NY Times Critics Picks

NY Times Critics Picks

Films designated a Critic's Pick by The New York Times
FOOD EVOLUTION
FOOD EVOLUTION
Amidst a polarized debate marked by passion, suspicion and confusion, this fascinating documentary – narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson and directed by Oscar-nominee Scott Hamilton Kennedy – explores the controversy surrounding GMOs and food. Travelling from the cornfields of Iowa to banana farms in Uganda, Food Evolution brings a fresh perspective to one of the most critical issues facing global society today.
AVA
AVA
When her overprotective mother questions her relationship with a boy — going so far as to visit a gynecologist — Ava, fomery a model student, begins to rebel against her parents, her school, and the society at large. Based on her own experiences, Sadaf Foroughi’s gripping debut explores what its like for a young girl’s coming of age in a strict, traditional society.
DID YOU WONDER WHO FIRED THE GUN?
DID YOU WONDER WHO FIRED THE GUN?
“In 1946, my great-grandfather murdered a black man named Bill Spann and got away with it.” So begins this acclaimed documentary which takes us on a journey through the American South – interweaving scenes from To Kill a Mockingbird and Rosa Parks’ investigation into the Recy Taylor case – to uncover the truth behind a horrific incident and the societal mores that empowered it.
A RIVER BELOW
A RIVER BELOW
A captivating documentary about the ethics of activism in the modern media age, A River Below examines the efforts of two conservationists in the Amazon – one, a marine biologist, the other, an animal activist and host of a popular National Geographic TV show – whose methods to save the mythical pink river dolphin from extinction trigger unforeseen consequences.
THE PEACEMAKER
THE PEACEMAKER
From Northern Ireland to Kosovo, Nigeria to Iraq, The Peacemaker follows Padraig O’Malley, a highly influential peacemaker who has made it his life’s work to bring leaders on opposing sides of the most explosive conflicts to the table. Over five years, the film chronicles Padraig's journey as he works a peacemaking model based on his recovery from addiction.
ESCAPES
ESCAPES
Directed by Michael Almereyda and executive produced by Wes Anderson, a journey through 20th-century Hollywood via the experiences of Hampton Fancher – flamenco dancer, actor, and unlikely producer and screenwriter of Blade Runner - showing how one man's personal journey can shape a medium's future.
LAST MEN IN ALEPPO
LAST MEN IN ALEPPO
2018 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature, Syrian filmmaker Feras Fayyad’s breathtaking work – a searing example of boots-on-the-ground reportage – follows the efforts of the internationally recognized White Helmets; ordinary citizens who are the first to rush towards military strikes in the hope of saving lives.
MY VOICE, MY LIFE
MY VOICE, MY LIFE
Academy Award winning filmmaker Ruby Yang’s My Voice, My Life follows a group of students from underprivileged families who are cast in a musical theater performance. A moving story about the importance of art education in our schools.
THE ILLINOIS PARABLES
THE ILLINOIS PARABLES
Filmmaker Deborah Stratman recounts eleven episodes in American history — from the violent eviction of the Cherokee to the invention of the nuclear reactor to the murder of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton — to consider how societies are shaped by belief and ideology.
BEHEMOTH
BEHEMOTH
Beginning with a mining explosion in Mongolia and ending in a ghost city west of Beijing, political documentarian Zhao Liang's visionary new film details the social and ecological devastation behind an economic miracle that may yet prove illusory.
LOST AND BEAUTIFUL
LOST AND BEAUTIFUL
Conceived as a documentary, director Pietro Marcello had to change course when his lead, a humble shepherd turned local hero, passed away during production. The resulting film is a beautiful and fantastical ode to his memory and their beloved country.
THE PRISON IN TWELVE LANDSCAPES
THE PRISON IN TWELVE LANDSCAPES
An essential documentary, this is an incisive and wide-ranging examination of the prison and its place – social, economic and psychological – in American society.
FORT BUCHANAN
FORT BUCHANAN
A bracingly original debut, filmmaker Benjamin Crotty uses the tragicomic plight of a frail young man stranded at a military outpost amid a lascivious band of army wives to craft a queer soap opera for the ages.
DON'T BLINK - ROBERT FRANK
DON'T BLINK - ROBERT FRANK
One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, a documentary about Robert Frank, the legendary photographer and filmmaker behind the seminal book “The Americans” and landmark films like Pull My Daisy.
THE THOUGHTS THAT ONCE WE HAD
THE THOUGHTS THAT ONCE WE HAD
A richly digressive journey through cinematic history from master cinematic essayist Thom Andersen (Los Angeles Plays Itself).
FIREWORKS WEDNESDAY
FIREWORKS WEDNESDAY
A story of marital intrigue and betrayal set against the backdrop of the Persian New Year from the Academy Award winning director of A Separation.