Category: Reviews

twisters-movie

Twisters

Twisters is something less than a remake and something more than a sequel. It carries over none of the characters from the 1996 film Twister, but its spirit – and structure – recalls the regality of theRead Full Review

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Longlegs

Now that we’ve retired the idea of “elevated horror” – a popular expression in the early 10’s, when exciting filmmakers started excelling within the genre – what to make of a film like Longlegs? Released by Neon, the latestRead Full Review

green-border-movie

Green Border

In Green Border, director Agnieszka Holland is attempting to show us the wide swath of human behavior, from the inhumanly cruel to the generously kind, and everything in between. The film is set against the Polish-BelarusianRead Full Review

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Kinds of Kindness

Yorgos Lanthimos achieving mainstream success in Hollywood probably seemed like a long shot if you were watching his 2009 film Dogtooth. That film, graphically violent and sexually explicit, got a miraculous Oscar nomination for Best International Feature atRead Full Review

the-bikeriders-movie

The Bikeriders

In The Bikeriders, we have the return of Jeff Nichols, a director whose steady hand was behind several great films from the 2010s, including Take Shelter and Loving, his previous film. It’s been eight years since Loving, a movie thatRead Full Review

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Janet Planet

“Every second of my life is hell,” states Lacy, an eleven-year-old girl living with her mother, Janet. Earlier in Janet Planet – the directorial debut from Pulitzer-winning playwright Annie Baker – Lacy calls Janet from aRead Full Review

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Robot Dreams

The beauty of simplicity is that recreating it in art actually takes a good amount of complexity. Truly affecting the wonder of the everyday takes commitment and skill. Pablo Berger’s Robot Dreams is a testament toRead Full Review

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Hit Man

When we bemoan the loss of “real” movie stars, what we’re really yearning after are performances like Glen Powell’s in Hit Man. It’s not just that we want to see our favorite big screen crush inRead Full Review

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Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

If Mad Max: Fury Road felt like so much more than a legacy sequel, that’s because it was. Perhaps it was the abundant trend in the 10’s of rebooting every stitch of franchise IP that madeRead Full Review

the-fall-guy-movie

The Fall Guy

Ah, the movies. You gotta love ’em. Director David Leitch is a stuntman turned filmmaker, and his films have always had a self-referential wonder with their own existence. It’s never been more explicit than it isRead Full Review

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I Saw The TV Glow

I Saw the TV Glow, the latest film from Jane Schoenbrun, is perhaps the most quintessentially millennial film ever made. Its fondness for the unhinged television programming of the 90s and 00s goes beyond nostalgia.Read Full Review

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Evil Does Not Exist

Attempting to properly tell a story that fully encapsulates our ecological moment is a daunting task. Say what you will about Paul Schrader’s First Reformed – I find its ideas fully cooked but its narrative underwhelmingRead Full Review

challengers-movie

Challengers

It’s pretty common for sports movies – the good ones, anyway – to use said sport as a metaphor for what the characters are going through off the field. It’s a standard screenwriting conceit, practicallyRead Full Review

civil-war-movie

Civil War

Alex Garland has never been a political artist, though politics are often hovering uncomfortably in the background of his films. He prefers the intimacy of immediate experience, but his scripts – both the ones he’sRead Full Review

monkey-man-movie

Monkey Man

The promotional materials for Monkey Man want you to think of John Wick. You can say this about the promotional materials about any action movie nowadays, but with this film we get some direct parallels, including theRead Full Review

the-beast-movie

The Beast

There’s always a risk when making a film as wide-ranging as The Beast, an intentionally strange and melodramatic film about the most common of human emotions. A magnum opus about the constant battle between love andRead Full Review

la-chimera-movie-review

La Chimera

Alice Rohrwacher is creating in a league of her own. Her narratives possess a deceptive formlessness that requires an amount of commitment from the audience. If you don’t lean into the romantic idiosyncrasies of her storiesRead Full Review

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Problemista

When A24 decided to market Problemista, they chose to emphasize its idiosyncrasies, as if writer-director Julio Torres was a Gen Z Charlie Kaufman. This seems to be the best way for any indie distributor looking toRead Full Review

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Love Lies Bleeding

Movies as thoroughly – and earnestly – horny as Love Lies Bleeding don’t get made very often anymore. And much has been written about how they don’t get made very often anymore. I don’t think that directorRead Full Review

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Dune: Part Two

If 2021’s Dune feels more like a commercial for a sequel than its own complete story, it’s because it was just Denis Villenueve’s proof-of-concept, a cinematic argument that the sequel was actually possible. It was onlyRead Full Review

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About Dry Grasses

About Dry Grasses exists in a paradox. It takes place in a rural Turkish village in Eastern Anatolia, which pummels its working class population with endless, unforgiving snow. The people of the village stumble through man-madeRead Full Review

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Io Capitano

In the first twenty minutes of Io capitano, the latest from Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone, we see two teenaged boys living in West Africa who dream of making the treacherous journey to Europe to pursue a musicRead Full Review

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Drive-Away Dolls

Now that we’ve gotten a feature film from each of them on their own, I find myself fascinated by the separation of Joel and Ethan Coen. Joel’s The Tragedy of Macbeth in 2021 was a triumphRead Full Review

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The Taste of Things

There is a long tradition of films about food, where the detailed preparation and the effort in the kitchen becomes just as important as the drama outside of it. Kore-eda’s Still Walking, Stanley Tucci and CampbellRead Full Review

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How To Have Sex

The provocative title of Molly Manning Walker’s directorial debut, How To Have Sex, might make you think of an exploitation comedy released in the early 2000’s, where the sex lives of high schoolers was fair game for movie studios,Read Full Review

