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Out in Theaters: ‘DUNKIRK’

A visceral sensation from start to finish, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk delivers the experience that 3D has promised to for so many years. Immensely immersive, Dunkirk envelopes you in its perfectly orchestrated chaos from the very first moments, surrounding you with the sights and sounds of war-torn Dunkirk as soldiers scurry for safety, hugging you in a sickly embrace of unease while Hans Zimmers’ sublimely nerve-inducing score tears at your composure. Hypnotic in its ability to put you on edge and suck you headfirst into the screen, Nolan’s sure-to-be Oscar juggernaut forces you to scour every inch of the screen for danger and refuses to relent for but a moment. A layered triptych that integrates three disparate narratives, all working on their own timelines, Dunkirk is nothing short of a verifiable masterstroke of cinematic construction and the lauded director’s most artistic and impassioned vision yet.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES’

Let’s not split hairs – though with the sublime mane work the necromancers at WETA have accomplished here, splitting hairs is definitely within the realm of possibilities – War for the Planet of the Apes is a remarkable achievement on nearly any rubric. A narratively pulsating, emotionally turbulent survival epic complete with near-miraculous FX work and sumptuous production design, War sets itself so far apart from the average summer blockbuster that it risks being undefinable. As bleak as anything I’ve personally witnessed in a PG-13 effects-driven escape movie about apes, War for the Planet of the Apes is the Joseph Conrad-penned Schindler’s List of Apes movies. Dealing in genocide, slavery, exodus and death, War also finds room among its Old Testament adversity for growth, heroism and hope to take root. Perfectly culminating Caesar’s prequel trilogy and tying into the 1968 Charlton Heston-led original, War is everything fans of the franchise could hope for and more. And boy is it a breathtaking journey to be a part of.  Read More

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The 8 SIFF ’17 Films We’re Dying to See

As is always the case, gazing upon the list of 400 entires to the Seattle International Film Festival can be daunting for even the most knowledgable of cinephiles. Cutting through that list to cull a selection of desirables is an unwieldy task that demands more research than should be dedicated to a pleasure activity but to simplify the process for you dear reader, we’re trimmed that list of 400 down to a mere 8 films at SIFF ’17  (a clean 2% of their offerings) that we’re dying to see.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘RAW’

I suppose it’s fair to say Raw is not for everyone. Turns out a lot of the general populace don’t like subtitled French movies. Much less ones where humans gleefully feast on each another’s flesh. But let me tell you, Raw is every bit the toothy show-stopper that I wanted it to be. And much funnier. A familial politics drama smuggled inside a coming-of-age cannibal story, the feature debut from writer/director Julia Docournau tells the story of vegetarian veterinary student turned budding people-eater Justine (Garance Marillier) and is served up with all the fixin’s. To say I loved it would be an understatement.      Read More

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SXSW ’17 Review: ‘SMALL TOWN CRIME’

The great John Hawkes was relegated to character actor status for far too long. That wiry, weaselly-looking fella who’s cropped in all those movies and tv shows you love who you can never put a name to? It’s probably John Hawkes. In 2010, Hawkes received some long overdo attention with an Academy Award nominee for his portrait of an unsettling redneck in Winter’s Bone, helping pave the way for his arrival in Small Town Crime, the excellent neo-noir from writer-director sibling team Eshom and Ian Nelms. Read More

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SXSW ’17 Review: ‘THE DISASTER ARTIST’

There in perhaps no film in existence that better exemplifies “cult” status than Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. A titanic miff on every level imaginable, Wiseau’s self-produced “romantic drama” is often called the worst movie ever made. And rightfully so. Anyone who’s had the privilege of witnessing this filmic trainwreck is treated to a level of incompetence that is almost endearing in its epic failure. If you however are among the many uninitiated, I would suggest you stop reading and run to your nearest video store (assuming it still exists) to grab a copy The Room. I guarantee they have one. Read More

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SXSW ’17 Review: ‘BABY DRIVER’

It’s been a hot minute since Edgar Wright has graced us with his genius. The man responsible for such perfect fare as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Wright has long been a pioneer of the Trojan horse comedy, trafficking highbrow laughs in with genre trappings. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Wright is known for his masterful command of visual language, finding laugh-out loud moments in sharp editing, frame composition, camera operation and a great ear for music that amplifies the deadpan, pun-happy, tongue-in-cheek writing gushing from the page. As the mainstream moves more and more toward studio comedies disemboweled by flat visual palettes that fail to embolden jokes with any discernible directorial decisions, Wright has further articulated and championed his particular filmmaking flavour and the world of cinephiles has been the more fortunate for it. Which takes us to Baby Driver. Read More

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50 Most Anticipated Films of 2017

My god does putting this thing together every year take a little bit of my soul. The product of countless hours of hunting, refining, ordering, researching, writing all so you can look at the pretty pictures as your zooming from one title to the next. A labor of love this must be. This year, more than those before, making this list was exhausting (and exhaustive) because it required so much cutting down. The initial rundown included 92 films and you better believe I wasn’t about to write up more than 50. Read More

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2016 Silver Screen Riot Awards

Now that we’ve gone ahead and declared our Top Ten Films of 2016 as well as our Ten Favorite Horror Movies of the Year, it’s time to get into the particulars and hand out some superlatives for other “Bests” of the year. Here we celebrate the best performances of the year, the finest directing, our favorite genre films, documentaries, animated features, foreign language films, even costumes… basically all the stuff we haven’t given props to yet. No lengthy discussion here, just some pictures and prizes. Read More

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Silver Screen Riot’s Top Ten Films of 2016

2016. What a year. As rock ‘n’ roll gods and Princess Leia were smote from the surface of the earth, Trump and Suicide Squad and the Zika virus emerged. But through the muck and the mire emerged a slew of films that rocked socks and reminded us that the movie theater is more often than not a safer space than CNN. As always there were a huge number of films in contention for a limited number of spots and making room for some meant dashing the hopes of others. So before we get to the top ten, let’s run through some very laudable runner-ups. Read More