AUTHOR | Anthony Francis


“DEVIL’S PEAK” is trouble. It’s a bad film | REVIEW

One word: tripods
Directed by Ben Young

The sins of the father weigh heavily in Ben Young’s “Devil’s Peak," a new film that wants to be a modern “At Close Range" but doesn’t have the depth to carry its screenplay to the finish line. Hopper Penn (son of Robin Wright and Sean Penn) is Jacob McNeely a young man living in Jackson County, NC who is cursed to bear his family name. His father, Charlie McNeely (Billy Bob Thornton) is the ... more >

Oddly-paced “Creed III” is the weakest of the franchise and Stallone was missed; REVIEW

This is the story of Adonis Creed
Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson and Jonathan Majors
Directed by Michael B. Jordan

Sylvester Stallone had a say in crafting Rocky Balboa’s character arc in the first “Creed” and co-wrote the screenplay for the sequel. Now comes “Creed III” to finish out the trilogy, and Stallone, both on screen and on the page, is missed sorely. Michael B. Jordan understandably chose this picture for his directorial debut. While the film is worthwhile, generally, Jordan’s directorial choices ... more >

‘There was something called showmanship when you attended a theater’; “BACK TO THE DRIVE-IN” review

The drive-in theater, the sound was never great and the picture not the sharpest, airplane noise, roaring trains, right in the middle of a big scene, rain or thick fog. As April Wright’s wonderful documentary “Back to the Drive-In” reminds us, for those who remember their heyday, none of that mattered. Wright’s film is sweet, sad, and informative, getting to the heart of what makes the ... more >

Trapped in an abusive relationship: “ALICE, DARLING”

A rare film that leaves one wanting for more like it
Anna Kendrick, Wunmi Mosaku and Kaniehtiio Horn
Directed by Mary Nighy

In director Mary Nighy’s “Alice, Darling,” the toll an abusive relationship takes on the victim is explored through a subtly observed screenplay and Ana Kendrick’s surprising dramatic force. Kendrick is a revelation as Alice, a woman who exists as an actor in her own life, her true self trapped deep within the confines of a controlling boyfriend, Simon (Charlie Carrick). As Alice walks through ... more >

The last of Sundance, on the horror tip: “SORCERY”; “IN MY MOTHER’S SKIN”

Foreign language horror double feature

In Christopher Murray’s artfully grim “Sorcery,” justice and revenge walk hand in hand for Rosa (newcomer Valentina Véliz Caileo) after her father is murdered by their employer. The tragic tale unfolds on the island of Chiloe, off southern Chile. Young Rosa is a servant at the house of Stefan (Sebastian Hulk), head of a German immigrant family. One morning Stefan finds his entire flock of sheep ... more >



Razelle Benally and Matthew Galkin’s harrowing “Murder in Big Horn” sounds an alarm, one that has been going off for decades. So many Indigenous women and young girls from the Cheyenne and Crow Nations have vanished from Montana’s Big Horn and surrounding counties; an area that has been dubbed the most dangerous place for Indigenous women in the U.S. As one woman says, “I fear for my daughter. ... more >


U.S. Dramatic Competition

Coming of age in a strict religious sect, sinners and saints, right and wrong, impossible expectations, unwanted crushes and dangerous love, this is the imperfect storm hitting seventeen year-old Jem Starling (Eliza Scanlen) in writer/director Laurel Parmet’s “The Starling Girl”. A member of a rigid Kentucky fundamentalist Christian community, Jem has given her soul to God and her dedication to ... more >