long-days-journey-into-night-movie

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-movie

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-movie

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-movie

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-movie

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

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Us

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-movie

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

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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

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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

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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

transit-movie

Transit

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

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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-movie

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-movie

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

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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

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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

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Capernaum

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-movie

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

destroyer-movie

Destroyer

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

vice-movie

Vice

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

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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

decentmaybe.2018.1

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-movie

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-movie

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

vox-lux-movie

Vox Lux

The ideas are aplenty in Vox Lux, as are the choices, very specific choices made by writer-director Brady Corbet and star Natalie Portman. The film – a histrionic take on the poisonous aspects of fame andRead Full Review

if-beale-street-could-talk-movie

If Beale Street Could Talk

The merging of Barry Jenkins and James Baldwin is as serendipitous as it is joyous, a wondrous meeting of historical talents. The Oscar-winning Jenkins could have made anything he wished after his second film, Moonlight tookRead Full Review

roma-movie

Roma

Alfonso Cuarón is one of maybe half a dozen filmmakers considered by many to be amongst the best living directors on the planet. He is the foremost figure in the trifecta of major Mexican directors,Read Full Review

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Ralph Breaks the Internet

Surpassed by its sister company, Pixar Animation, in terms of prestige and trophies, the standard-bearing Walt Disney Animation studio has climbed back into equal footing over the last few years. Starting with 2010’s Tangled and culminatingRead Full Review

green-book-movie

Green Book

What does one make of Green Book? The film has won major prizes from the National Board of Review and at the Toronto Film Festival, but feels like a certified crowd-pleaser straight out of 1967. In thatRead Full Review

the-favourite-movie

The Favourite

Yorgos Lanthimos is always aiming to unsettle. It’s impossible to guard against the ways in which he reflects the horrors of humanity upon the audience, and it speaks to his strength as a storyteller that you needRead Full Review

widows-movie

Widows

I’ll admit to confusion when I learned that Steve McQueen – a filmmaker whose choices in projects lean more toward the conceptual and abstract – was going to make Widows, an obvious genre piece. That confusionRead Full Review

creed-ii-movie

Creed II

Creed II retreads on familiar Rocky mythology in ways that Creed rewrote it. This sequel is an act of simple reconstruction, as opposed to the first film’s deconstruction. Not only do Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed and SylvesterRead Full Review

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At Eternity’s Gate

It’s fascinating to me that a director as distinct as Julian Schnabel always finds himself making biopics, one of cinemas most traditional genres. With At Eternity’s Gate, Schnabel tells the story of Vincent van Gogh, withRead Full Review

the-ballad-of-buster-scruggs-movie

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The tales within The Ballad of Buster Scruggs are collectively somber, though some certainly more than others. That the film comes from the Coen Brothers will always, on its own, make it more interesting, but toRead Full Review

shoplifters-movie

Shoplifters

Winning the Palme D’or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier in 2018 seemed like a crowning moment for internationally-renowned film director Hirokazu Kore-eda. His latest film, Shoplifters, won the top prize at the festival, but unlikeRead Full Review

boy-erased-movie

Boy Erased

The protagonist of Boy Erased leads an incredibly normal life. His father runs a Ford dealership in their Arkansas town, while his mother is a hairdresser. He succeeds in high school, plays on the basketball team,Read Full Review

bohemian-rhapsody-movie

Bohemian Rhapsody

I think one day we will get a documentary about the making Bohemian Rhapsody, a film that took nearly a decade to get made, went through a carousel of leading men and directors, was constantly pushedRead Full Review

the-other-side-of-the-wind-movie

The Other Side of the Wind

I’d imagine that most people who get around to The Other Side of the Wind – which is now available on Netflix – will wonder if this is a mess of a film, only hailed asRead Full Review

monrovia-indiana-movie

Monrovia, Indiana

The piercing of eyes of Frederick Wiseman take a look at a small town in America’s heartland in Monrovia, Indiana. As usual, Wiseman’s film has no talking heads, no narration, no guiding voice outside of Wiseman’sRead Full Review

wildlife-movie

Wildlife

Literature is littered with novels about white people betrayed by the post-war society. At a time when the American government was doing more than they ever had to invest in its people, lots of minorities fellRead Full Review

can-you-ever-forgive-me

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Why is it that we do not appreciate the talent of wonderful comedic performers until they’ve proven themselves of equal measure in dramatic roles? Why is funny seen as cheaper than morose or sentimental? IRead Full Review

burning-movie

Burning

The less you know about Burning is probably the better. The film is based on a Haruki Murakami short story, and the adaptation from Lee Chang-dong goes from a complicated love triangle to a boilerplate mysteryRead Full Review

beautiful-boy-movie

Beautiful Boy

The memoirs of David and Nic Sheff are the source material for the script of Beautiful Boy, a dreamy addiction narrative told from perspective of the addict and the addict’s father simultaneously. Director Felix Von GroeningenRead Full Review

first-man-movie

First Man

Neil Armstrong is a name so ingrained into American history that it distracts from the fact that he willingly avoided any opportunity to show an ounce of personality or charisma. He was an incredibly private,Read Full Review

the-old-man-and-the-gun-movie

The Old Man & the Gun

Robert Redford has been so famous and so great for so long that any movie that he makes these days is about the mythology of his stardom. The reason David Lowery’s latest film, The Old Man &Read Full Review

a-star-is-born-movie

A Star is Born

There’s a very specific kind of Hollywood epic melodrama that A Star is Born is conjuring, one that used to dominate theaters with its starpower and saccharine plot construction. It is, of course, the fourth versionRead Full Review

private-life-movie

Private Life

The families in Private Life – the first film from Tamara Jenkins since The Savages in 2007 – are disgruntled and argumentative, worn down by the familiarity of partnership. They have their reasons. In the case ofRead Full Review

monsters-and-men-movie

Monsters and Men

The three tales in Monsters and Men – the debut feature from up-and-coming filmmaker Reinaldo Marcus Green – weave into each other seamlessly, without mention or pause, without title cards to announce the shift. All threeRead Full Review

a-simple-favor-movie

A Simple Favor

The twisting plot of A Simple Favor is meant, I presume, to remind audiences of film noir. The severity of the characters and the fates that they meet certainly meet the criteria. But of course, thisRead Full Review

lizzie-movie

Lizzie

Whatever movie Lizzie wants to be, I’m not sure it really succeeds. It’s a murder mystery without much mystery, it’s a psychological thriller without an ounce of suspense. The film is based on the true storyRead Full Review