The Story: Based on the true story of Lee Israel, a washed-up boozehound of an author in 1980s New York who turned to forging letters from literary notables when her latest book failed to attract a publisher. The Lowdown: For a story all about lies, this is a film with an exceptional degree of emotional honesty.
The Story: Trapped behind enemy lines hours before the D-Day invasion, a small unit of American soldiers tasked with a dangerous mission stumbles onto a nefarious Nazi plot in a small French village. The Lowdown: Old-school horror that makes the most of its minuscule budget.
The Story: Hacker Lisbeth Salander is drawn into a convoluted plot to recover a computer program designed to hijack nuclear missiles around the world so that her estranged sister can claim some amorphous revenge. The Lowdown: A regrettably rushed reboot of Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" stories that fails to do justice to its iconic protagonist and doesn't live up…
In Brief: It's no surprise that Korean director Chan-wook Park's 2003 masterpiece Oldboy took home the Grand Prix from Cannes in 2004. What is somewhat surprising is just how well it has held up in the intervening decade and a half. For an unflinchingly brutal film rife with excessive violence, Oldboy has been an incredibly influential film and one with a…
In Brief: Definitely not the best Michael Curtiz movie, but potentially one of the best Joan Crawford vehicles, Mildred Pierce (1945) skirts the line between soap-opera melodrama and hard-boiled film noir without coming down definitively on either side. Its plot, based on a James M. Cain novel of the same name, often strains credulity even as it…
The Lowdown: Stadium-rock superstars Queen rise from obscurity to global dominance before lead singer Freddie Mercury's tragic demise from AIDS. The Lowdown: Another Bryan Singer film bites the dust.
The Story: A young American enrolls at a prestigious German dance academy, only to find herself ensnared in a murderous conspiracy carried out by a coven of witches. The Lowdown: With this turgid attempt to reboot Dario Argento's vaunted Three Mothers trilogy, director Luca Gudagnino has delivered nothing more than a cinematic stillbirth.
The Story: A young boy comes of age in the ’90s California skateboarding scene. The Lowdown: A solid feature debut for Jonah Hill as writer/director, if one that will predominantly appeal to a very specific demographic and falls short of greatness in the end.
The Story: A diverse group of international high school students vies for recognition and academic opportunity at the world's most prestigious science fair. The Lowdown: A lightly likable doc that shines an overdue light on on the pursuits of some very, very smart kids.
The Lowdown: The captain of a U.S. submarine must prevent World War III when Russian political intrigue threatens to trigger a large-scale nuclear conflict. The Lowdown: They should've let this one sink with all hands.
The Story: After 40 years of training and preparation, Laurie Strode finally gets the chance to confront mass murderer Michael Meyers once and for all. The Lowdown: The first entry in the franchise that comes anywhere close to measuring up to the original. David Gordon Green has delivered a sequel with enough tricks to be a real treat.
The Story: A charming stickup man continues his crime spree long after retirement age. The Lowdown: Robert Redford's allegedly final film doesn't quite send him out with a bang, but it's not exactly a whimper either.
The Story: Two brothers set out on a mission to torture and assassinate a chemist with a secret. The Lowdown: A particularly odd film, as internally incongruous as its juxtaposition of a title would suggest.
The Story: A young black girl faces a difficult decision when she witnesses the killing of her unarmed friend at the hands of a police officer. The Lowdown: A well-intentioned and timely film, the effect of which is diminished by a predictable plot that talks down to its intended audience.
In Brief: The Asheville Film Society returns to Black Cloud with a very special event just in time for Halloween — a screening of Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr (1932) with a live musical accompaniment from local musician Transformation Rite, who has composed a score specifically for the occasion. Dreyer's film, based very loosely on Bram Stoker's Dracula and J. Sheridan Le…
In Brief: As much as the idea of Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas reteaming for a buddy comedy might appeal to the film historian in me, Tough Guys (1986) really isn't a film that should have been introduced into the cinematic record. It's not that it's necessarily bad, it's just not as good as it could have or…
In Brief: As Mark Twain may or may not have said: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Given the resurgence of fascism across the globe, and considering the strained and divisive political climate here in the States, The Asheville Film Society has partnered with the Fine Arts Theatre to lighten things up a bit…
The Story: Rock climber Alex Honnold achieves the unthinkable by scaling the 3,000-foot El Capitan with no ropes. The Lowdown: A visually stunning and almost unbearably tense documentary that chronicles one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of rock climbing.
The Lowdown: Dames Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins and Joan Plowright sit down for tea and gossip. The Lowdown: A fun little doc that gives viewers some quality time with a quartet of charming ladies, even if it's too slight to be considered essential cinema.
The Story: A group of strangers converges on a motel hiding almost as many secrets as its guests. The Lowdown: It's a Royale with plenty of cheese, but I wouldn't call it a bad time.
The Story: Neil Armstrong's triumphant journey to the moon is marred by tragic loss and personal struggles. The Lowdown: A significantly overlong biopic that lacks a clear thematic stance or well-established emotional heart.