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Five Films to See at Tribeca 2024

Written by: Christopher Llewellyn Reed | June 5th, 2024

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival will take place from June 5 to June 16. The program showcases well over 100 feature films, including 86 world premieres. It’s the 23rd iteration of this annual event that was founded in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on lower Manhattan. I’ve been fortunate to see a number of the fest’s selections ahead of time, and what follows are my recommendations of 5 of them from among those previewed. Each movie’s title is hyperlinked to its individual page on the Tribeca website. Every brief description comes from a much longer full review (yet to publish) I have written for Hammer to Nail, the other site for which I write.

Margaret Cho in ALL THAT WE LOVE. Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

All That We Love (Yen Tan)

Loving animals inevitably leads to heartbreak; there’s no way around their shorter lifespans (tortoises, elephants, and parrots notwithstanding). As my own aging beagle shows increasing signs of physical and mental decline, I dread what’s coming. In All That We Love, the latest from director Yen Tan (1985), we begin with just such a death. The grief that this loss engenders in protagonist Emma (Margaret Cho, Faith Ba$ed) is profound, leading her to a series of misadventures that eventually put her on the path to recovery. We tag along, equally moved.

l-r: Dakota Johnson and Sean Penn in DADDIO. Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.

Daddio (Christy Hall)

Fans of Dakota Johnson looking to recover from the debacle (in every possible way) of her recent turn in Marvel’s Madame Web have good news on the upcoming cinematic horizon. Writer/director Christy Hall’s feature-directorial debut, Daddio, offers both Johnson and costar Sean Penn (Asphalt City) juicy roles as passenger and taxi driver on a simple ride from the airport that turns surprisingly metaphysical. Dialogue-heavy in the best sense of what that can mean, this mobile chamber piece shifts from disquiet to solace with poignant grace.

Elizabeth Taylor in ELIZABETH TAYLOR:THE LOST TAPES. Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes (Nanette Burstein)

In 1964, journalist and biographer Richard Meryman sat down with actress Elizabeth Taylor for a series of taped interviews, covering a range of topics, from childhood to early stardom to her tempestuous personal life and more. In the new documentary Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes, director Nanette Burstein (Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee) uses these recordings as the spine of a fascinating look at this great cinematic icon. On top of that wonderful archive she adds a wealth of film clips, photographs, other period interviews, and the occasional artistic recreation for effect. It’s a well-crafted, engaging celebration of the woman and her œuvre.

Still from EMERGENT CITY. Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Emergent City (Kelly Anderson/Jay Arthur Sterrenberg)

All politics is local. Big issues in our world usually begin at the neighborhood level before spilling out to larger constituencies, though there is certainly reciprocity between macro and micro levels of cause and effect. In Emergent City, directors Kelly Anderson (My Brooklyn) and Jay Arthur Sterrenberg (editor, Dark Money) take a look at Sunset Park, a part of Brooklyn, NY, where corporate interests threaten to derail the lives of area residents. At the heart of the conflict is Industry City, managed by the Jamestown investment group. The documentary does a terrific job showing the many ingredients that go into a working democracy. There’s shouting and distrust, but also many meetings to work things out. No group is a monolith, and the vibrancy of disagreement and occasional harmony has its fingerprints all over the narrative.

Elizabeth Sankey in WITCHES. Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Witches (Elizabeth Sankey) 

The potential problem with personal-essay films is that our reaction to them so often hinges on how we respond to the director. The subject may hold interest, but if the intimacy with the filmmaker proves off-putting, there goes the movie. Fortunately, in Witches, the latest from Elizabeth Sankey (Romantic Comedy), the closeness of artist and theme only serves to deepen the impact of the narrative. It’s a nearly perfect, if also uncomfortable (by design), combination.


Christopher Llewellyn Reed is a film critic, filmmaker, and educator, as well as Film Festival Today's Editor. A member of both the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, Chris is, in addition, lead film critic at Hammer to Nail and the author of Film Editing: Theory and Practice.

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