tell, aka Bill Tillich, robotically counts cards at blackjack and poker. William had time to develop this talent during ten years in prison, using incarceration to his advantage. Now, rambling alone from casino to casino, he wins enough to get by but never so much the pit boss hassles him.

Read more

THE LIGHTHOUSE – Review by Diane Carson

The Lighthouse isolates two men with dire consequences.

With a haunting foghorn sounding at regular intervals and ominous music signaling dire prospects, a lighthouse slowly emerges from an all-but-impenetrable fog. Two men arrive for a four-week commitment on an island buffeted by storms, their stay defined by the steady psychological deterioration resulting from claustrophobic isolation. The Lighthouse is an intense immersion in the world of two unstable individuals.

Read more

AT ETERNITY’S GATE – Review by Susan Granger

Julian Schnabel’s fragmentary exploration of enigmatic Dutch master Vincent van Gogh’s mind during his declining years in Arles, St.-Remy and Auvers-sur-Oise is both fascinating and frustrating. While Schnabel’s film is not a biopic, it does correct some inaccurate assumptions that people have made over the years, particularly after Kirk Douglas’ Van Gogh portrayal in Lust for Life (1956).

Read more