Bergman Island

Not sure there is any region of the world more defined by a single filmmaker than Scandinavia is by Ingmar Bergman. The legendary and prolific director made over sixty films in a sixty-one year period,Read Full Review


The Velvet Underground

How do you make a movie about this band? The very name, The Velvet Underground, suggests a hidden danger, an unquestioned coolness that can’t be put into words. I think that’s part of what draws in ToddRead Full Review



What does it mean to make a connection? Empathy is probably the main ingredient, then understanding. Titane is a film about two people who – by some miracle – find each other when they need itRead Full Review


The Card Counter

Paul Schrader is a man preoccupied. His protagonists are men tortured by demons both inside and out. Their journey toward moral purity often comes at a great personal cost – usually their life. One of Schrader’s biggestRead Full Review


Cry Macho

There is probably no more perfect example of a film made for same-day streaming release than Cry Macho, a film that’s existence in every way – physically, theoretically, spiritually – is indebted to it’s director-star Clint Eastwood.Read Full Review


Mogul Mowgli

It’s hard not to see the similarities between Mogul Mowgli and last year’s Sound of Metal. Both films star Riz Ahmed in a blisteringly good performance as a musician (in Metal, he’s a drummer; in Mowgli, he’s a rapper)Read Full Review



In a brief scene early in the new Candyman film, a supporting character named Troy (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) tells his sister Brianna (Teyonah Parris) a spooky true story about the Chicago area she now lives in. The storyRead Full Review



Sentimental Sundance films are an annual tradition. They send wide-eyed distributors scurrying for winning bids on the festival’s feel-good hit of the year. CODA, the 2021 entry, meets the required criteria: it’s small, charming and performance-led.Read Full Review



Ema has had a strained journey to American screens. Stalled by the pandemic, the film from Chilean maestro Pablo Larraín was stalled for over a year, only to be dumped at the end of Summer, aRead Full Review


The Suicide Squad

Hollywood has been allowing a lot of mulligans in this young century. Don’t like Eric Bana or Edward Norton as The Hulk? Let’s try Mark Ruffallo. Fantastic Four movie was a giant dud? We’ll reload andRead Full Review



Ron and Russell Mael, the two brothers that make up the band Sparks, are having a moment. Earlier this year, Edgar Wright released his documentary The Sparks Brothers, dubbing them “Your favorite band’s favorite band”. TheirRead Full Review


The Green Knight

Arthurian legends have persevered over centuries with their tales of honor and faith. Conceived as bloated epics, dainty Disney cartoons and brash adventure tales. In 2017, Guy Ritchie made King Arthur into a gritty, bareRead Full Review



The performance that Matt Damon gives in Stillwater sniffs of awards bait. To play William ‘Bill’ Baker, he sports a well-worn ball cap stained with years of sweat, a tricep tattoo of a bald eagle grippingRead Full Review



The key to Pig is how committed it is to its premise. The absurdity of its story – a man goes on the war path to find his stolen pig – is not played down, butRead Full Review


Space Jam: A New Legacy

The new Space Jam movie is bad. Like “what were they thinking?” bad. This isn’t shocking. This is a sequel to the 1996 film starring Michael Jordan, which was an 87-minute parade of Looney Tunes bits interspersed withRead Full Review


No Sudden Move

It’s hard to talk about Steven Soderbergh without mentioning how spirited and prolific his career has been. He can do it all: studio blockbusters (Ocean’s Eleven), slick capers (Out of Sight), prestige drama (sex, liesRead Full Review


Black Widow

About halfway through Black Widow, Florence Pugh’s Yelena mocks the titular character, Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanov. Yelena calls her a poseur, makes fun of her infamous fighting stance, and even takes note of her place inRead Full Review



I’ve often referred to Twitter as “my newspaper”. It is a statement of fact and also shame-based self-deprecation. The very concept of Twitter is to take a variety of complex ideas and compresses them into 280-character bitesRead Full Review



Pixar Animation, and Disney at large, has become a bit of a geographical rover, finding areas of the world that its studio has yet to recreate with uncanny accuracy. (Before Soul, was there ever a moreRead Full Review


In The Heights

Lin-Manuel Miranda is his own industry. His own cinematic universe. The phenomenon of his career was fast and furious, torpedoing skyward with the abundant success of Hamilton, perhaps the defining piece of pop culture from theRead Full Review


The Killing of Two Lovers

David is a man down bad. Played by Clayne Crawford, he’s an overall-wearing day laborer with long, greasy hair and a crumbling marriage. He puts on a good face for neighbors and friends and even his family,Read Full Review


The Mitchells vs. The Machines

It’s hard to put into words the freshness that Christopher Miller and Phil Lord have brought to animated movies in Hollywood. Their efforts are a brilliant counter to the monolithic dominance of Disney and Pixar. TheirRead Full Review


Mortal Kombat

We are living through the Tyranny of Origin Story. Back in the simpler, dumber year of 1995, the film version of Mortal Kombat was content in its ludicrousness, with bits of exposition treated as necessary evilsRead Full Review


Quo Vadis, Aida?

