Pain & Glory

It’s tradition for storied filmmakers to look back later in life, and craft something “autobiographical”, though Pedro Almodóvar has seldom been described as traditional. Pain & Glory catches the Spanish filmmaker at his most reflective, following anRead Full Review



The satire at the heart of Parasite is not a difficult one to parse. Its ideas are shouted pretty clearly, even bluntly. In a way, the film is almost about the limits of satire, its inabilityRead Full Review


The Lighthouse

It feels odd to call a film like The Lighthouse beautiful. After all, it takes such refuge in its unseemliness. Its imagery is bleak, soiled and occasionally violent. But director Robert Eggers (The Witch) knows exactlyRead Full Review


Dolemite is My Name

The arrival of Eddie Murphy in Dolemite is My Name has an exciting ring to it. It is both a return for Murphy toward more dangerous, R-rated comedy as well as a platform to showcase theRead Full Review


Where’s My Roy Cohn?

Where’s My Roy Cohn? features several interviews with the title figure, Roy Marcus Cohn. Cohn was a very media savvy figure, and more importantly he liked to be in front of a camera. Bombastic andRead Full Review


Ad Astra

Ad Astra is a perfect illustration of the paradox of Brad Pitt. He’s a born movie star who wishes desperately to be a serious character actor. He prefers idiosyncratic characters, to show off a range thatRead Full Review



The women in Hustlers want independence more than anything – independence from men, specifically. They have no problem working for men – or working them over – but the film goes out of its way to showRead Full Review


Ready or Not

The billionaire family at the center of Ready or Not made their fortune from games. As the patriarch explains in a monologue near the beginning of the film, what started with one man selling playing cardsRead Full Review



Who is Luce? You can watch the entirety of Luce, the new film from Nigerian filmmaker Julius Onah, and not really have a solid clue. The title character from this film is a touted high schoolRead Full Review


Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino is now part of the Hollywood elite that he used to fantasize about. The very films and filmmakers that he used to skewer and homage are now his peers, even the dead ones. HeRead Full Review


The Lion King

I don’t think the existence of this “live action” (“live CGI”?) version of The Lion King means that Disney thinks it has improved upon the original 1994 film. That movie is one of Disney’s definitive masterpieces,Read Full Review


The Farewell

Everybody knows that they’re going to die. This knowledge accounts for a lot in life; some good, most bad. Our daily existence depends on how much we ignore it, planning for tomorrows that aren’t guaranteed.Read Full Review


The Art of Self-Defense

The roles of men within The Art of Self-Defense are all dual caricature: frightened nancy boys and fierce, strapping burlymen. Even a dog, a small dachshund with sorrowful eyes, is framed as an anxious coward. Another oneRead Full Review


Toy Story 4

I remember a previous decade when Pixar was considered to be the best of the major Hollywood studios. The only mainstream film company interested in making consistently good films, who cloaked deep, moving stories withinRead Full Review



Ari Aster’s last two films – last year’s Hereditary, and this Summer’s Midsommar – are both bleak, complex stories about the human mind’s ability to process horror. Not simply odes to the horror genre (though they areRead Full Review


Late Night

Late Night is a movie about a talk show host who is told several times to embrace political tension in order to make her show more relevant. It’s telling that the film doesn’t accept thisRead Full Review


Wild Rose

The main character in Wild Rose – played with great charm and grit by newcomer Jessie Buckley – loves country music. A young Scottish woman just released from a twelve-month prison sentence, she is not yourRead Full Review


Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

I fear that the audience for this documentary – a fantastic film which focuses on the life and impact of one of America’s greatest Twentieth Century literary figures – will not expand much further past fans ofRead Full Review


The Dead Don’t Die

A legend within American independent cinema, writer-director Jim Jarmusch has gained that reputation because of his penchant for unique, often odd experiments in narrative filmmaking. His interest in examining characters or story is often missing,Read Full Review


John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

The mythology built within 2014’s John Wick felt so overwhelmingly refreshing. There was a simplicity to it: its protagonist was a ferocious man, known for being an unstoppable killing machine while also being equally un-killable. AndRead Full Review



The concept of ‘one crazy night’ high school films has become one of Hollywood’s greatest fantasies. It taps into the imaginations of different people and age groups, so it makes sense that they keep gettingRead Full Review


The Souvenir

There’s a gulf in The Souvenir that lies between the clarity with which the film views the troubled relationship at its center, and the ways in which its characters distort their reality to imagine a normalityRead Full Review


Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Trading in on the kind of nostalgia that Pokémon Detective Pikachu shamelessly languishes in should be more of a turn-off than it ultimately is. The film is working overtime to generate feelings from 90’s kids (which, full disclosure,Read Full Review


Under the Silver Lake

The lure of a movie like Under the Silver Lake – the new thriller-comedy from David Robert Mitchell, which is busting at the seams with LA noir allusions – is in what it denies its audience.Read Full Review


Avengers: Endgame

If reducing half of your characters to dust felt like a radical way to end Avengers: Infinity War than its immediate follow-up, Endgame, will give you an even greater feeling of misdirection. From the very start, Endgame expertlyRead Full Review


