When his sister, and interim CEO threatens to close his Chicago branch after the holidays, branch manager “Clay Vanstone” (T.J. Miller) throws an epic Christmas party to land a huge account in order to successfully secure his branch’s success. Written by Laura Solon, Justin Malen, and Dan Mazer, and boasting a stellar comedic cast, Office… Continue reading OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY


Director Guari Shinde’s Dear Zindagi is a refreshing take on the romantic comedy, where romance exists but is not all we see from our female protagonist “Kaira” (Alia Bhatt). Kaira is driven in her career as a cinematographer, but when a setback forces her to move back home, she is able to finally confront her… Continue reading DEAR ZINDAGI


Full Title = Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them For those of us nostalgic for the Harry Potter days, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the highly anticipated return to the wizarding world. If you’re looking for pure entertainment, to be transported to a new, yet familiar, magical world, then Fantastic Beasts… Continue reading FANTASTIC BEASTS & WTFT


With careful consideration given to the score, writer/director Sasha Gordon delivers a quirky, yet thought-provoking, romantic comedy about a young woman who is not ready to settle down, always dreaming of making her mark in the world. When her boyfriend proposes, her hesitance to say results in an ultimatum, forcing “Sonia” (Cristin Milioti) to decide… Continue reading IT HAD TO BE YOU


Directed by Keiichi Hara and written by Miho Maruo and Hanako Sugiura, Miss Hokusai is an animated dramatization of the life of iconic Japanese artist, Katsushika Hokusai. However, the film’s true focus is on Hokusai’s daughter, “O-Ei” (Erica Lindbeck), and her exploration of her own art and the conflicts she faced in her familial life.… Continue reading MISS HOKUSAI


Adapted for the screen by Erin Cressida Wilson, The Girl on the Train—based on the international-bestseller by author Paula Hawkins—is slow moving at its onset, but once it get’s going, the film catapults you into the mystery of a missing woman, and all of the whispers and lies that come along with her disappearance. A… Continue reading THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN


From director Jocelyn Mooorhouse and co-screenwriter P.J. Hogan, The Dressmaker is a genre jumping drama set in rural Australia. When “Tilly Dunnage” (Kate Winslet) returns home to the town that cast her out as a child, she begins to rebuild her relationship with her mother while searching for answers about the circumstances surrounding a haunting… Continue reading THE DRESSMAKER


“Miss Stevens” (Lily Rabe), a high school teacher struggling with her own personal problems, takes a small group of students on a field trip to a weekend-long drama competition. When one student starts to grow too close, Miss Stevens struggles to keep the relationship professional, as “Billy” (Timothée Chalamet) begins to see her better than men… Continue reading MISS STEVENS


First-time director Meg Ryan delivers a slow and steady, yet powerful, drama about a young boy determined to be the best bicycle telegraph messenger around, in order to help support his family during wartime. (JEP: 4/5) Review by Associate Editor Jessica E. Perry It is the spring of 1942, and fourteen year old “Homer Macauley”… Continue reading ITHACA


Under the leadership of child-fearing, type A, borderline alcoholic, “Annie” (Melanie Lynskey), four couples return to a sprawling childhood summer home for a weekend away. But the weekend getaway is actually an artful guise for a marital intervention the group has planned for one of the couples. As tensions run high, friendships are tested and… Continue reading THE INTERVENTION


Written and directed by Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse, Amateur Night is a wild ride, loosely based on real events. “Guy Carter” (Jason Biggs) and his wife “Anne” (Jenny Mollen) are expecting their first child. With no job, no health insurance, and riddled with the fear that he won’t be up to the task of… Continue reading AMATEUR NIGHT


Director Meera Menon’s slow moving financial drama Equity, brings us back to the familiar world of high-powered suits dominating Wall Street, but this time around, the suits in charge are the powerful women of investment banking. With commanding performances from Anna Gunn, Sarah Megan Thomas, and Alysia Reiner, Equity takes charge, delving into the perils… Continue reading EQUITY


U.S. Customs official “Robert Mazur” (Bryan Cranston) infiltrates the world’s largest cartel to expose an international money-laundering scheme. Based on true events, screenwriter Ellen Sue Brown delivers a compelling narrative—although the convoluted plot at times distracts from the action. Nonetheless, The Infiltrator, directed by Brad Furman, is one to watch for fans of the crime… Continue reading THE INFILTRATOR


China’s biggest box office winner tackles the subject of pollution and the ever-present and continuous threat it poses to our world. Director Stephen Chow and a team of screenwriters, including Miu-Kei Ho and Ivy Kong, use fantastical elements to drive home the importance of this issue, interweaving a romantic storyline throughout, between a powerful businessman… Continue reading THE MERMAID


Director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison have brought imagination to life from the musings of Roald Dahl, creating a wondrous world in which giants roam the streets of London past. “Sophie’s” (Ruby Barnhill) life is forever changed when she’s plucked out of her bed at the orphanage one night by “BFG” aka the “Big… Continue reading THE BFG