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Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell

It is undeniable that the cinematic skill in Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell is peerless. It’s camera technique – the brilliance with which it alters the frame within single shots, the grace with which it movesRead Full Review

totem-movie

Tótem

In just over ninety minutes, the latest film from Lila Avilés feels like it contains the entire world. Tótem takes place almost entirely in a single home, during a single day and night, where an extendedRead Full Review

origin-movie

Origin

Ava DuVernay’s decision to make a narrative adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s non-fiction book Caste, is a daring choice. It leaves her vulnerable to criticism and many have jumped at the opportunity. It’s an ambitious decision, tryingRead Full Review

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Society of the Snow

Society of the Snow probably isn’t helped by the fact that the most consequential plot point of its story – that a group of rugby players resorted to cannibalism in order to survive in theRead Full Review

memory-movie

Memory

On the surface, Michel Franco’s Memory seems to play notes that feel familiar to other trauma-based indie dramas. Our protagonist, Sylvia (played by Jessica Chastain), is a sexual assault survivor and recovering alcoholic. When she firstRead Full Review

The-Color-Purple-movie

The Color Purple

There’s a lot of reverence throughout the latest film version of The Color Purple. Firstly, there’s a dedication Alice Walker’s novel, the original text and one of the most beloved pieces of American literature in the TwentiethRead Full Review

the-teachers-lounge-movie

The Teachers’ Lounge

In Ilker Catak’s latest feature, The Teachers’ Lounge, a school instructor must find the balance between protecting her students and protecting herself. The task proves harder than you’d think, especially as the school’s byzantine office politicsRead Full Review

ferrari-movie

Ferrari

In Ferrari, the life-and-death stakes of professional car racing are made pretty clear early on. The smallest things – both and in and out of the driver’s control – can cause unconscionable horror. This is theRead Full Review

anyone-but-you-movie

Anyone But You

Perhaps it’s that we are so starved for low-stakes, adult romantic comedies that Anyone But You feels like a triumph. A similar thing could be said about No Hard Feelings from earlier this year. Both movies haveRead Full Review

wonka-movie

Wonka

Wonka makes it clear pretty early on how much it wants to separate itself from previous versions of the Willy Wonka cinematic universe. The showtune-ification of the character is a deliberate shift from the man weRead Full Review

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All of Us Strangers

Few directors today are a better purveyor of human devastation than Andrew Haigh, and yet, his films are never bleak and never give way to sorrow. His movies and TV shows go about it in differentRead Full Review

the-Iron-Claw-movie

The Iron Claw

It is perhaps not surprising at all that professional wrestling – an entertainment sport that values the operatic details of melodrama – would lend itself to cinematic recreation. The level of performance, physical and emotional, isRead Full Review

american-fiction-movie

American Fiction

The writing life is a lonely one, contending with the voices in your head more than the people in your life. The protagonist of American Fiction, Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, is a published author whose fallenRead Full Review

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The Zone of Interest

The question of depiction in Holocaust films will always be controversial in a way that has nothing really to do with movies. How does one find the balance of evoking the level of monstrosity withoutRead Full Review

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The Boy and the Heron

Retirement for legendary artists, especially in the film world, should always be taken with a grain of salt. I don’t think many people really believed that Hiyao Miyazaki was done making films after 2013’s The Wind Rises,Read Full Review

poor-things-movie

Poor Things

Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos loves playing the role of naughty provocateur. He’s a storyteller unafraid of sexual frankness and the pivotal role it plays in our lives and in our societal foundations, like a descendant of LarsRead Full Review

fallen-leaves-movie

Fallen Leaves

The droll, darkly comedic worlds of Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki are an acquired taste. His working class characters deliver their dialogue in a highly stylized deadpan, cutting gravely serious words with a humorous edge. OftentimesRead Full Review

monster-movie

Monster

Narrative simplicity and character complexity are often the hallmarks of filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda. While he has a gift for drama, it almost never spawns itself out of mechanical plot points. He’s often influenced by realRead Full Review

maestro-movie

Maestro

There’s a moment at about the halfway point of Maestro, the latest film from actor/director Bradley Cooper, where our protagonist, Leonard Bernstein (played resplendently by Cooper), explains to a sycophantic interviewer that he’s actually gravely disappointedRead Full Review

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May December

May December is a film about the creative process, but not in the ways you might expect. Natalie Portman plays a famous actress who agrees to play a real life woman. That real life womanRead Full Review

saltburn-movie

Saltburn

It’s obvious that Emerald Fennell strives to be considered amongst cinema’s greatest provocateurs, yearns to rank amongst the Lars von Triers and Catherine Breillats of the world. Her taste for evocative imagery hints at a talentedRead Full Review

Perfect-Days-movie

Perfect Days

If happiness is measured by our reality divided by our expectations, then being content should be as simple as following that equation. This seems to be the case for Himayama, the protagonist of Perfect Days, the latest filmRead Full Review

nyad-movie

Nyad

What you see in Nyad – a film that spends most of its time in the vast ocean of the Florida Straights – is the difficulty of film adaptation. The story of Diana Nyad is compellingRead Full Review

The-Delinquents-movie

The Delinquents

If you’ve ever worked a day in your life, Rodrigo Moreno’s The Delinquents will pummel you with its stark views on the entrapment that is Life Under Capitalism. At over three hours, the film concerns itselfRead Full Review

the-killer-movie

The Killer

The Killer is an actively fatigued film that seems to carry the burden of existing with every scene. It’s the latest film from David Fincher, the great American master who’s found a new creative homeRead Full Review