AUTHOR | Anthony Francis


Something is rotten in Holdenfield the week before Halloween; “COBWEB”

Starring Woody Norman, Lizzy Caplan and Antony Starr
Directed by Samuel Bodin

The creators of the new horror film “Cobweb” and I are simpatico regarding the sad state of the modern horror film. My lack of patience with the unoriginality and lack of craft in most of today’s horror pictures is never-ending. In the twenty-first century it is rare to find a filmmaker who knows how to use mood to right effect. Make no mistake, there are some very talented horror filmmakers ... more >

Yes. But no. The “HEART OF STONE” review

Dull is the adjective that sticks the most
Gal Gadot, Jing Lusi, Jamie Dornan and Paul Ready
Directed by Tom Harper

Written by Allison Schroeder and Greg Ruka and directed by Tom Harper, the new Netflix action thriller “Heart of Stone” is the dictionary definition of ludicrous. Gal Gadot (trying hard to emote but coming off stiff as a board) stars as Rachel Stone, a technician for MI6 whose handler is Parker (Jamie Dornan, truly one of the most dreadfully uninteresting actors working today). Aping the 007 ... more >

Jim Caviezel as a former Homeland Security agent confronting the child sex trade; “SOUND OF FREEDOM” MOVIE REVIEW

A thriller that highlights real-life dramas
Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino and Bill Camp
Directed by Alejandro Gómez Monteverde

As critics, we must review a film’s cinematic merit first and its politics second. In my film reviews and articles, I always try to do just that.  Alejandro Monteverde’s runaway box office hit “Sound of Freedom” wants the opposite. This is a film that wants viewers to focus on its politics first and any cinematic value second. Or maybe even third. Or maybe it is just interested in its own ... more >

Neil LaBute directed “FEAR THE NIGHT” | MOVIE REVIEW

A character tale baked into a thriller
Ito Aghayere, Philip Burke, Maggie Q and James Carpinello
Directed by Neil LaBute

“Fear the Night” is a new action/thriller starring the always watchable Maggie Q as Tess, an alcoholic Iraq War veteran who is forced to battle violent and murderous home invaders. With its well-worn action genre plot in place, the film becomes (occasionally) something more interesting than it should be thanks to its writer/director Neil LaBute. LaBute was once a major player in the indie ... more >


Delilah Andre, Izzy Batinkoff and Randall Batinkoff
Directed by Brian Skiba

Oh, to live in a time when there was almost always a Western playing at the local cinema. While the once respected genre has been almost completely put out to pasture, we are graced by the occasional treat of a new “oater”. Brian Skiba’s “Dead Man’s Hand” is the latest. While filmmakers such as Kevin Costner and Walter Hill can still get their Western excursions in cinemas, 99% of today’s ... more >

Carolina Cavalli’s “AMANDA” | FILM REVIEW

Unbelievably funny and well-written
Benedetta Porcaroli, Galatéa Bellugi and Giovanna Mezzogiorno
Directed by Carolina Cavalli

The twenty five year-old title character in Carolina Cavelli’s debut feature “Amanda” is something of a heroine. Played by Benedetta Porcaroli, Amanda is from an upper-middle-class family who are cold and seem to fear any semblance of emotion who are closed off from the world, safe in their country manor. Every relationship between the women of the family overflows with conflict. Amanda ... more >

Slow-building tapestry of dark visions “AGED” is effective and well-crafted | MOVIE REVIEW

Morgan Boss-Maltais, Carla Kidd and Dave McClain
Directed by Anubys Lopez

From the opening moments, writer/director Anubys Lopez sets an unnerving tone for his Texas-set horror/thriller “Aged,” the tale of a young caregiver who discovers a house of dark and dangerous secrets. The film begins in a coffee shop where Veronica (Morgan Boss-Maltais) is meeting with potential employer Charles (Dave McClain), a man looking for in-home care for mother Mrs. Bloom (Carla Kidd) ... more >