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The 20 Best Spanish Thriller Movies of All Time

A thriller can be horrific, humane, exciting, emotional and can harbour all kinds of stories. Of late, the world has been exposed to a tsunami of Spanish thriller films, courtesy of OTT platforms. They have them all, the good, the bad and the ugly. Few are formulaic, comfortable, and don’t wish to smash boundaries, but others are expansive, bold, complex and sharply edged.

10 Films and TV Shows Like Squid Game on Netflix

‘Squid Game’ on Netflix has caught the imagination of global audiences like few other television shows have. The South Korean show focuses on 456 debt-ridden individuals, who are invited to play a “game” by a mysterious, charming-looking man. They are taken to an unknown location on a remote island. Masked soldiers, bearing circle, triangle, and square shapes, order them around. What is unknown to the desperate participants is that the prize money is comprised of each of their lives. ‘Squid…

Every David Lowery Film, Ranked

There’s no other way to put it: David Lowery is not just another indie cinema voice now. The 40-year-old American filmmaker has established his seminal skill of telling profoundly visual tales. His films don’t just comment on human nature, they also establish a larger theme to drive the impact home. Which clearly means walking the tightrope between style and substance to an extent. What makes Lowery’s work stand out is that he walks it gracefully and pulls his strings like…

10 Great Shows Like Midnight Mass that are set in Small Towns

‘Midnight Mass’ continues in the lineage of extraordinary original works by Mike Flanagan (Doctor Sleep, Hush) on Netflix. The American filmmaker’s penchant for the horror/supernatural genre was known, but his television series trio has been a revelation. His latest work is set on a secluded island of Crockett Island, inhabited by just hundred something residents. It revolves around the miraculous changes that the people on the island start witnessing after the arrival of a new priest. The slow burn gradually unfurls the shocking, macabre…

No Time To Die (2021): James Bond At His Most Vulnerable and Dangerous

In No Time To Die, Fukunaga and his team have successfully managed to weave Craig’s entire journey as Bond with the character’s highs and lows and set a standard for future James Bonds to strive for. Whether that will happen or not, only time will tell. Until then, just put this gem of a film on repeat (instead of resorting to knee-jerk reactions) and lose yourself in it. Marvel at its frames. Absorb its sonic cues. Dwell on the plot…

6 Films to watch if you liked Free Guy

The Ryan Reynolds starring “Free Guy” has been stalled numerous times due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the situation is a little better 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studio due to its acquisition by Disney) has finally unleashed it in theatres. Since the real world is now in close contact with Blue Shirt Guy (the infamous character played by Reynolds in the film), a Non-player character in a video game who discovers his world isn’t what he…

6 Films to watch if you Liked The Starling on Netflix

The Starling on Netflix is directed by Theodore Melfi of Hidden Figures fame. It stars Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd as this grieving couple who are unable to kick-start their life after the death of their daughter. While there are a few genuinely moving moments that poignantly hint towards the stepwise process of trauma, healing, and grief, The Starling is mostly a misguided affair that uses the tragedy as a plot device. It is a film that doesn’t understand its own strong…

Directors From Parallel Cinema Entering Mainstream Bollywood

Saeed Akhtar Mirza’s Naseem (1995) is a tender film dealing with a sensitive subject like communal violence without portraying bloodshed. He has an impressive portfolio comprising Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro (1989), Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan (1978), Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho (1984), Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai (1980), to name just a few. When he suddenly disappeared from the scene to focus on writing books, it was a major loss for lovers of good cinema.

5 Films to Watch if you Liked The Stronghold on Netflix

The French catalog at Netflix just got an update. The Cannes-bound Out of Competition title that had a short limited release in its home country has found its rightful place on Netflix. It is the kind of film that completely works with the Netflix algorithm. It has heart-racing action sequences, French people mouthing French expletives with the sound of a razor slashing through, and it has a drug raid that could easily entertain some of the most casual viewers. The point of…

Recent reviews

It is a rare occurrence to see an actress’ career create such a stir in a film industry that even before the title credits of the film, the audience is aware of its legacy. That Udanpirappe is Jyotika’s 50th film is exhibited in a logo and a pre-title montage and makes a strong case for the actor’s celebrated movie characters. Billed as her ‘second innings’, Udanpirappe is the second film released under the banner of 2D Entertainment, jointly made by…

Bright (2017), directed by David Ayer and featuring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, looked like a fresh and original entry in the fantasy genre that is filled with remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels, and watered-down adaptations. But then the movie ended up being bad, which killed its chances of getting a sequel. And the fact that its writer, Max Landis, turned to be a sex offender motivated people to wipe any and every memory they had about the movie. So, when…

Everyone likes a good redemption story. A person fighting all the odds, getting over one’s hardships, internal battles, or indulgences – we can easily resonate with such a character arc. Raja Raja Chora’s protagonist goes through a similar journey with his indulgent, greedy and uncaring self. He rarely makes decisions based on logic or reasoning while showing a strong urge to be appreciated and liked. With his character at the center, the film achieves an ingenious balance between the comic elements and its emotional core.

Read the complete review here

The Manor

The Manor

★★

Written and directed by Axelle Carolyn, The Manor (2021), which marks its entry into Amazon’s Welcome to the Blumhouse series, begins with Barbara Hershey as Judith, whose 70th birthday celebration with close friends and family turns from smiles to a sudden fixture that paralyzes her completely. She falls flat on the ground and the screen fades to white amidst the muffled concerns. (One can’t help but recollect Black Swan in a parallel universe, as Hershey played Natalie Portman’s mother there…

Liked reviews

While James Whitman's (the protagonist of the film and an obsessive fan of Walt Whitman) mental health is at the center of the film, Yaniv Raz's Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets takes its own time to get there. However, his mental panic is still the film's main point and Raz is basically going for throwing everything at the screen - be it cutesy throwbacks to movies, stylistic, colorful aesthetics about mood swings or just showcasing some visual panache for…

Unproduced screenplays are a thing in Hollywood. In fact, there is an entire body dedicated to those that don’t see the light of the day, until someone, somewhere decides to get a crack at it. This industry body known as the Black List has been responsible for some incredible films that have often been lauded with top honors. Films like Whiplash and Manchester by the Sea are two films that would have been in shreds if the Black List didn’t…

TIFF 2021 #28

I don't care about rich people or their problems. This did have a lot of elements that should have worked well but the slow burn script keeps it all from coming together.

Typical good vs evil within us tale, topped with some seriously fucked up giallo madness. Could have used some more pulpy characters, and more over-the-top treatment.