‘Ghostlight’ Executes a Grounded Story of Family, Tragedy, and Levity

Ulises Duenas

The performances of the cast keep things interesting, and the writer does a good job of mixing in some humor, so that the film doesn’t feel overly dramatic. It all pays off with some very emotional and even cathartic moments by the end.


Not Even the Great J.K. Simmons Can Save ‘You Can’t Run Forever’

Ulises Duenas

Simmons opens the film by gassing up his motorcycle in a rural area and shooting three people there for no reason. Even though his character is a psychotic killer, Simmons is charming in this role -- too charming in fact. His casual attitude towards his actions is funny and takes away from any feeling of dread that a thriller needs in order to be compelling.

‘Adios Buenos Aires’ Is Another Poignant, Notable Film From Argentina

Tara Taghizadeh

John Lennon once said: Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. And Adios Buenos Aires captures this sentiment perfectly.  As Julio dreams of abandoning Buenos Aires in favor of a fresh start, he is forced to reckon with the people and events that hold him back.

From Cinequest 2024: Four Films About Successfully Beating the Odds

Ben Friedman

In curating this lineup, I selected four films that all share one specific point of commonality: flawed people trying to make it through their day despite the odds being stacked against them. Some stories are more successful than others, yet these four films demonstrate a unique perspective in their search to make sense of our current American lifestyles.

‘Under the Bridge’ Adapts a Lesser-Known True Crime Story Into a Great Drama

Ulises Duenas

Godfrey was returning to the area at the time to find inspiration for a book about the lives of the girls who live in a group home since they have nowhere else to go. There, she meets Josephine Bell, the de facto leader of the girls. Godfrey quickly learns of their harsh lifestyle and the fact that the city sees them as disposable.

More Soap Opera Than Feature Film, Melodramatic ‘Strictly Confidential’ Disappoints

Forrest Hartman

The new film, the feature debut of Damian Hurley (son of star Elizabeth Hurley), is melodrama at its most melodramatic. In fact, there are times when the tone verges on parody, but the swelling music and cast’s deadpan delivery argue that audiences are to take all this excess seriously.  

‘Iron Claw’ Presents the Glory and Tragedy of the Von Erich Family

Ulises Duenas

The film focuses on the dynamics and turmoil of the Von Erich family, so less attention is given to the actual wrestling side of things. It’s understandable since this is primarily a drama and not a sports film. Still, I would argue that delving more into the careers of the Von Erichs as wrestlers is necessary for fleshing out their story completely.

‘The Holdovers’ Ushers in a New Holiday Classic

Ulises Duenas

If you can find this in theaters, watch it; if you see it on Blu-ray, buy it; and if it shows on a streaming service, then grab a drink and get ready for a top-tier classic. The Holdovers has what it takes to be a timeless film that will be replayed every holiday season for years to come.

‘Flora and Son’ Is a Poignant Drama About Musical Ties That Bind Us Together

Forrest Hartman

Gordon-Levitt and Hewson have excellent chemistry, but the fact that most of their interactions take place via Zoom surely presented an acting challenge. Most often shown as a face on a screen, Gordon-Levitt had to establish his character without the benefit of considerable body language. Hewson was not as restricted, as she freely interacts with other performers.

‘Walid’ Is a Curious Mixture of Drama and Fierce Fighting

Ulises Duenas

All that being said, this movie does have a saving grace and it’s the fight choreography. Roughly half of the scenes in the movie are all back-to-back fights. Aside from Walid, it’s hard to tell who the characters in combat are or why they’re even fighting, other than a general “good guys vs. bad guys” thing, but the choreography makes it entertaining.


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