Mary’s Top Movies of 2019

The theme for my year-end list, it certainly seems, is that these films were genre breakers for the most part. For those new to Film Pulse, I annually sort my  Top 10 list by “best of” in each category and choose my

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SHINE Review

In spite of some unfortunate acting and a painfully predictable gentrification-versus-the-locals storyline, Shine is beautifully shot; packs quite a punch for its comparably small size; oozes Puerto-Rican pride; and, ultimately, does exactly what it set out to do, with the high-energy vibe somewhat making up for the roughness around its edges.

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With what could have been a rather boring subject, considering so much of it was scientific jargon, Nix was able to breathe life into the students’ projects and deliver a compelling, engrossing picture from their teenage perspectives.

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Sundance 2018: THE CATCHER WAS A SPY Review

Woven together as they are, without contextualization or a more dramatic arc, what’s left is only a somewhat interesting story about a somewhat interesting man that fizzles out with a somewhat of a whimper.

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Tribeca 2018: CARGO Review

This film gets a strong recommend from me because, despite its rather predictable trajectory, there are enough new elements to keep the content fresh; the martyr theme is well earned; and its message of self-sacrifice is a lovely one.

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RBG Review

Cohen and West take a non-linear approach to telling RBG’s life story, interspersing both old and new interviews and testimonies with file footage and home videos, and they punctuate major milestones in her life with benchmark cases and political movements.


Tribeca 2018: BLOWIN’ UP Review

The filmmakers have gained extraordinary access, no doubt through patient relationship building with the public servants they covered. It’s for that reason we’re given remarkable insight into this captivating world that we might otherwise not have been able to witness.

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There are aspects of the film that were clearly put in to entertain the average moviegoing audience and perhaps also to raise the stakes though not necessarily at the expense of the original story, so all in all, it’s a great theater-going experience that I would highly recommend.

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The film’s high-brow, blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em gags blend seamlessly with the visual humor and physical bits. If you’re a fan of HBO's Veep, you will have a sense of what to expect with Stalin.

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Sundance 2018: HALF THE PICTURE Review

Half the Picture, a documentary from director Amy Adrion about the lack of women directors in television and feature films, centers on the male-dominated entertainment industry from the perspective of some of the women who have struggled to realize the same professional


Mary’s Top 10 Films of 2017

It’s that time again; it’s time to share our year-end lists for the best in cinema, and, as usual, here’s my ranking for the best installment from each genre. Sadly, there is no room for YouTube videos because “Bat

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There’s no doubt that there is an eager audience, salivating to see this type of film, which is seductively creative and more often than not extremely visually alluring.

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LEAP! Review

The voice performers were all excellent for the most part but didn't have much to work with script wise; I couldn’t say whether this is due to bad writing or cultural/linguistic translations, but the version meant for American audiences was bewildering and bloated to say the least.