In her intimate and extremely personal documentary, From This Day Forward, director Sharon Shattuck dares to ask the questions that have gone unanswered since the day her father came out as transgender. Delving into her family’s unresolved past and shedding light on both the internal and external struggles of feeling out of place in your… Continue reading FROM THIS DAY FORWARD


Young, innocent “Doug Martin” (Nick Jonas) endearingly referred to as “Dougie” by family and friends, returns to his lake house for another summer to work, read, and brush off his friend “Carson’s” (Graham Rogers) plans for bagging girls all summer. When powerful businessman “Elliot Harper” (Dermot Mulroney) and his beautiful wife “Lena Harper” (Isabel Lucas)… Continue reading CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR


Screenwriter Linda Woolverton brings Lewis Carroll’s beloved characters back for a second live action installment in the sequel to the 2010 adventure Alice in Wonderland. In Disney’s highly anticipated, yet underwhelming film, Alice Through the Looking Glass, “Alice” (Mia Wasikowska) returns to Wonderland, beckoned back to the fantastical world to save the Mad Hatter. In… Continue reading ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS


“Maggie” (Greta Gerwig) has a plan: for herself and for everyone else around her. She’s single, living in New York City, with a steady job, and loyal friends. What she doesn’t have is a partner. And what she wants is a baby. So Maggie decides to have a child on her own. But when she… Continue reading MAGGIE’S PLAN


Filmmakers Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken bring audiences an inspirational documentary about the power of music and the bond it creates between cultures. Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan, has rich history as one of the country’s artistic hubs. But when bans were placed upon music and musical expression starting in 1977, the city… Continue reading SONG OF LAHORE


“Lee Gates” (George Clooney) aka “The Wizard of Wall Street” is the host of the successful financial television program called Money Monster. Lee is famous for telling his viewers how and when to invest, but when a bad call loses people millions, enraged investor “Kyle Budwell” (Jack O’Connell) takes it upon himself to get answers.… Continue reading MONEY MONSTER


Told through the lens of single photographer “Rigby Gray” (Selma Blair), Mothers and Daughters is both lighthearted and touching. Screenwriter Paige Cameron expertly weaves multiple narratives together; each painting a different picture of motherhood, and the bond that exists between mother and daughter. (JEP: 3.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry “Rigby” (Selma Blair)… Continue reading MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS


Written, directed, and starred in by Negin Farsad and Jeremy Redleaf, 3rd Street Blackout is a quirky comedy about a tech-loving couple who must reevaluate their relationship when a storm hits Manhattan causing a blackout. (JEP: 3.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry “Mina Shamkhali” (Negin Farsad) and “Rudy Higgins” (Jeremy Redleaf) are a… Continue reading 3RD STREET BLACKOUT


Director Toni Myers takes her audience on a journey like no other; an incredible journey through earth and space. A Beautiful Planet, narrated by Jennifer Lawrence, is filled with stunning imagery and will open your mind to the incredible wonders of the earth and the greater universe around us. (JEP: 5/5) Review by Contributing Editor… Continue reading A BEAUTIFUL PLANET


Screenwriters Anya Kochoff, Matthew Walker, and Tom Hines weave multiple narratives together, each story resolving itself on Mother’s Day. With a star-studded cast, director Gary Marshall delivers an overall enjoyable rom-com. Don’t expect much more than a few laughs and zany storylines from the film and you’ll walk out of the theater with a smile… Continue reading MOTHER’S DAY


With a perfectly timed release, filmmaker Sylvie Rokab’s Love Thy Nature comes to us on Earth Day, as a reminder to respect the earth, nature, and other species that live among us. Narrated by Liam Neeson, and supported by stunning cinematic imagery from around the globe, the film urges us to reconnect with nature, advancing… Continue reading LOVE THY NATURE


“Ruby” (Keenan Kampa) is a first year ballerina at a performing arts conservatory in Manhattan. As she struggles to shine in her coursework, Ruby meets a broody violinist busking in the New York Subway, and the as the pair grow close, they put their musical talents to use entering a performance competition with a high… Continue reading HIGH STRUNG


A gripping drama directed by Michael Dwyer and written by Kaitlin McLaughlin, Hostile Border follows one young woman as she is deported back to Mexico when she is found guilty of credit card fraud. Alone in a new country, and unable to speak the language, she must learn who to trust in order to survive.… Continue reading HOSTILE BORDER


Melissa McCarthy is back as screenwriter and star of The Boss. Thoroughly entertaining, The Boss follows successful mogul “Michelle Darnell” (McCarthy) who is dethroned from her seat atop industry when she is sentenced to prison for insider trading. When she is released Michelle must rebuild her empire, but this time around she must think outside… Continue reading THE BOSS


Masterfully paced psychological thriller directed by Karyn Kusama, The Invitation is a nail biting, seat gripping, feature about a dinner party with old friends that slowly develops into something much more sinister when secrets are revealed and the truth is tested. (JEP: 4/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry After two years of silence,… Continue reading THE INVITATION