Ron Livingston

Sundance 2015: ‘James White’ is an intimate portrait of desperation

The edge is where you find it. For James White, the jarring first feature from director Josh Mond, the edge is the only home he knows. Unrelenting and formless, Mond’s character study explores the toll that life can take if you aren’t paying attention. This isn’t a grand epic with plot twists and moments of self-revelation; just a story about a good son careening toward self-destruction. Simple, yet powerfully effective.

TIFF 2013: ‘Parkland’ is an uneven account of a tragic day

The director and the majority of the cast of Parkland were present on Day 2 of TIFF 2013 to promote and support their new film, a dramatization of the chaotic aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s shooting. The movie, a would-be Oscar contender, is a serviceable but wildly uneven account of the tragic event that shook a nation.

Love, Friendship, and Beer: ‘Drinking Buddies’ an affable, laid-back new comedy

Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies is a prime example of how a cast can save a movie from drifting into obscurity once the end credits roll. Good chemistry between actors is essential to making a film enjoyable; luckily for Drinking Buddies, the cast is exactly what turns the film into a minor success. The four principal stars are supremely likable and are given the chance to show off their improvisation skills throughout.

‘The Conjuring’ a relentlessly scary, exhausting haunted-house experience

A door slowly creaks open, nudged from its closed position by a slight gust of wind. The wooden structure of an old farmhouse settles at inopportune moments, expanding and retracting minutely with unexpected knocks echoing through its halls. A shadow crosses through the moonlight that shines onto a bedroom floor, nestling itself just underneath the mattress, waiting to leap out and terrorize the bed’s resident, a helpless child.

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