Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke, Anton Yelchin, Paul Sparks


The Story: Two wealthy teenage girls in a Connecticut suburb reconnect after years apart, but their strange friendship leads to a murder plot. The Lowdown: A pitch-black satire wrapped in the trappings of teen angst and film noir. Have you heard this one? A narcissist and a sociopath walk into a mansion ...
Starring: Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Atsuko Maeda, Hiroki Hasegawa, Yuri Tsunematsu, Mahiro Takasugi, Masahiro Higashide

Before We Vanish (Sanpo suru shinryakusha)

The Story: Aliens staging an invasion of Earth attempt to understand the human experience so they can more efficiently take over the planet. The Lowdown: Sci-fi meets black comedy in a bizarre film that somehow manages to blend its tones effectively as it meanders through a lengthy narrative.
Starring: Shinobu Terajima, Josh Hartnett, Kaho Minami, Koji Yakusho, Shioli Kutsuna, Megan Mullally, Reiko Aylesworth

Oh, Lucy!

The Story: A middle-aged Japanese woman falls for a handsome American English instructor, but when he runs off with her much younger niece, she abandons her stable life to track them down. The Lowdown: A fascinating character study with a big heart and questionable story structure.
Starring: Joel Edgerton, Charlize Theron, David Oyelowo, Thandie Newton, Amanda Seyfried


The Story: A scheming pharmaceutical exec sends his unwitting friend into a potentially deadly situation when he tries to cover up illicit drug sales in Mexico. The Lowdown: A tepid throwback to Tarantino knockoffs that weren't good enough to exist in 1998, much less 20 years later.
Starring: Vincent Price, Franca Bettoia, Emma Danieli, Giacomo Rossi Stuart, Christi Courtland

The Last Man on Earth

In Brief: The first of three attempts to adapt Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend — and easily the most successful — The Last Man on Earth stars Vincent Price as the lone survivor of a plague that turns the afflicted into vampiric ghouls. A far more faithful adaptation of Matheson's story than The Omega…
Starring: Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Aline Kuppenheim, Nicolas Saavedra

A Fantastic Woman

The Story: When a transgender singer's boyfriend dies suddenly, she must confront the intolerance of both his family and a societal establishment that marginalizes her gender identity and denies her fundamental human rights. The Lowdown: A deeply moving film that represents the trans experience without relegating it to a sense of Otherness, distinguished by a remarkable star turn from actress…
Hedy Lamarr - Glamorous portrait of movie actress Hedy Lamarr wearing white fox fur short jacket.1938 - ©Diltz/RDA/Everett Collection (00523921)
Starring: Mel Brooks, Jeanine Basinger, Peter Bogdanovich, Diane Kruger, Robert Osborne

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

The Story: Screen icon Hedy Lamarr's life is examined in detail, including a surprising aptitude for invention that demands a re-evaluation of her legacy. The Lowdown: An uneven documentary treatment that succeeds on the basis of its intriguing subject.
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russel Means, Eric Schweig, Wes Studi

The Last of the Mohicans

In Brief: For a film with such a strong local connection, it's somewhat surprising that Michael Mann's The Last of the Mohicans (1992) doesn't play in town more often. Possibly not the best work of either Mann (notoriously uneven) or star Daniel Day-Lewis (consistently fantastic), Mohicans is an accessible and entertaining historical epic. Bearing more in common with the 1936…
Starring: Charles Boyer, Sigrid Gurie, Hedy Lamarr, Joseph Calleia, Alan Hale, Gene Lockhart


In Brief: Director John Cromwell could aptly be called a master of melodrama, though I wouldn't necessarily consider such a distinction a compliment. A perfect case in point would be Algiers (1938), an American remake of French director Julien Duvivier's Jean Gabin vehicle Pépé Le Moko (1937). Cromwell's take is inferior in almost every way — Charles Boyer is no…
Starring: Adel Karam, Rita Hayek, Kamel El Basha, Christine Choueiri, Camille Salameh, Diamand Bou Abboud, Georges Daou

The Insult

The Story: A Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian refugee butt heads over a residential plumbing code, and their ensuing court battle throws the entire country into chaos. The Lowdown: Either a disturbingly dark comedy or a painfully prescient melodrama that exposes some undeniably universal truths.
Starring: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, Oscar Isaac, Benedict Wong


The Story: A team of female scientists explores a mysterious area of alien influence from which no prior expedition has returned. The Lowdown: Writer/director Alex Garland hits a serious sophomore slump with this Tarkovsky-lite sci-fi adaptation.
Starring: Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Kenneth Cranham, Jodie McNee, Vanessa Redgrave

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

The Story: Oscar-winning actress Gloria Grahame returns to the arms of her young ex-boyfriend as she confronts her faded glory and impending mortality. The Lowdown: A showcase for actress Anette Benning that fails to do justice to both its star and its subject.
Starring: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse

Les Diaboliques

In Brief: Henri-Georges Clouzot is noted as France’s answer to Hitchcock, but the argument could be made that he was, at times, even better. Along with Wages of Fear and The Inferno, Clouzot’s mastery of morbidity is at least on par with Hitchcock’s darkest corners. Possibly the director’s best-known work, Les Diaboliques (1955) is a…
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis

Black Panther

The Story: The prince of a futuristic and cloistered African city-state rises to power, but a challenger to his throne forces him to confront his nation's isolationist policies. The Lowdown: Writer/director Ryan Coogler and an absolutely exceptional cast accomplish the seemingly impossible — a superhero movie that manages to be both exhilarating and thought-provoking, one that feels like…
Starring: Jean-Pierre Leaud, Kika Markham, Stacey Tendeter

Two English Girls

In Brief: One of my principal complaints with François Truffaut is that he was a little too prolific for his own good. Case in point: Two English Girls (1972). Truffaut's second adaptation of a work by Jules and Jim author Henri-Pierre Roche, Two English Girls  lacks the inherent charm, narrative inventiveness and visual flair of that earlier film, favoring a muted presentation with…