Long Day’s Journey Into Night

This exotic, evocative opus that spins in and out of reality (and in and out of 3D), is the latest film from Bi Gan, the fearless Chinese director. His second feature, Long Day’s Journey Into NightRead Full Review


Her Smell

The pulsating ferocity of Her Smell comes on right off the bat. From the moment the film begins, we are sent on a journey through turmoil, through one person’s vices and insecurities. Its rock star protagonistRead Full Review


High Life

Examining what it means to be human is a staple of more serious science fiction, but like most things that Claire Denis does, High Life‘s examination is slightly askew, purposely off-putting. This space drama has itRead Full Review


Missing Link

It’s refreshing to see a studio like Laika – a major Hollywood entity with corporate support that has a dogged commitment to creating unique entertainment. Challenging the other animation studios (**ahem** Disney) seems like aRead Full Review


The Beach Bum

A film as wondrously joyous as The Beach Bum should not be taken lightly. Its unhinged enthusiasm and complete embrace of its absurd premise helps you to tolerate its overindulgence. Though it’s probably more accurate toRead Full Review



The ideas that Jordan Peele has brought to the screen in his first two features could be comedies, if they were twisted that way. Anyway, you can see how the man who created them wasRead Full Review


Ash is Purest White

Violence and romance pulse throughout Ash is Purest White, the latest from A Touch of Sin director Jia Zhangke. Zhao Tao plays Qiao, a young woman in love with a gangster named Bin (Liao Fan). Bin, an intenseRead Full Review


Captain Marvel

Waiting this long to reveal a character as powerful as Carol Danvers could be seen as shrewd. Plenty of people have been clamoring for a woman-led superhero movie since as long as I can remember,Read Full Review


Triple Frontier

All four of J.C. Chandor’s feature films have come this decade, and they’re a kaleidoscopic display of a young filmmaker’s talents. Margin Call was a stripped-down talkathon about the financial crisis, while All is Lost is aRead Full Review


Gloria Bell

As far as remakes go, Gloria Bell is amongst the best that I’ve seen in a long while. It helps to have Julianna Moore – perhaps the best screen actor of her generation – and itRead Full Review



The last three films from Christian Petzold have examined the existential crisis of Germany in different forms. In Barbara, Nina Hoss plays a physician trapped behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany. In Phoenix, Hoss plays aRead Full Review


Birds of Passage

You’d think the well had dried when it came to making unique films about the dangerous Latin American drug trade, but then you see a film like Birds of Passage, and it’s revealed how the realRead Full Review


Never Look Away

  The story of Germany’s Twentieth Century is impossible to encompass in a single film, but Never Look Away certainly does try. Through the prism of art and the purity of expression, the latest film fromRead Full Review


High Flying Bird

Chief among the charms of Steven Soderbergh is that it is never explicitly clear what even he wants from his career. He eschewed indie darling status (sex, lies and videotape) for Oscar-winning prestige (Traffic, Erin Brockovich),Read Full Review


The 2018 JC Awards

Best Director Gold: Lucrecia Martel, Zama Silver: Steve McQueen, Widows Bronze: Hirokazu Kore-eda, Shoplifters Best Actress Gold: Regina Hall, Support the Girls Silver: Ando Sakura, Shoplifters Bronze: Kayli Carter, Private Life Best Actor Gold: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed Silver: Tom Cruise, Mission: ImpossibleRead Full Review


Velvet Buzzsaw

Velvet Buzzsaw is the kind of Los Angeles satire that has several of its characters die excruciating deaths, but the most emotionally devastating part is another character having to pack her bags and move backRead Full Review



A film as harsh and hectic as Capernaum almost needs a child at its center, to remind the audience that there is still the possibility of innocence in a world that can be so filled withRead Full Review


Free Solo

There are many tragic versions of the events within Free Solo. The documentary mentions a number of them. The term “free solo” refers to mountain climbing without the protection of ropes, and this is the preferred hobbyRead Full Review



The hook of Destroyer – taking one of our best, most beautiful movie stars and dirtying her up – is an old one. We’ve seen it often, and awards have been won by actors both more and lessRead Full Review



The lumbering frame of Dick Cheney has always been a mercurial figure in the annals of contemporary Republican nastiness and wrongdoing. The buffoonery of figures like Trump and George W. Bush are easier to target, moreRead Full Review


Best Films of 2018, Part II

1. If Beale Street Could Talk Directed by Barry Jenkins Making a follow-up to Best Picture winner Moonlight would have been a daunting enough task, but choosing to adapt James Baldwin is an especially courageous undertaking. TheRead Full Review


Best Films of 2018, Part I

As a film year, I would probably describe 2018 as incredibly deep, if missing those unmistakable masterpieces that define certain other years. Even last year, films like Phantom Thread and Lady Bird established an immediate enduring qualityRead Full Review


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

We don’t need a new Spider-Man movie. I’m not sure we ever have. The reason Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse works so well is that it seems to understand that. The film – which is produced byRead Full Review


Cold War

The stark, black & white world of Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War belies an incredible tenderness, a passionate love that perseveres over years and across countries on both sides of the Berlin Wall. This is not aRead Full Review