Film Reviews

Latest Reviews

  • Cities, like young people, are forever becoming something new. The latest tender charmer from Ira Sachs chronicles the growing pains of teens and Brooklyn with the wry sensitivity and eye for economic reality that distinguished Sachs' Love Is...

  • The attempt to reconcile the personal with the political has been the great theme of Nanni Moretti’s cinema, as it was for many of the legendary Italian directors before him. In Mia Madre, it finds one of its more vivid examinations. The film’s...

  • Nepotism is occasionally a positive, and not just for the direct beneficiary. Ridley Scott gave us Alien, with heroine Ripley and a memorable cast of ne’er-do-wells and villains with defined personalities. And now Scott’s son, Luke, who’s been...

  • Tension and release is the driving principle of a tearjerker, where every good fortune is countered by something worse. And as dismissive as critics often are of the genre, it’s actually quite difficult for a director to make people cry en masse...

  • Liberals get a romance for the ages in Michelle and Barack with Richard Tanne's directorial debut, Southside With You, which recounts the First Couple's first date in the manner of a Before Sunset that's been cleaned up and sent to Sunday...

  • Barbara Kopple's Miss Sharon Jones! tells the kind of true story that makes you want to kick creation itself square in the crotch. Here's that firecracker soul singer, nearing her 60s, her boogie still majestic, her band still a tight retro...

  • Chad Hartigan's lighthearted drama Morris From America offers something rare: Its two central African-American characters are fully yet subtly drawn. They interact with one another in ways that feel genuine, the actors portraying a...

  • Natalie Portman proves herself a filmmaker of intelligence, ambition and inventiveness in her debut as a director and writer -- just not one who is always certain as a storyteller. A Tale of Love and Darkness adapts, with a passionate...

  • Clea DuVall's debut feature, The Intervention, is one of a mighty handful of indies to eschew the star system for an ensemble cast, placing up-and-coming actors often relegated to supporting roles into the shared lead spot. She's written...

  • The breakthrough with studio horror films in recent years, since the found-footage boom, is a welcome environmental immersiveness. It's a testament to the craft of production designers and camera operators that the movies now so persuasively show...

  • Robert De Niro -- the Raging Bull himself, now aged from boxer to trainer -- is introduced in Hands of Stone bathed in Madison Square Garden's overhead spotlights, more the image of a reigning champ than the promising fighter whose...

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