Author Ryan Gimarc

I am a film enthusiast and critic in Grand Rapids, Michigan who started writing on my film blog, RJG Film Analysis, and co-hosting The Cinema Breakdown podcast. One day, I'll watch the perfect movie while drinking the perfect beer...until then, I'll have to settle by watching "Lost in Translation" with a Rochefort 10.

NP Approved b9875cb241f5dadde3705969884b42eb

It takes just minutes to realize that the plot of A Separation, director Asghar Farhadi’s Academy Award winning 2012 film, is at most an endeavor into the complicated domestic life of an Iranian middle-class family. Like many of Farhadi’s films, the arduous obstacles around familial clashes (in this case, the eponymous separation between a husband and wife) become more convoluted by the second, often …

Reviews b920a59f3354b01fa0eec22c1db1df85

Hamid Hamoun, an unsettled member of the Iranian middle-class, works as a salesman by day and an aspiring writer at night. After an alarming and ambiguous dream sequence, Hamoun opens with the title character bunkered up in a barren apartment, clothes, dishes, and his PhD materials strewn about. From the outset, Hamoun is noticeably flustered: he wakes from a dream involving a devilish figure and a ….

Reviews Millennium Mambo Review

Vicky (Qi Shu), the twenty-something at the center of Hou Hsaio-Hsien’s Millennium Mambo, is stuck in a rut. Long after dropping out of high school, and far from any reasonable, sustainable lifestyle (which would hypothetically include gainful employment, and hypothetically not filled with hard drugs and a controlling, abusive boyfriend), Vicky …

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.42.06 PM

Beginning at a somber, unadorned graduation ceremony as a young class exits the school to embark on a summer vacation before their next educational adventure, the class speaker’s voice touches plainly on the persistent contradicting emotions that come with such a transition: the pain and sadness of saying goodbye, with the understanding that …

Special Feature Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 2.50.55 PM

To be frank, none of us really knows exactly what’s happening at the outset of Jonathan Glazer’s eerie sci-fi masterpiece Under the Skin. More than likely a human eye, made of materials natural or unearthly, is being constructed for our ultimate femme fatale, played by Scarlett Johansson. This “preparation” is further emphasized and made musically …

Reviews agirlwalkshomealoneatnight_iranianfilmdaily

Self-dubbed as the first ever Iranian vampire film, debutant director Ana Lily Amirpour creates an empty, sullen landscape of sand, bodies, and darkness, placing interesting people down the street from each other before shaking the whole damn thing up. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night strikes a beautiful balance between pulp, horror, romance …

NP Approved citizen-four-2014-001-portrait-outside-house-1000x750

The genius of Citizenfour is that it represents the convergence of a pertinent topic, elite storytelling, and a resonating impact which is, for at least several years to come, yet unresolved. To bill this film as “the Edward Snowden documentary” (as even I have done) is to cheapen both the execution of the film itself, as well as the …


Based on the novel The Short-Timers by Gustav Hasford, Full Metal Jacket is Stanley Kubrick’s attempt at an exposition on the Vietnam War. This tenuous time in America’s foreign policy history has been turf for other famous directors since the end of the war; Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, Stone’s trilogy (which included Platoon …

Reviews crying

A common fault of smaller films like Don’t Get Killed in Alaska isn’t a lack of execution, but a lack of confidence. Writer and director Bill Taylor (in his feature directorial debut) very nearly pulls off a convincing and emotional family drama, but instead muddies the narrative and the emotional pull with some …