A Hero

Is there a screenwriter in this world better than Asghar Farhadi? His ability to take modest stories and spin them into grand moral schisms of fierce complexity is unmatched anywhere. Few people have a betterRead Full Review


Best Movies of 2021

It’s almost tragic that, as I put together my end of the year list for 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic would make yet another vicious comeback into our lives and force us back into the half-livesRead Full Review



A strange sound in the middle of the night. A woman is awaken. What was it? These are the foundational elements to Memoria, the latest film from the great Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the patriarch of SlowRead Full Review


The Tragedy of Macbeth

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth haunts the theater both inside of outside of its productions. A longtime held superstition states that even saying the word “Macbeth” inside a theater can bring on disaster. The play, noted for itsRead Full Review


Don’t Look Up

Within all of the supporting characters in Don’t Look Up (of which there are so, so many), there’s a small window into a version of this movie that could possibly work. Writer-director Adam McKay stridently by-passesRead Full Review


Parallel Mothers

With a reputation for provocation and sensuality, Spanish maestro Pedro Almodóvar has gotten somewhat softer in his later years. His last three films – Julieta, Pain & Glory, and now, Parallel Mothers – are somber and meditative, a moreRead Full Review


The Lost Daughter

The literature of Elena Ferrante is rife with inner passions and women on the edge of emotional collapse. These women are often running away from their troublesome pasts (and physically running away from Naples, Italy),Read Full Review


West Side Story

The new West Side Story opens with a superb crane shot over looking the teardown of apartment buildings in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A sign states that all this work is making way forRead Full Review


Red Rocket

The protagonist of Red Rocket is so incredibly shameless, a bottomless pit of delusion and self-indulgence. His name is Mikey Davies but he’s better known as Mikey Saber, a multi AVN Award-winning porn star who’s spentRead Full Review



Encanto takes place within the lush tropical villages of South America, which pops with vibrant color and diverse wildlife. The latest film for Walt Disney animation (the 60th to come from the studio, as the film’s openingRead Full Review



In Benedetta, a large group of Italian nuns in a Tuscan convent speak to each other in French, and while this is far from the most ridiculous part of the movie, it’s indicative of the movie’sRead Full Review



Flee transcends the arbitrary constrictions of film genre, using animation and dramatic reenactments to tell a harrowing migrant story. Through interviews with his friend, Amin (at the beginning, the film says that names are changed forRead Full Review


House of Gucci

How many ham actors can one movie sustain? Ridley Scott sees that question, scoffs, and then proceeds to make House of Gucci, a film based on the Sara Gay Forden book that documents the tragic way inRead Full Review


Licorice Pizza

The Auteur Theory is mostly self-aggrandizing bunk, but it exists because of directors like Paul Thomas Anderson, a filmmaker who clearly follows nothing beyond his own artistic impulses. His films are idiosyncratic; sometimes stately, sometimesRead Full Review


Drive My Car

Creature comforts are a major motif in Drive My Car. The two main characters of the film feel safest when they’re behind the wheel of a fire engine red Saab, coasting along the highways of metropolitan Japan.Read Full Review



Every major director reaches an age where they make their autobiographical film. Good or bad, I’m often weary of anyone’s ability to withstand their own nostalgia. Belfast – an amusing but broad black & white movie about aRead Full Review


King Richard

King Richard is an old-fashioned Hollywood biopic, with all the sentimentality and mythologizing that that entails. What’s surprising is how the film turns that to its advantage. Will Smith (perhaps the last of America’s bankableRead Full Review


Bad Luck Banging or Looney Porn

Bad Luck Banging or Looney Porn certainly earns the distinction of Best Movie Title of 2021. It promises irreverence and promiscuity, a degree of playfulness with an edgy adults-only bent. Bad Luck Banging delivers on thatRead Full Review


The Power of the Dog

In a Jane Campion film, intimacy and brutality are often intertwined. The relationship between her characters is often a dance of passion and possession, with one often complimenting (and then disintegrating) the other. The Power ofRead Full Review


C’Mon C’Mon

C’Mon C’Mon is Mike Mills’s weepiest film to date. His first two features – Beginners and Twentieth Century Women – were about parents trying the best they can despite their own emotional shortcomings. That these are storiesRead Full Review



Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel, Passing, is a landmark text. It’s provocative subject matter – racial passing – was a controversial subject then and still a bit taboo today. Rebecca Hall choosing this adaptation to be herRead Full Review



After over a decade, and dozens of films, it’s hard to imagine that there are even more superheroes springing out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It strains the mind to conceive of a universe with soRead Full Review



A fable based on a true tragedy. This is the statement that begins Pablo Larraín’s latest film, Spencer, about a tempestuous Christmas weekend in the life of Princess Diana. “Fable” warns us that what we’ll see shouldRead Full Review


Last Night in Soho

The image of Swinging 1960s London is immortalized in films like Michael Antonioni’s Blow-Up and John Schlesinger’s Darling. In those films, and several others, high fashion and sexuality entangle with the sinister underbelly of vice and murder. TheirRead Full Review


The Souvenir Part II

Just a simple plot reading of Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir – a young film student starts a passionate but fraught relationship with a charismatic heroin addict – will not do justice to the complexity of the emotionsRead Full Review


The Last Duel

The very title of The Last Duel promises bloodshed and it delivers. From early on, we get Game of Thrones-level brutality, blood spurting and spraying everywhere, battles coming down to excruciating slaughter. But The Last Duel is also Rashomon,Read Full Review



Dune is a bit of a white whale for the film community. David Lynch’s 1984 attempt is considered to be the renowned director’s biggest flop. Alejandro Jodorowsky’s attempt at an adaptation in the 70’s was suchRead Full Review


The French Dispatch

With each subsequent film, Wes Anderson has only become more persistent as a practitioner of his singular style. His tableau-style shot framing, sandpaper-dry humor and affected performances are the trademarks that have crested over ten films. TheRead Full Review


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