Anton Bitel

Anton Bitel
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
No Score Yet The Interior (2015) Absurdist yet unnerving, The Interior is an elliptical tale of existential horror in which one man's withdrawal from civilisation is also a retreat from reality, and a struggle with the relentless encroachment of mortality.‐ VODzilla.co
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2019
31% King of Thieves (2019) this 'one last job' serves equally as a metaphor for a Britain rapidly losing its greatness. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2019
92% Bumblebee (2018) At times very funny, Bumblebee is still at heart a big ol' B-movie, but less bumbling and bombastic than its post-dated predecessors.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
83% Who's Watching Oliver (2018) a strange beast, by turns repellent, comical and sentimental. Its breezy jazz soundtrack sets an uneasily wrong note, while its performances are good enough to get us on side with the unspeakable, the atrocious and the unhinged...‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2018
No Score Yet Alice In The Underworld (2011) Much as its characters are adorned with mannered couture from a time long past, Terashima's film dresses itself in self-consciously archaic cinematic forms. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2018
No Score Yet Fritt vilt II (Cold Prey 2) (2008) Mat Stenberg's sequel..., as a slasher, is merely serviceable, but comes with its own particularities of local colour to distinguish it from the competition (already dwindling by the Noughties).‐ VODzilla.co
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2018
87% Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (2018) ...offers an ongoing dialectic on family, power and history that has no real beginning or end - which is to say that this production, though modest, remains highly ambitious, and as timeless as it is also very much of its moment.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2018
33% When a Stranger Calls (1979) To appreciate just how different it is from the other entries in this then still nascent subgenre [the slasher], we need to move on from its opening to its more critically neglected middle section.‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
59% The House That Jack Built (2018) As von Trier seeks our own understanding & sympathy, the question he keeps provocatively posing is not only whether Jack's work can be considered art, but also how different von Trier's own art, showing us humanity & life in negative, is from Jack's.‐ VODzilla.co
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
No Score Yet The Beauty (1969) It is a bittersweet take on the passage of time and the replacement of one generation by the next in a succession of both changes and inevitable iterations, where every little child is an old and jaded adult in the making.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
No Score Yet Jak byc kochana (1963) Has's film illuminates the forgotten part played by women in the Polish resistance.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
100% Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Tini zabutykh predkiv) (1967) The film's dramatisation of the urge, however quixotic and self-destructive, to return to an idealised past also serves as a sly commentary on the very real nationalistic desire of many Soviet Republics to reattain their independent cultures. ‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
No Score Yet A Tanú (The Witness) (1969) the film viciously lampoons the way that Hungary's bumbling Communist rulers have taken over from the Nazis as accusers, oppressors and executors of the most upright in their society.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
No Score Yet Postava k Podpírání (Joseph Kilian) (1963) our hero resists the oppressive system which threatens to engulf him through an unflappable cool, infecting the very form of his film with ironising modernist gestures, reminiscent of the French New Wave...‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
No Score Yet Hullumeelsus (2013) Kiisk is using the Nazis' totalitarian system to mirror the insanity of the Soviet regime in his own time.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
53% Bad Samaritan (2018) There is also a social dimension to their clash, with Cale, heir to a vast family fortune, breaking into the life of working-class Sean much as Sean broke into his, only with an added, overt sense of entitlement and superiority. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
53% Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988) Elvira is all sarky, smutty sex positivity, making a prominent display of her two best assets: her verbal wit, and her ability to laugh at everything and everyone including, first and foremost, herself.‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
63% The Fall of the American Empire (La chute de l'empire américain) (2018) this is an exemplary film, and we would all be better off living up to its ultimately improbable standards rather than to those, say, of the (expressly name-checked) Trump.‐ Eye for Film
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2018
No Score Yet El pacto (2018) in her immense anxiety and grief, Mónica wishes that someone other than her beloved Clara might die - or at least die first. Though horrific and reprehensible, this wish is also confronting precisely for being so understandable‐ Eye for Film
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2018
100% Keep an Eye Out (Au Poste!) (2018) The latest theatre of the absurd to come from writer/director/DoP/editor Quentin Dupieux.... Keep An Eye Out is a hilarious interrogation of life, in all its mundanity, as a stage for the shlumpily surreal. ‐ Eye for Film
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
92% The World Is Yours (Le monde ou rien) (2018) a brassy, ballsy dash through multicultural France's (criminal) place in a world where indeed - as is claimed by the Illuminati conspiracies with which Henri becomes hilariously obsessed - everything is connected, albeit chaotically.‐ Eye for Film
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
60% Perfect (2018) Pitched somewhere between Altered States and Beyond the Black Rainbow, Perfect offers an unsettling, narcissistic, even solipsistic journey into selfhood...‐ SciFiNow
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2018
89% Tumbbad (2018) beautifully shot fairytale gothic... allegorises the corrupting rapacity of colonialism in Imperial India, & looks forward to an independent India who may - or may not - be able to free herself once & for all from the hidden complicities of history.‐ SciFiNow
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2018
93% Sicilian Ghost Story (2018) ...rooted in the horrific real-life mafia abduction of Giuseppe Di Matteo, but Grassadonia & Piazza shift their focus to the other Giuseppe - the one lodged in Luna's mind and heart - and let her imagination guide the story to magical realist realms.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2018
