‘Heart, Baby’ Full of Heart but Lacking in Execution

Boxing gives an incarcerated man the chance at freedom. He chooses love instead. Based on a true story, Heart, Baby depicts life in the Central Tennessee State Penitentiary in the 80s, where men and transgender women of all backgrounds and beliefs struggle to coexist within an unjust prison system and its highly homophobic atmosphere. Writer… Continue reading ‘Heart, Baby’ Full of Heart but Lacking in Execution

‘Here and Now’ Peers into a Woman’s Crippling Mind

Directed by Fabien Constant and written by Laura Eason, Here and Now follows the day Vivienne (Sarah Jessica Parker), a famous jazz singer, finds out devastating news that will change her life forever. She finds herself having to question her relationships with her family, friends, and even her random Lyft driver as she grapples with… Continue reading ‘Here and Now’ Peers into a Woman’s Crippling Mind

‘The Hate U Give’ a moving force of nature on the humanity that lies beneath political controversy

When 16-year-old “Starr Carter” (Amandla Stenberg) witnesses the unjust, fatal shooting of her friend at the hands of a police officer, her life is changed forever. Already caught between the worlds of her mostly black neighborhood and her mostly white prep school, Starr must overcome the pressures around her to find her own voice. Based… Continue reading ‘The Hate U Give’ a moving force of nature on the humanity that lies beneath political controversy

‘Hell Fest’ a fun start to Halloween season

From screenwriter Blair Butler (one of five credited writers) and director Gregory Plotkin, Hell Fest is a typical teen slasher film that’s refreshingly free of demonic possession, but also free of originality. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review by Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky Childhood friends Brooke (Reign Edwards) and Natalie (Amy Forsyth) reunite for Halloween to attend… Continue reading ‘Hell Fest’ a fun start to Halloween season

‘Jane Fonda in Five Acts’ is a triumph for women

Directed by Susan Lacey, Jane Fonda in Five Acts explores Jane Fonda’s life to date divided into five movements: her childhood, her three marriages, and finally herself. Emotional, honest and strikingly brave, this film is a masterpiece. (JRL: 4.5/5) In Jane Fonda in Five Acts, Jane Fonda recounts her life experiences in five distinct parts.… Continue reading ‘Jane Fonda in Five Acts’ is a triumph for women

‘A Happening of Monumental Proportions’ is anything but monumental

In just one day, a dead body is found, a man loses his job, an affair ends, a crime is committed, and hearts are broken. In her directorial debut, director Judy Greer attempts to weave together the vignettes of many characters but fails to create a cohesive, compelling, or funny narrative. The star-studded cast is… Continue reading ‘A Happening of Monumental Proportions’ is anything but monumental

‘Intelligent Lives’ demonstrates amazing ability of the disabled

Intelligent Lives (directed by Dan Habib and co-written by Jody Becker) is an inspiring and informative documentary about three intellectually disabled young adults making their way in the world despite the myriad of challenges that face them every day. (DLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood Intelligent Lives begins with actor Chris Cooper discussing… Continue reading ‘Intelligent Lives’ demonstrates amazing ability of the disabled

‘Hale County’ a graceful portrait of small-town Alabama

Hale County This Morning, This Evening is a delicate portrait of a way of life. Shot in director RaMell Ross’s hometown, Hale County, Alabama, this film contains the beauty and the darkness of passing time. (KAC: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Written by Ross and Maya Krinsky, Hale County is not a typical… Continue reading ‘Hale County’ a graceful portrait of small-town Alabama

‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ changes post-apocalyptic norms

Written by Mike Makowsky and directed by Reed Morano, I Think We’re Alone Now is a unique twist on the post-apocalyptic genre, as it explores the beautifully complex journey of a man and a woman who are seemingly the last two people on Earth. (FEA 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Farah Elattar For “Del” (Peter… Continue reading ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ changes post-apocalyptic norms

‘Hal’ blasts us back to the past

In Amy Scott’s directorial debut, Hal, she describes Hal Ashby’s successes and failures as an Oscar-winning director, and as an individual. Following in the footsteps of her protagonist, Scott directs her first feature of the long awaited story of the ingenious director and editor Hal Ashby. (SYJ: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y… Continue reading ‘Hal’ blasts us back to the past

