Polina

   There is a beauty in her movement. Whether she dances classical ballet or modern dance, there is something in the way she moves that is compelling. It’s an artistry that takes you from ballet school, to rehearsal studios, to stages. As Polina struggles to find her true form of expression, you take the journey […]

Crown Heights

  Among the worst tragedies there is often a ray of light because undeterred people are not afraid to fight. These everyday saints are on view in this simple yet heroic story about two friends whose bond is stronger than a crooked Brooklyn District Attorney. In the wake of misguided and somewhat exploitative films like […]

Patti Cake$

Patti is twice the woman Amy Schumer will ever be. She’s a big, young blonde Jersey gal living a poor person’s life but dreaming of being a big-time rapper. Can she—who is loved by few and dissed by many—rhyme her way to fame and fortune? That’s what moviegoers will find out if they take a […]

Whose Streets?

On August 9, 2014 in Ferguson Missouri, Michael Brown, who was unarmed, was shot dead by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. His body lay on the ground for four hours, cordoned off by cops. This incident sparked a cycle of unrest in this northern suburb of St. Louis that evolved into demonstrations and a […]

Step

  Sometimes success should be measured in small increments. That’s what’s on view in this very grass roots documentary about a group of ambitious girls who use their membership in a high school step team as a foundation for learning, inspiration and improving their lives.   The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women (BLSYW) provides […]

Detroit

Detroit tells a story of racial injustice and police brutality, based on fact, which is easy enough to believe and has parallels with today’s problems with police criminality and impunity. But since this important subject is not new, what is the point of the film? What are we learning that is unique? What actionable knowledge […]

Girls Trip

  This hilarious and relentlessly bawdy take on a girls’ weekend reunion in New Orleans is following in the footsteps of some very popular female-appeal movies like Sex In the City and Bridesmaids. But Girls Trip is not a copycat. It’s very unique and will leave its own lasting imprint on the good-girls-gone-wild genre.   […]

War for the Planet of the Apes

This recent Planet of the Apes trilogy has had a consistently haunting and majestic feel. It’s a sensibility that director Rupert Wyatt started with Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011 and was sustained when filmmaker Matt Reeves directed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 2014. That looming yet spiritual feeling […]

Bronx Gothic

It’s hard to explain this performance piece. Easier to describe the artist who does it.   Okwui Okpokwasili is as tall as a WNBA player. As beautiful as a super model. She has the persona of a poet, an intellectual, a storyteller and a town crier. She is determined to bring the social consciousness of […]

Baby Driver

This thrill-a-minute addition to the crime/action/thriller genre doesn’t exactly break the mold, but it’s fun. 1. A teenager as the getaway driver is novel. 2. The integration of music as one of the essential film elements is a killer. 3. The car chase scenes, right from the beginning, are delicious.   Baby (Ansel Elgort), an […]