<i>Us</i> is another unsettling, inventive and slyly subversive horror masterpiece from the mind of Jordan Peele

Us is another unsettling, inventive and slyly subversive horror masterpiece from the mind of Jordan Peele

There are so many things to love about writer-director Jordan Peele's second film, Us, and one of the most delicious is how it opens: with a positively early-Spielbergian flourish of childhood wonder smothered by sad reality. Little Adelaide (Madison Curry), who is perhaps 7 or 8 years old, is at a seaside amusement park with her parents — an indifferent dad and a mom frustrated and distracted by him — when she wanders off.

Profane, brutal and beautiful, Gaspar Noé's merciless Climax is a deranged, drug-fueled death drop of a movie

Rarely has a descent into hell had such an impeccable sense of rhythm.

The animated adventure Wonder Park isn't much of a thrill ride

For a movie about a magical amusement park, Nickelodeon's Wonder Park is surprisingly morbid, with a severe lack of wonder.

Captain Marvel finally adds a female-led film to the Marvel Universe — and a good one at that

Captain Marvel is the Marvel Cinematic Universe equivalent of a female-fronted alt-rock act from the '90s with crossover appeal. Think: No Doubt.

Isabelle Huppert makes a symphony out of a single note in the lurid, stupid-fun stalker thriller Greta

If the movies have taught us anything, it's that selflessness can get you killed. Altruism is the murderous psychopath's bread and butter, and that's certainly the case with Greta (Isabelle Huppert), who likes to leave behind fancy handbags on the New York City subways and wait for a vulnerable young woman to find them and return them to their rightful owner.

From the director of The Lives of Others, the Oscar-nominated drama Never Look Away is a bore

In 2006, writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck delved into a dark period of German history via a compelling personal story with his Oscar-winning historical drama The Lives of Others, about an East German secret police operative who becomes obsessed with the couple he's been assigned to spy on. After a misguided Hollywood detour with 2010's The Tourist, von Donnersmarck returns to Germany for Never Look Away, another historical drama that attempts to meld the personal with the political (picking up an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in the process).

The Oscars have generated a lot of drama offscreen. Here's who we'd vote for onscreen

We love to hate the Oscars.

Even for a fan of the series, the third How to Train Your Dragon film is sadly forgettable

It absolutely breaks my Viking-heritaged, geeky, dragon-lovin' heart to have to say this, because I adore the first two How to Train Your Dragon movies, but this third one, The Hidden World? It's not very good.

Return to Mount Kennedy is the nexus of grunge, mountain climbing and conservation

"Mountain rockumentaries about fathers and sons" could be one of those oddly specific subcategories you might come across while browsing Netflix. It's also how director Eric Becker describes his latest film, Return to Mount Kennedy.

Happy Death Day 2U finds new ways to explore its time-loop premise

The goofy 2017 horror comedy Happy Death Day seems like one of the least likely movies to spawn an intricate sci-fi franchise, but writer-director Christopher Landon makes a surprisingly convincing case for just that in Happy Death Day 2U. The first movie found self-centered sorority girl Tree (Jessica Rothe) living the same day over and over while being stalked (and repeatedly killed) by a masked murderer, and used its simple time-loop premise for a series of fun, self-aware jokes and some stock life lessons for its protagonist.

With its meta jokes and catchy songs, The LEGO Movie 2 is more of the same. And that's OK

Every Hollywood film is a business transaction, and yet 2014's The LEGO Movie looked like it was going to be even more blatantly corporate than your typical cinematic toy tie-in. What a shock, then, that it turned out to be both a feature-length commercial and a brilliant, inventive animated comedy, exuberant and visually playful and highly self-aware.

The Oscar-nominated Cold War tells a turbulent love story amidst the terrors of 1950s Poland

Pawel Pawlikowski's Cold War is an epic in miniature, a story that spans more than a decade in the lives of two people and is set against the most tumultuous period in 20th-century Europe, and yet runs less than 90 minutes. It's remarkable how much feeling, human nature and history he captures in that short amount of time, and it never feels rushed.

What's playing at SpIFF in 2019?

What's your favorite movie genre? Comedy?

Likable tweens save the world in The Kid Who Would Be King

Joe Cornish's 2011 debut feature Attack the Block effectively combined a fun genre adventure with some refreshing social realism, in its story of teenagers living in a South London housing project who fight off an alien invasion. Cornish's new film, The Kid Who Would Be King, is sort of a toned-down version of the same approach, a lighter, more family-friendly fantasy with only slight hints of social commentary.

Peter Jackson's They Shall Not Grow Old is less a documentary than a somber museum piece

Note: They Shall Not Grow Old has been shown in occasional one-off screenings since December, but it begins a regular run at River Park Square this weekend. So London's Imperial War Museum went to Peter Jackson and said, "Look, we have all this amazing archival footage from World War I. Can you do something cool with it for the Armistice, the 100th anniversary of the end of the war?"

SPIFF's co-directors walk us through the process of putting together a weeklong Film festival

It obviously doesn't take much effort to watch a movie: You're just sitting in the dark and staring at a screen for a couple hours.


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Food For Thought Series: The Reluctant Radical

Food For Thought Series: The Reluctant Radical @ The Kenworthy

Wed., March 27, 7 p.m.

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