86% Escape from New York (1981) 1997 is the year in which the film's events are set, but far from being a bright, progressive future, it is a hyperbolic deterioration of 1981's here and now‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
36% Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987) Mary Lou may be the devil inside, but Vicki is also on her own journey of self-discovery, and her sexual awakening - if perhaps not all the associated murders - is just part of growing up, no matter what the decade. ‐ VODzilla.co
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
73% Gemini (2018) a merger of Cold Weather's mumblenoir and LA neo-noir: a light and low-key affair led by a laid-back amateur sleuth who, despite repeated assertions about her powers of recall, is remarkably slow to work out whodunnit.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
4/5 64% Suspiria (2018) A beautiful, resonant feminist fairy tale at least half grounded in German postwar realities.‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2018
100% Luz (2019) The devil is in the detail, but unravelling it requires seeing through a lot of literal smoke and mirrors, and traversing the film's disorienting use of space and soundscape to its stripped-down, almost Brechtian core of genre.‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2018
No Score Yet The Unthinkable (Den blomstertid nu kommer) (2018) With superb cinematography & convincing (if understandably confused) characters, it is an often surreal, eventually epic & ultimately moving film that confronts peaceable Swedes with a callous, state-threatening scenario that seems all too plausible.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
No Score Yet Peripheral (2018) The ink-stained results, messy and unnerving, are an introspective oddity and a dystopian satire of the individual's place in a closed political system. It's easily Hyett's finest film.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
25% Mara (2018) The locations in Savannah, Georgia are atmospheric, but there is much clumsy exposition and some very lazy 'boo!'-type scares.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
No Score Yet Daddy's Girl (2018) Daddy's Girl is less interested in the loathsome serial killer at its centre than in his victimised, compromised accomplice, reared for bloodlust and forced to pick sides in a nation polarised in its attitudes towards women and their freedoms.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
No Score Yet All the Gods in the Sky (Tous les dieux du ciel) (2018) the familiar narrative trajectories of escape and revenge transform themselves into a difficult, deluded modern fairytale, deforming the conventions and expectations of the New French Extremity.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
No Score Yet The Witness (Mok-gyeok-ja) (2018) while there is plenty of super-taut cat & mouse to be savoured here, & a veritable flood of action at the end, The Witness is also a plea for social responsibility, & a critique of the insular, inward-looking selfishness among Korea's middle classes‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
4/5 81% Overlord (2018) A visceral, high-stakes film whose characters are always traversing morally challenging landscapes.‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
No Score Yet The Princess and the Matchmaker (2018) a period film about stars, political harmonisation, and sexual liberation‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2018
92% Mirai (2018) conceals beneath its breezy sentimentality a dream-like narrative complexity that you may find yourself pleasantly unravelling for some time afterwards, as you revisit its scenarios from the twin perspectives of a child and an adult.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
45% Prom Night (1980) "Love me till I die", runs the chorus of the film's climactic song, all at once danse macabre and memento mori, as the youthful promise of these writhing bodies is cut tragically short by someone who knows what they did six summers ago. ‐ VODzilla.co
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
91% The Cabin in the Woods (2012) an ingeniously plotted and witty reflex on the horror genre itself, as well as its voyeuristic audience and its cathartic function.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
73% Candyman (1992) Candyman offers a plot riddled with narrative ambiguities that are never fully resolved, all as a spur to the hooked viewer to spread their own take on the Candyman myth, and so to keep it alive.‐ Little White Lies
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2018
60% Inferno (1980) even if barely anything here seems especially integral to a plot that often just meanders from one baroque set-piece to the next, that does not take away from the individual impact of the set-pieces themselves. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2018
92% Mandy (2018) Hyperstylised and ultraviolent, Mandy is an amped-up theological trip into pulp's purest quintessence‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
77% Dragged Across Concrete (2018) a sprawling, gritty action noir, gorgeously lit and morally challenging, where, as always, it is survival of whoever, beneath their mask, happens to be the fittest (and the smartest).‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
64% Suspiria (2018) much as the Markos Dance Academy is a hall of mirrors, its walls covered in reflective surfaces, the film itself constantly reflects upon its own form and its very status as a remake.‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
95% In Fabric (2018) a film that tucks and weaves its way beyond any rational analysis, while accommodating in the folds of its (often very funny) fabric stories seemingly of any size, age or inclination. Try on this alluring one-off, and realise the fantasy. ‐ Projected Figures
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2018
73% Assassination Nation (2018) It is a vibrant - and increasingly violent - coming-of-age story unfolding along the perilous fault lines of America's culture wars, where, with borders closing, new lines must be drawn.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018
100% School's Out (L'heure de la sortie) (2018) This is an unnerving parable of a world that will not acknowledge or understand the warning signs constantly before its very eyes. Think Take Shelter for a smart new generation that refuses to look away from approaching catastrophe.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018
76% Knife + Heart (Un couteau dans le coeur) (2018) like a classic giallo queered via Cruising and Stranger by the Lake ... Gonzalez locates desire and loss in cinema itself.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018
No Score Yet The Nightshifter (Morto nâo fala) (2018) part Biutiful, part Dellamorte Dellamore, with an implacably vindictive ghost returning to reify the dysfunction that has taken possession of Stênio's unhappy home. It's a gory, unpredictable melodrama, where morality survives mortality.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018