2 Movies Like Demons (1985)

Staff & contributors

, 2023

Despite its ambition to be a more serious piece of drama, Nganù is unfortunately held back either by a general lack of technical polish (sometimes leading to unintentional comedy within its dead-serious subject matter), or the misjudged attempt to feel grander than it should. When the film sticks to painful, ugly, intimate human drama, it actually starts to command attention. There's a striking lack of romantic sentiment to this story of a horrible person trying to redeem himself, as the film's many handheld camera shots capture its best performers at their nastiest (or most defiant)—showing us that the road to healing isn't actually as easy as it seems in Hollywood movies. Nganù sticks to its strict sense of morality, which is the best thing it could have done.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Alenne Menget, Azah Melvine, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Kang Quintus, Muriel Blanche

Director: Kang Quintus

, 2023

If nothing else, Chris Moukarbel's Tribeca Film Festival-winning narrative feature really forces us to think about the form of the documentary and the layers of interpretation through which we're shown an ostensibly factual account. Cypher begins as a music doc, before taking on true-crime qualities, then turning into a full-blown found footage thriller—the movie itself practically being brainwashed into its own conspiracy. Unfortunately, this is all much less interesting in execution, as the film goes long stretches without keeping up the momentum of its eerier moments. Its eventual twists are particularly uninspired, coming up with a vision of the music industry that doesn't say anything all that meaningful.

Genre: Documentary, Drama, Music, Mystery

Actor: Jamila Curry, Johnny Montina, Kenete Simms, Nick Canonica, Tierra Whack, Vanya Asher

Director: Chris Moukarbel

Rating: R