‘Inventing Tomorrow’ inspires, delights and succeeds

Inventing Tomorrow (directed by Laura Nix) is a heartwarming and inspiring documentary about the power of the next generation to address and tackle the major environmental issues that plague our world. The film follows 16 and 17-year-olds from Hawaii, India, Indonesia, and Mexico and gives them a platform to share their research, aspirations, and journey… Continue reading ‘Inventing Tomorrow’ inspires, delights and succeeds

‘Hot to Trot’ a beautiful depiction of the alternative world of queer ballroom dancing

Directed by Gail Freedman, Hot to Trot is a beautifully-made documentary that depicts the alternative world of queer ballroom dancing through the lens of three dance couples. (FEA 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Farah Elattar Hot to Trot is a feature length documentary that follows two couples for around four years as they go to… Continue reading ‘Hot to Trot’ a beautiful depiction of the alternative world of queer ballroom dancing

Women directors make up ‘Half the Picture’

Directed by Amy Adrion, Half the Pictureis a documentary that combines research and interviews to expose the dismal number of female directors in Hollywood. From my perspective as a Cinema Studies major and FF2 Media Intern, Half the Picture could not have been timelier, as it exposes the unjust world of Hollywood (FEA: 5/5).

IN DARKNESS (2018): Review by Katusha Jin

Actress and writer Natalie Dormer stars in mystery thriller In Darkness. Co-written by herself and director Anthony Byrne, Dormer plays a blind pianist who is dragged into the dangerous criminal world when her upstairs neighbor commits what is suspected to be a suicide. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

I FEEL PRETTY (2018): Review by Farah Elattar

Written and directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, I Feel Pretty stars Amy Schumer in a meaningful comedy that tells the story of a young woman who discovers the true definition of beauty, in a world that makes it so hard to find. (FEA 5/5). Review by FF2 Intern Farah Elattar “Renee Barrett” (Amy… Continue reading I FEEL PRETTY (2018): Review by Farah Elattar

THE JUDGE (2017): Review by Farah Elattar

Directed by Erika Cohn, The Judge is a documentary that gives a unique perspective on the concept of Sharia Law, through the eyes of the first woman judge in the Middle East’s religious court. (FEA: 5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Farah Elattar Kholoud Al-Faqih is part of a modern-day movement that aims to challenge religious… Continue reading THE JUDGE (2017): Review by Farah Elattar

ISMAEL’S GHOSTS (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

A man’s life is sent into turmoil when his wife comes back after 20 years of absence. Ismael’s Ghosts (in French, Les fantômes d’Ismaël) is a total mess, both in plot and in style. Director Arnaud Desplechin, along with co-writers Léa Mysius and Julie Peyr, indulges in ill-used melodrama and a spliced-together, muddy narrative. (RMM:… Continue reading ISMAEL’S GHOSTS (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

ITZHAK (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Alison Chernick’s documentary Itzhak celebrates the life and work of world-renowned violinist and teacher Itzhak Perlman. With glimpses into Itzhak’s married life, Jewish heritage, and warm circle of friends, Itzhak is a charming portrait of a beloved musician. (AEL: 4/5)

HONDROS (2017): Review by Katharine Cutler

Directed by Greg Campbell and co-written with Jenny Golden, Hondros is a moving documentary about the late war photographer Chris Hondros. By exploring the field through his body of work and anecdotes from his friends and family, this film brings up questions about the field and the impact of Hondros’ life. (KAC: 4/5) Review by… Continue reading HONDROS (2017): Review by Katharine Cutler

THE INSULT (2017): Review by Farah Elattar

Directed by Ziad Doueiri and co-written by Doueiri and Joelle Touma, The Insult deals with the Palestinian refugee crisis in modern-day Beirut. The film gradually evolves, and is successfully able to tackle the complex issues of religion and politics in the Middle East. (FEA: 5/5)

HUMAN FLOW (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Linger on people as they walk, hold their young children, tell their stories, and often cry. It becomes incredibly difficult for the audience not to address their reactions to it. Empathy on this scale is only an ideal, but the documentarians of Human Flow make an impressive attempt at reaching it. (AEL: 5/5)

I AM ANOTHER YOU (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

When documentarian Nanfu Wang meets a boy named Dylan at a hostel, she becomes fascinated by his lifestyle, and decides to live on the streets with him. While beautifully shot, the glaring omission of white privilege in I Am Another You’s treatment of street life is intellectually dishonest. (GPG: 2.5/5)