In one of the few calm moments from Quo Vadis, Aida?, our title character (played with perfection by Jasna Đuričić) is sitting with a doctor smoking a cigarette. They’ve just delivered a baby in a run-down UNRead Full Review


Godzilla vs. Kong

Spoiler alert: Godzilla vs. Kong is bad. I don’t know who this will surprise, maybe no one. Anyone’s expectations for a showdown film between two of the movies’ most recognizable monsters (or kaiju – or “titans”,Read Full Review


The United States vs. Billie Holiday

There has always been a contradiction central in all of Lee Daniels’ movies. There is a part of his films that strive for prestige, for mainstream recognition of black lives, good and bad. But Daniels’Read Full Review


The Father

There are few things that Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) needs to be comfortable. Sitting in his flat, headphones plugged in, listening to classical music while wearing his favorite watch; this is all he needs to beRead Full Review



Watching Minari, I was reminded of Tolstoy’s famous line “each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”. He is both suggesting an infinity of unhappiness while also alluding to a sort of snowflake pattern within eachRead Full Review


I Care a Lot

It says a lot about the state of comedies that I Care a Lot can call itself one. It’s not simply that the film is unfunny, but one would be hard-pressed to find a single punchline. TheRead Full Review



The adventure of discovery has long been a major part of American mythology. Even after explorers and colonists reached the Pacific, large swaths of the American public are still pushed toward what’s next, what’s new, what’s out there. This isRead Full Review


Judas and the Black Messiah

Early in Judas and the Black Messiah, Bill O’Neal (played with frantic perfection by Lakeith Stanfield), finds himself in a police interrogation room. He’s just been arrested after impersonating an FBI officer in a creative attemptRead Full Review


One Night in Miami

In a way, One Night in Miami is its own kind of superhero movie. Its structure and tone are rooted in populist storytelling, history through the eyes of American titans. That it takes real historical figuresRead Full Review


Pieces of a Woman

Pieces of a Woman exists in the spaces between grief and explanation, examining the vacuum created by the arbitrary nature of tragedy. How does someone manage to simply exist in these spaces? Where all seems lost andRead Full Review


Wonder Woman 1984

I’ve relented in my personal battle against superhero movies. They’ve taken over cinematic pop culture to such a degree that a pandemic-plagued year without them made the public feel like there were no movies atRead Full Review



Pixar’s skill for selling you sentimentality without making you feel cheap is unmatched in Hollywood. Their films offer platitudes about the affirmations of life and maximize emotional effect by zeroing in on humanity’s small beauties. It’sRead Full Review


Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom opens with the image of two Black men running through the nighttime forests of the American South. As they journey through the thick trees they come upon some torches. Right at the momentRead Full Review


Red, White and Blue

Triumphs don’t come without great struggle in the worlds of Steve McQueen. His first three Small Axe films have been about spirited resistance in one way or another, but he flatly refuses to coat it in any romanticism.Read Full Review



There are moments in Collective that feel unbelievable as you’re watching them. One happens in the first ten minutes. Soon after a metal band finishes their set in a popular Bucharest club called Colectiv, a fireRead Full Review



Herman J. Mankiewicz was a movie character long before Mank. He was an invaluable supporting character within the grand epic of Hollywood’s Golden Age, a vibrant Falstaff during the height of the Classical Studio Era. HeRead Full Review


Lovers Rock

If the first installment in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series (Mangrove) was a tense procedural, the second is a loose dance party. Literally. A collection of people, ranging from teenager to young adult, meet in aRead Full Review


Happiest Season

Harper Caldwell, played by Mackenzie Davis in Happiest Season, is a Christmas person. She enjoys holiday rituals, gaudy home decorations, and white elephant gift exchanges. A major aspect of the Christmas person’s life is the Christmas movie,Read Full Review


Hillbilly Elegy

J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy kicked off a literary trend in 2016 of nonfiction books meant to reconcile the plight of lower class whites in America. These books were liberal olive branches to poor white communities, ravagedRead Full Review



If you feel like the disparity between movies and television has shrunken, then Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series is a stunning example of it. The series is composed of five feature films, independent from one another inRead Full Review


The Life Ahead

Keeping track of all the clichés used in The Life Ahead can be tiresome. Perhaps, you could turn it into a drinking game, if you wanted to add a dose of excitement that you certainly wouldn’tRead Full Review


On The Rocks

The dynamics of a complicated father-daughter relationship lay at the heart of Sofia Coppola’s latest film, On The Rocks. On the one end, we have a beacon of New York City liberal motherhood played by RashidaRead Full Review


Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Shock value, in and of itself, isn’t Sacha Baron Cohen’s main interest, though his notorious interviews often leave his subjects hapless and compromised in ways that can make your jaw drop. Exposing hypocrisies throughout theRead Full Review


The Trial of the Chicago 7

The reason historical period drama is such a popular prestige genre is that it can be either nostalgic or aspirational, pleasing a broad audience no matter what their predispositions may be. That is true of The TrialRead Full Review