Eric D. Snider
Featured Critic; Portland, OR

Eric D. Snider has been a writer all his life, a film critic since 1999, and a beard wearer since 2008. He holds a degree in journalism and used to work in "the newspaper industry," back when that was a thing. As a freelancer, Eric has written regularly for Film.com, Cinematical, Movies.com, Pajiba, and (of course) Twitch, among others. He lives in Portland. His website, EricDSnider.com, lives on the Internet.

Review: GRAND PIANO Executes Its Goofy Premise With Precision And Skill

Make no mistake, the premise of Grand Piano is 100 percent ridiculous. Do you remember Phone Booth, where Colin Farrell couldn't hang up or he'd be killed by a sniper? It's like that, only it's concert pianist Elijah Wood who... More »
  

Review: AMERICAN HUSTLE Offers Laughs, Lies, And Toupees

There is indeed something uniquely American about American Hustle, a loosely fact-based comic drama about chicanery, ambition, corruption, government bureaucracy, and good old-fashioned greed. Nearly everyone in it, from the self-admitted con men to the supposedly upright FBI agents, is... More »
  

Review: HOURS Puts All Its Dramatic Weight On Paul Walker's Shoulders

(Review originally published during SXSW in March 2013.) All human beings have a talent for one thing or another, and Paul Walker is a human being, so Paul Walker undoubtedly is good at something. But whatever it is, it's not... More »
  

Review: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Kicks It Up A Notch, Sets the Stage For A Grand Finale

Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy is a great read if you're into that sort of thing (reading), and it's shrewdly constructed. The first book, memorably adapted last year into a star-making vehicle for Jennifer Lawrence, focuses on the Hunger Games... More »
  

Review: GO FOR SISTERS Is an Easy-Going Character Drama from John Sayles

Few filmmakers are more legitimately "independent" than John Sayles, who has now written and directed 18 features since 1979 (Return of the Secaucus Seven) without studio backing. His latest, the affable character drama Go for Sisters, while not an outstanding... More »
  

Review: CARRIE Remake Stays Close to the Original, Still Works

It's been 37 years since Brian De Palma turned Stephen King's first published novel, Carrie, into a bloody camp classic, more than enough time for the idea of a remake to become palatable (not to mention financially appealing). And its... More »
  

Review: HAUNTER Delivers an Enjoyably Tame Ghost Story

Time is a fluid thing in the atmospheric Haunter, but it's set mainly in 1985. It's the day before Lisa's 16th birthday. It has been for a while. Lisa (Abigail Breslin) and her wholesomely plain family -- mother (Michelle Nolden),... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2013: Twitch's Super Wrap With All Our Reviews and Top Fest Picks

All is (relatively) quiet now at The Alamo Drafthouse in northwest Austin, Texas, which has resumed its normal operations, with barely a sign that an 8-day celebration of genre films from around the world, hosting filmmakers, industry guests, members of... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: GOLDBERG & EISENBERG Is Chilly, Funny Stalker Tension

It's too soon to tell whether Oren Carmi is Israel's answer to the Coen brothers, whom he lists among his influences, but his debut feature, the darkly comic Goldberg & Eisenberg, shows promise. I get the impression that a grim... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: DETEKTIV DOWNS Brings a New Dimension to Gumshoe Noir

A lot of movies about mentally disabled private investigators are gimmicky and insensitive, but not Detektiv Downs! This is surely the most warm-hearted and clever Norwegian movie about a detective with Down syndrome that I have ever seen. What possesses... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: GRAND PIANO Executes Its Goofy Premise with Precision and Skill

Make no mistake, the premise of Grand Piano is 100 percent ridiculous. Do you remember Phone Booth, where Colin Farrell couldn't hang up or he'd be killed by a sniper? It's like that, only it's concert pianist Elijah Wood who... More »
  

Review: RIDDICK Is More Fun, Less Riddick-ulous Than Last Time

No one expected there to be even one sequel to The Fast & the Furious, let alone five of them (so far). Even fewer people thought there'd be a follow-up to Pitch Black, the 2000 sci-fi thriller about people stuck... More »
  

Review: DRINKING BUDDIES Brings Joe Swanberg To The Big Time

Joe Swanberg's career as a filmmaker has gone through several phases, all without his name being known to more than a tiny fraction of the movie-going public. The inadvertent and unwilling godfather of the "Mumblecore" sub-genre (in which listless twentysomethings... More »
  

Review: THE BUTLER Has Admirable Intentions But Weak Execution

What The Butler tries to accomplish is so noble and ambitious that it almost doesn't matter how clumsily maudlin it ends up being, how over-earnest and sanctimonious it can be. It's heartening that movies on this subject are being made... More »
  

Review: AUSTENLAND, A Clumsy, Unfunny, And Insufferable Comedy

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single lady who obsesses over the works of Jane Austen -- particularly Pride and Prejudice, and specifically the 1995 miniseries version with Colin Firth -- will find her real-life boyfriends lacking when... More »
  

Review: KICK-ASS 2 Sours Whatever Fun There Was The First Time

The first Kick-Ass movie ended on the usual superhero note: it set things up for a sequel. Ordinary high-schooler Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) had established himself as masked crusader Kick-Ass, with lethal tween Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz) -- aka... More »
  

Review: PRINCE AVALANCHE Delivers a Hint of the Old David Gordon Green

Many reviews of Your Highness and The Sitter, two of the more pitiful comedies of 2011, featured concerned inquiries as to what (and in some cases what THE HELL) had happened to those films' director, David Gordon Green. His first... More »
  

Review: PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS Lacks Personality

Having missed 2010's Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief because of reasons, and then never catching up with it due to factors, I was at a disadvantage when it came time for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. But I was... More »
  

Review: WE'RE THE MILLERS Smuggles a Few Kilos of Laughs Across the Border

There isn't much about We're the Millers that separates it from the typical snarky, quasi-feel-good raunchy comedy, but it deserves credit for one thing: finding a new twist on the familiar premise of mismatched strangers being forced to take a... More »
  

Review: THE TO DO LIST Gets It Done, But Not Satisfyingly

In The To Do List, Aubrey Plaza plays a virginal high school valedictorian who decides, apropos of nothing, that she needs to spend the summer having every possible sexual experience as practice for college. (High school college-prep courses only teach... More »
  
 
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