Movie Reviews

Get the latest movie reviews from our in-house critics, Shirrel Rhoades and Ian Brockway. You’ll also find reviews from film festivals and advance screening movies. Do you have what it takes to be a Guest movie reviewer? Send us your review to info@TropicCinema.com for approval and maybe you’ll earn a spot! Want to make sure you never miss a review? Follow the Tropic on Facebook for daily updates!

Tropic Sprockets Goes Streaming: Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things

In a new documentary “Just One of Those Things” by Leslie Woodhead, Fitzgerald looks like a sensuous flower floating in a sea of red velvet about to sing. Though the film is somewhat pedestrian, it is peppered with lively interviews by Tony Bennett and the star’s self-deprecating son Ray Brown, Jr.

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Tropic Sprockets Goes Streaming: Marona’s Fantastic Tale

This film is animated but to say that simply is to limit its power. This film blazes upon the screen in brilliant color with life, quirk and vitality. It is thoughtful and full of joy. It is also the best meditation on dogs that you are ever likely to see.

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Tropic Sprockets Goes Streaming: Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own

Here, singularly by herself, is sculptor and survivor Ursula von Rydingsvard who used her abilities to create guardians out of cedar, copper and bronze. “Into Her Own” is a potent testament to self-reliance and the power of imagination.

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Tropic Sprockets Goes Streaming: Picture of His Life

Amos Nachoum is a world renowned underwater photographer and former soldier. In “Picture of His Life” by Yonatan Nir and Dani Menkin, Nachoum’s heroic struggle comes to the fore with a story befitting any classic hero.

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Front Row at the Movies: Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things

In this solid documentary directed by Leslie Woodhead, we follow Ella Fitzgerald’s life – and her music – in a chronological fashion: coming to the north with her mother in “the Great Migration” of blacks leaving the racism and poverty of the south; settling in Yonkers, New York; dancing on street corners in Harlem for a nickel. And a triumphant career that spanned the world.

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Tropic Sprockets Goes Streaming: For They Know Not What They Do

“For They Know Not What They Do” is a stirring and emotive documentary by Daniel Karslake that emphasizes the battle between Christian fundamentalism and LGBTQ rights, essentially the very right to exist and breathe freely. It is plainly presented, direct and very moving.

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Tropic Sprockets Goes Streaming: The Surrogate

Director Jeremy Hersh’s striking, emotive and perfect film “The Surrogate” underscores the pressures of parenting and the hopeful raising of children. It is as full of meaning, as it is anxious. Punchy, direct and beautifully unsentimental, it is both provocative and pensive.

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Tropic Sprockets Goes Streaming: A White, White Day

Hlynur Pálmason’s “A White, White Day” is billed as a thriller, but it is opaque and distant. Icy and removed with painterly atmospheric scenarios, this film is not how suspense stories are usually treated. It is a thriller through the lens of Albert Camus.

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Front Row at the Movies: Shirley

As Joyce Carol Oates once wrote, “Characterized by the caprice and fatalism of fairy tales, the fiction of Shirley Jackson exerts a mordant, hypnotic spell.” Josephine Decker's film tries hard to do that, too.

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Tropic Sprockets Goes Streaming: The Painter and the Thief

Benjamin Ree’s new documentary “The Painter and the Thief” analyzes an unlikely friendship. It is as startling as it is poignant with surprises at every turn. Without a doubt it is one of the best documentaries you are likely to see.

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