Anton Bitel Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Anton Bitel

Anton Bitel
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
81% Flash Gordon (1980) a mid-air skirmish of corny old-fashioned retrofuturism and knowing postmodernism, even as its veneer of homespun innocence keeps being subverted by the corrupting powers of kink. ‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2020
87% The Vigil (2019) view[ing] Jewish history and identity through the prism of genre, The Vigil dramatises the processes by which myth and memory sustain trauma down the generations‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2020
100% Host (2020) The 'boo' moments will be recognisable from countless other horror titles, but what refreshes them here (apart from their accomplished execution) is the Zoom interface itself, which is entirely of the moment, making the medium very much the message.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2020
100% Make Up (2019) Set at the littoral intersection between land and water, Make Up also merges a grounded naturalism - bleak if beautifully framed - with the more fluid dreamscapes of Ruth's subjectivity. From this, a new British filmmaking talent comes out.‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2020
74% The Game (1997) The more we invest in Nicholas' bank of experiences, the more we display our willing complicity with, even subservience to, a system that lets cocooned elites merely play games (on an urban, even international scale)‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2020
89% Alice (2019) A mistreated mother rediscovers herself through the oldest profession in Josephine Mackerras' strong feature debut.‐
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2020
No Score Yet Sister Tempest (2020) a film where nearly everything is solipsistic and psychologised, as we follow a single (if two-headed) Lynchian 'woman in trouble'.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2020
94% Impetigore (Perempuan Tanah Jahanam) (2020) In the macabre melodrama of Impetigore, Anwar himself proves the ultimate puppet-master, wrangling richly atmospheric sets and dreamy lamp-and-candle lighting to cast a beguiling illusion over us all out of shudders and shadow play.‐
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2020
100% The Pool (2019) A fun, fraught, knowingly farcical fish-out-of-water survival thriller.‐
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2020
80% Mr. Vampire (1985) mixing and matching with wild abandon scenes of knockabout comedy, wire-wrought martial arts, monster horror and wacky dancing.‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2020
32% Lake of Death (De dødes tjern) (2019) it brings horror home, reclaiming the archetypal lakeside cabin in the woods as a distinctly Norwegian locus, and reversing its own supposed indebtedness to similar, more recent titles by showing the influence of Norway's national cinema on them.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2020
33% Black Water: Abyss (2020) while these economically sketched human dramas may seem petty when juxtaposed to the monster that is ending them..., the film serves as a memento mori, with patiently pernicious mortality always prowling around the edges of our banal life stories. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2020
94% We Are Little Zombies (2020) while it is presented as a super-stylised, hyperactive, joyful celebration of youthful vitality, Nagahisa's film is also constantly haunted by much darker themes: abuse, abandonment and especially death itself. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2020
81% The Beach House (2020) Brown lets his Lovecraftian apocalypse wash up just slowly enough not to overwhelm too soon, while his attention to the microcosm formed by a small group of people only adds to the rising sense of dread and desperation on a much larger scale. ‐
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2020
No Score Yet The New Kids (1985) these clashes - both tonal and ideological - reflect the contradictions of the times, when Reaganomics were aspirational model for some, and nightmare for others.‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2020
95% Fanny Lye Deliver'd (2019) Clay merges the religious opportunism and charlatanism of Michael Reeves' Witchfinder General (1968) and the sexual repression of Robert Eggers' The Witch (2015), while positioning his film as both melodramatic thriller and Western avant la lettre. ‐
Read More | Posted Jun 26, 2020
88% The Oak Room (2020) A man walks into a bar... It is the beginning of a gazillion jokes - although in The Oak Room, it is a recurring, deadly serious scenario that stages the crisis of masculinity, the burden of guilt, and the hell that we create for ourselves on earth. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2020
63% Martyrs (2008) Intense, disorienting, unsettling, upsetting, polarising - Martyrs is all these things, but it is also intelligent, moving and strangely transcedent. If you want to be put through the wringer by a film, make it this one.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2020
65% My Life Without Me (2003) a complicated snapshot of a young woman in crisis who refuses to become an object of pity, and who is driven by a single-minded desire to keep her family as happy as possible both during the brief time left to her and after.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2020
87% After Midnight (Something Else) (2020) as Hank's different anniversary memories fall into place, building a mosaic-like picture of a long-term, loving relationship and its gradual breakdown,... the intrusive, ever-returning monster proves a multivalent symbol‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2020
99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) under the guise of an engaging, thrilling, rip-roaring piece of entertainment..., Bong has delivered a spectacular deconstruction of the late-capitalist society in which we all must live together - if not all on the same level.‐
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2020
87% 1BR (2020) Marmor's film stages the apartment building simultaneously as social ideal and police state - a microcosm of the contradictions in any collective grouping. It's like Ben Wheatley's High-Rise (2015), only in America and on a smaller scale. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2020
No Score Yet Ju-on: The Grudge (2003) it is this deep-seated irrationality which will continue haunting the corridors, closets and attics of your mind long after you have recovered from the peculiar horror of a boy emitting the shrieking meow of a cat. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2020
No Score Yet The Legend of the Stardust Brothers (Hoshikuzu Kyodai No Densetsu) (1985) It is broad as hell, but if you are looking for a camp-tastic 80s retrospective that is as mercurial as it is absurd... this may just be the cinematic UFO for you.‐
Read More | Posted May 31, 2020
94% Only the Animals (Seules les bêtes) (2019) Dominik Moll brings together tales of crossed purposes, animal drives and amour fou in this superbly performed ensemble drama.‐
