The American Thriller Body of Lies is just that — American. Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner, and the Boston-Based screenwriter William Monohan (think The Departed) are the masterminds behind this ‘08… masterpiece.

It is certainly a… movie.

Russel Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Oscar Isaac are working for Central Intelligence Agency to bring to light a suicide bombing operation that is taking place in Jordan at the time. Painted as this altruistic hero of a man, DiCaprio, mid-divorce, must reckon with the bombers overseas with the help of his partner (in crime? Justice?) Ed Hoffman (Crowe). It has all of…


There’s something about the opening scene to Nadine Labaki’s 2011 film, Where Do We Go Now? that is so haunting. A couple of dozen women shrouded in dust and black cloth stomp their feet to the poetic recitation of lead character Amale (Labaki). It’s militaristic the way that their synchronized motion is greeted by clouds of sand and the echoey drum of their footsteps. This sequence sets Labaki’s film up like a Beyonce ‘Lemonade’ music video — its ghostly, dramatic, kind of terrifying, and definitely intimidating.

Director, actress and writer Nadine Labaki plays the lead role of Amale in this…


On the surface, there’s not much to say about director Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Saudi Arabian drama, Wadjda (2012). Wadjda, an adolescent on the outskirts of popularity at her primary school, wants a bicycle so that she can race a neighborhood boy. The conflict lies not only in her efforts to get the bike, but also in the disapproving gazes of the adults in her life.

Wadja’s spunky in her Sharpied converse sneakers and her butterfly clips. She weaves bracelets to the tune of radio-broadcasted pop songs and isn’t quick to upgrade to the Abaya that covers her whole face. …


Set in Lebanon, Shady Hanna’s What Did I Mess is a very relevant romantic comedy about love (ex-love and fake love), family dynamics, and Lebanese social concerns.

In an adorable attempt to flaunt her new fiance, Nayla (Rola Beksmati) invites her awkward ex-lover, Fares (Junaid Zeineldine) to a dinner party with unexpected guests, arak, and a new fiance. Sylvio is a businessman who’s taken to Nayla at a rather convenient time when she is still pining after Fares. Her plans to ambush Fares are successful and the two men meet. Although, there’s a catch…

Sylvio is under the impression that…


“Ghadi”: Tastefully Inspirational or Irrationally Optimistic?

Ghadi (2013), directed by Amin Dora, is the story of a father’s strategy to get the people in his small, Lebanon town to accept his only son with down syndrome before they follow through on their threats to kick him and his family out. Told from the point of view of Ghadi’s (Emmanuel Khairallah) father, Leba (Georges Khabbaz), Ghadi is a movie meant to tug at the heartstrings of its viewers. Leba’s blood, sweat and tears go into protecting his child’s name in the eyes of the townspeople who don’t believe that Ghadi brings…


Cherien Dabis’ ’09 work of dramatic tragedy, Amreeka is tiers above the expectations of a realistic immigration tale of a mother and son from Palestine making America their new home base. In an astonishingly un-American direction, casting of this film showed proper Palestinian representation with the lead roles being portrayed by Arab actors.

Nisreen Faour plays Muna Farah, a divorced single mother who risks it all for the betterment of her teenage son Fadi (Melkar Muallem)’s upbringing. They wander into Illinois twenty-five-hundred dollars short with a pile of luggage and an ever-present yearning for home. …


Director Ana Lily Amirpour meshes the western genre with film noir in A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. She creates an Iranian-based feminist masterpiece that tackles the grit of Iranian “Bad City”.

With a title like A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, particularly one that teeters on the slopes of both the film-noir classics and modern horror, it’s understandable to predict the gruesome outcome of a teenage girl who walks the streets alone. …


Dee Rees’s Pariah (2011) is unfortunately a hidden gem among White-centric coming-of-age stories. What is so common in self-discovery among queer women has finally been brought to life on the big screen — and in a big way.

Whether it’s the all-Black, predominantly-women cast that gets you or the fact that it’s written and directed by a Black lesbian screenwriter and filmmaker, Pariah is going to make you question why there are only a handful of popular dramas made by Black lesbians about Black lesbians.

It’s been almost a decade since Pariah was first released, but it’s time we take…


Jean-Marc Vallée’s 2013 film, Dallas Buyers Club is a work of riveting drama based on historical events. It tells the true story of rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) and his final decisions after he tests positive for HIV.

The film’s depiction of the AIDS outbreak in the 1980s highlights not only the injustices of the FDA’s regulation on medicinal remedies of the disease but also the growing panic of the masses. Dallas Buyers Club shows a clear intention to address the FDA’s strict regulations on unregulated drugs, regardless of their benefits to the sick. …


(Kalki Koechlin as Laila)

Kalki Koechlin in Margarita, With a Straw (2014) portrays a queer woman with Cerebral Palsy and her journey with self-discovery while she bounces between her home in Dehli, India, and her time at NYU.

Laila (Kalki Koechlin) arrives in New York City with a full scholarship to NYU and a yearning for sex.

After a semester in India at Delhi University goes awry (in part due to Laila’s infatuation with the lead singer of a band she writes music for), Laila rises to the occasion at the opportunity to attend New York University in the fall. Her family stays parked…

Trin Moody

Second-year Screenwriter at the University of New Mexico. Writer for Incluvie.

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