Indies on VOD

The best indies recently released on video on-demand and/or available to rent.



To the Bone: Movie Review


   


Dramedy tied together with empathy.
To the Bone is a somber yet intriguingly uplifting look at the life of a young woman struggling with anorexia nervosa, and this is the extreme side of the disorder, literally on the brink of death. Or looking at that another way, the film is about a young woman dying who is incapable of saving herself. Not an easy watch, but that’s also only in parts because of the film’s use of humour and introduction of supporting characters there is a feeling of optimism scattered throughout. 2017

Directed by: Marti Noxon

Screenplay by: Marti Noxon

Starring: Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves
See full review of To the Bone


Handsome Devil: Movie Review


   


A well-told entertaining and inspiring coming-of-age story for our times.
Handsome Devil is a great film because it effortlessly combines characters both relatable and vital to the well-being of society, important themes of acceptance and self-confidence, and grandiose statements on the nature of growing-up, and put them all in an entertaining story. It brings to mind similar films that have come before it, notably Dead Poets Society and School Ties, but still draws a favourable comparison. This is a film for now, for this generation of school kids, and is good enough to make a difference. 2016

Directed by: John Butler

Screenplay by: John Butler

Starring: Fionn O'Shea, Nicholas Galitzine, and Andrew Scott
See full review of Handsome Devil


Shimmer Lake: Movie Review


Atmosphere and comedy hold together backwards crime drama.

Shimmer Lake has a great atmosphere and an intriguing sense that an interesting mystery is unfolding. It starts on Friday only giving hints as to what happened. Then progressing backwards through the week, providing further clues, and a few dead bodies, to show how it all went down. It takes most of that time to produce a coherent crime drama and the comedic casting makes it difficult to strike the right tone; however, by the end, you have watched a funny, interesting crime drama best told in reverse. 2017

Directed by: Oren Uziel

Screenplay by: Oren Uziel

Starring: Benjamin Walker, Rainn Wilson
See full review of Shimmer Lake


The Lost City of Z: Movie Review


   


A beautifully imagined film leads the audience through the jungle.
The Lost City of Z is a curiously good movie. As the movie begins it looks a lot like an average historical period drama. Taking awhile to get interesting, it tells a methodical story of British Army Col. Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) who is tasked by the Royal Geographical Society to survey the border between Brazil and Venezuela in the Amazon jungle. But with each scene and employing everything at their disposal, the filmmakers build it into a mesmerizing picture of survival and mystery. 2016

Directed by: James Gray

Screenplay by: James Gray
Based on the book by David Grann

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller
See full review of The Lost City of Z


Their Finest: Movie Review


   


They’re making a movie and it’s brilliant and funny.
The plot of Their Finest works on many levels. On one side it’s a simple comedy-drama-romance of a young woman finding her way in the world, on another side it’s a comedy about making a movie, but it’s also an historical drama taking a look at the effects of war on everybody left at home, and when war hits the home you know, and how war has changed the role of women in society. Above all, it’s a comedy; a very engaging, very funny comedy about ridiculous actors and how to write a screenplay. 2016

Directed by: Lone Scherfig

Screenplay by: Gaby Chiappe
Based on the novel by Lissa Evans

Starring: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin
and Bill Nighy
See full review of Their Finest


Win It All: Movie Review


Gritty and messy, cute and sweet, journey through a gambler's life.

A duffel bag full of cash and a gambling addict - what could go wrong? There’s something very sweet about combining the makings of dark comedy with a much simpler, more accessible, comedy-drama of a damaged man growing up. Win It All is more about Eddie (Jake Johnson) than it is gambling. Eddie is without-a-doubt a gambling addict and much of the comedy of the film derives from what is obvious to us but Eddie is oblivious about. 2017

Directed by: Joe Swanberg

Screenplay by: Jake Johnson, Joe Swanberg

Starring: Jake Johnson, Joe Lo Truglio
See full review of Win It All


Speech & Debate: Movie Review


Conquering intolerance with hilarity and amusement.

Stand up and sing, or say something, or just do anything. Speech & Debate does an excellent job in helping its lead characters find their voice. This is about the injustice in high schools: an aspiring journalist being told exactly what to write and not being helped to get into a good school, an aspiring singer denied the lead role in the school musical because she’s too theatrical, outspoken and not pretty enough, and a gay kid not allowed to really be himself because the community is just not progressive enough. 2017

Directed by: Dan Harris

Screenplay by: Stephen Karam
Based on the play by Stephen Karam

Starring: Sarah Steele, Liam James and Austin P. McKenzie
See full review of Speech & Debate


The Most Hated Woman in America: Movie Review


Draws an interesting line between victim and villain.

The Most Hated Woman in America is a good movie, but they made a fundamental error which stops it from being a great movie: they focused on the least interesting aspect. There are actually many interesting and compelling aspects to the movie which should keep most viewers mildly interested throughout at the very least. The story is about American Atheists founder Madalyn Murray O’Hair – the most hated woman in America. Granted, I hadn’t actually heard of her prior to this movie, but given the daily extreme death threats she received every day of her life, her moniker fits. 2017

Directed by: Tommy O'Haver

Screenplay by: Tommy O'Haver

Starring: Melissa Leo, and Josh Lucas
See full review of The Most Hated Woman in America


Jackie: Movie Review


   


A bio-pic that forces you out of your comfort zone.
Jackie is an odd movie, and given its genre, that will come as very surprising. Biopics have generally tried-and-true formulas to introduce you to the world of the subject. Not exactly the case in this movie. We’re not taking a look at the world around Jackie Kennedy, but getting inside Jackie Kennedy. This is the story of Jackie before the assassination, during the assassination, and after the assassination. 2016

Directed by: Pablo Larrain

Screenplay by: Noah Oppenheim

Starring: Natalie Portman
See full review of Jackie