Read More | Posted May 30, 2020
92% The Vast of Night (2020) Constructed with convincing period detail, this fast-talking mystery elegantly crossfades between B sci-fi tropes, Cold War paranoia and Area 51 intrigue, without ever taking an eye off its grounded characters even as they look up to the skies.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted May 28, 2020
No Score Yet Stormhouse (2011) if the characters are realised only in skeleton & some of the underground dashing about seems a bit rote, at least there is a last-minute twist, as satisfying as bleak in its assessment of the humanity lost in any effort to fight terror with terror.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted May 28, 2020
No Score Yet Blood Runs Cold (2013) Perhaps it is all meant to be an exposé of the artifices of the slasher - but in showing the very worst aspects of this genre, it is all too successful. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted May 28, 2020
No Score Yet The Man Who Saw Frankenstein Cry (2010) where Naschy always occupied the shifting margins of the Spanish mainstream, Agudo's approach is both utterly conventional and irksomely sentimental - the latter only exacerbated by Enrique Garcia's over-mawkish score. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted May 27, 2020
No Score Yet Mnemophrenia (2019) Unusually for sci-fi, there is no violence, & apart from some low-level corporate skulduggery, the film is broadly utopian. Indeed, despite Jeanette's anxieties about losing her agency to VR's fantasies, ultimately this is about freedom of choice‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted May 25, 2020
29% Screamers (1996) The ensuing Darwinian struggle combines space opera skirmishes and Cold War paranoia - although the characters' dialogue involves the kind of tough guy/gal posturing overfamiliar from the sort of '80s action movie this was in fact supposed to be. ‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted May 25, 2020
75% Tenebre (Unsane) (1982) all at once twist-heavy giallo & sophisticated meta-giallo, as Giermani & Neal, in repeatedly discussing the mechanics & modes of Neal's chosen literary form, are also providing a constant commentary on the genre in which they have become involved‐
Read More | Posted May 24, 2020
45% Tone-Deaf (2019) Bates Jr's dialogue, zingy as ever, keeps everything fresh and funny, as his super-smart satire skewers many of the contradictions of these - and all - times.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted May 17, 2020
No Score Yet Padre (2016) Patience is indeed required to navigate this mystery's enigmatic, circular structure - but along the way, Giulia's ghost-watching cat Colombo is a constant source of entertainment.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted May 17, 2020
95% High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku) (1963) Working undercover as a kidnap thriller, Kurosawa's tale of moral contrasts never ceases to grip.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted May 12, 2020
75% I Live in Fear (Ikimono no kiroku) (1955) ...exposing the faultlines in an extended (and far from nuclear) family, and more generally in Japan's post-war society, through the disruptive effects of one man's well-grounded yet excessive fear.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted May 12, 2020
85% Empathy, Inc. (2019) Like the start-up company from which it takes its name, Empathy, Inc may be a modest, low-budget operation, but it nonetheless accommodates some very big ideas...‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted May 11, 2020
No Score Yet Noroi the Curse (2005) This is the truly demonic power of the filmmaker's tools & of horror in general: to mask the utterly ordinary with the unbelievably extraordinary. On any reading, though, in pursuing the unknown & the occult, Kobayashi invites the devil into his home‐
Read More | Posted May 10, 2020
No Score Yet The Horror at Gallery Kay (2018) queer chamber(s) piece that builds its own mythology of SF & horror not only to enter the dark, hidden spaces of an intense, flailing relationship, but also to find a way for its two divided lovers to re(e)merge, once more sharing the same fantasy. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted May 8, 2020
95% Z (2019) Even if all this is perceived as a mere allegory of domestic dysfunction and a reified return of the repressed, its interpretation remains utterly bleak. For whatever haunts the Parsons family is hereditary...‐
Read More | Posted May 8, 2020
100% Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway (2019) Any way you cut it, Jesus Shows You The Way To The Highway is several slices of satisfyingly weird goodness, with a knowing belatedness and an unhinged absurdity amongst its eclectically sourced range of toppings. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted May 7, 2020
No Score Yet Stranger (Storonniy) (2019) at first stylised as a cerebral affair, with every character playing in an emotionless deadpan - but feelings wash over, & a real empathy emerges, decoded by a final, personal text. Take a dip in its waters, to be mystified, muddled - & then moved. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted May 5, 2020
91% Ema (2019) Pablo Larraín's portrait of a lady on fire burns with destructive chaos and new order.‐
Read More | Posted May 1, 2020
50% Reborn (2018) Reborn is a movie of method acting and motherhood, although it disguises itself as the sort of "B-movie trash" (as Gia calls it) for which [protagonist] Lena was once celebrated. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted May 1, 2020
86% The Shout (1979) a foreign observer's view of the dysfunctional English psyche at play, caught between modern and more primitive urges.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2020
88% Blow-Up (1966) a quest for hidden meaning amid all the artifice and emptiness of Swinging London.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2020
90% Blood Quantum (2020) Jeff Barnaby's tense, provocative zombie horror shows an indigenous community that has always been under siege.‐
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2020
100% The Onania Club (2020) In place of subtlety (never Six's trademark) or explicitness, The Onania Club delivers not a little dark humour, and leaves us unsure whether we are meant to be excited or appalled by all the film's controversy-courting comings and goings. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2020
93% The Shadow of Violence (2020) Calm With Horses boasts an extraordinarily contained central performance from Jarvis, and a strong sense of place that brings new, real tensions to old gangland tropes. This Irish noir is an arrestingly assured debut for Rowland.‐
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2020
90% Kaidan (Kwaidan) (Ghost Stories) (1964) shot mostly on sound stages in constructed sets with highly mannered backdrops, this is a film of a rare, hermetic beauty, full of ethereal images and errant ideas that will haunt the mind.‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2020