"Long Way North" Breaks Away from Modern Animation Mold

"Long Way North" Breaks Away from Modern Animation Mold
Charming and refreshingly gentle in tone, Long Way North is an adventure tale with the warm look of storybook illustrations. The hand-drawn and Flash animation imagery of this French-Danish production may not be as fluid as current American studio cartoons, but it is distinctive and appealing. How the film’s easygoing pace goes over with children... Read more »

"National Bird" Misses Opportunity to Spark Wider Conversation on Drone Warfare

"National Bird" Misses Opportunity to Spark Wider Conversation on Drone Warfare
Monotonously morose when it should spark outrage, National Bird is a disappointing exposé of American drone warfare. There is vital information here that the public—whose tax dollars support drone attacks—needs to know, but this low-energy documentary seems more likely to encourage feelings of helplessness among viewers than inspire action. The participation of Wim Wenders and... Read more »

"Christine" and "Kate Plays Christine": Two Very Different Takes on a Tragedy

"Christine" and "Kate Plays Christine": Two Very Different Takes on a Tragedy
The cold, hard truth is that, outside of those who knew her personally, there would be little interest in Christine Chubbuck today if the Sarasota TV news personality hadn’t killed herself on live TV in 1974. So any movie made about her, no matter how well intentioned, has inherently exploitative origins. But Christine, a disquieting... Read more »
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Intense "Always Shine" Digs Into the Fearsome Side of Female Friendship

Intense "Always Shine" Digs Into the Fearsome Side of Female Friendship
Deftly walking a line between commercial thriller and unapologetic art house fare, Always Shine is a gripping portrait of the “frenemy” syndrome that seems fairly prevalent among younger women. Adding fuel to the competitive fire between the two women at the center of this drama is that both are actresses—one with a career on the... Read more »

Schrader Goes for Broke, for Better and Worse, with "Dog Eat Dog"

Schrader Goes for Broke, for Better and Worse, with "Dog Eat Dog"
Dog Eat Dog isn’t going to redeem the long, lackluster stretch of Paul Schrader’s late career, but it’s certainly not for lack of trying. If nothing else, the movie is bursting with energy…sometimes downright nasty energy. Compared to his disastrous sexual melodrama, The Canyons, in which the filmmaking seemed as remote and lethargic as its... Read more »

Jeff Nichols Makes History Human in "Loving"

Jeff Nichols Makes History Human in "Loving"
Opening less than nine months after his previous feature, Midnight Special, Jeff Nichols’ Loving seemed like it might be as conventional as the earlier film was not. Strictly going by subject matter, it is. Loving is a true-life story, filmed with fidelity to its historical basis, where Midnight Special took Nichols’ deep empathy for troubled... Read more »
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Halloween memories: Son of Svengoolie’s Draculathon

Halloween memories: Son of Svengoolie’s Draculathon
The technological revolution of the last 25 years or so has radically changed, and continues to change, countless aspects of daily life. Almost everyone now carries a powerful, pocket-sized computer we call a “phone”; 3D printing will change the manufacturing of virtually everything, from buildings to food products; and no less an authority than Stephen... Read more »

"Clinton, Inc." Is a Neocon Wolf in Nonpartisan Sheep's Clothing

"Clinton, Inc." Is a Neocon Wolf in Nonpartisan Sheep's Clothing
Lost amid a whole lot of gossipy smears and general character assassination, the new documentary Clinton, Inc. actually does put forth some legitimate criticisms about the business interest conflicts and ethical lapses of Hillary and Bill Clinton. But despite its surprisingly subdued and journalistic tone (more on that later), this latest documentary salvo from the... Read more »

New "Magnificent Seven" Is a Chaotic Climax in Search of a Movie

New "Magnificent Seven" Is a Chaotic Climax in Search of a Movie
1960’s The Magnificent Seven may not be in the top tier of classic westerns, but there’s one thing you can say about it that cannot be said of the new version: it’s a classy movie. Director John Sturges didn’t have a signature style like other filmmakers held high in the genre’s pantheon (John Ford, Howard... Read more »
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"Neither Heaven Nor Earth" Portrays Bewilderment on the Battlefield with an Eerie Edge

"Neither Heaven Nor Earth" Portrays Bewilderment on the Battlefield with an Eerie Edge
Bound to frustrate both those who like mysteries solved and sociopolitical statements made crystal clear, the strengths of the slow-burning French drama Neither Heaven Nor Earth ultimately come from not satisfying those expectations. The movie mirrors the rabbit hole of international military involvement in Afghanistan—a ceaseless cycle of muddled missions, conflicting intentions and seemingly no... Read more »
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    Joel Wicklund

    Joel Wicklund has been writing about movies for over two decades now and, shockingly, he is still allowed to do so. He was a film critic for Chicagoist before its demise, among other outlets. He insists on claiming more online space here in the hope of indoctrinating more lost souls in his personal cult of cinephilia. Reviews, rants, interviews, features…you get the drift.

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