Recent Reviews

 

Eve’s Bayou (1997)

Here is one that plays even better today, a rare African-American family ensemble drama set in the Southern Gothic 1960’s. Eve’s Bayou (1997) plunges into the Louisiana backwaters so vividly that immediately […]

 
 

Louder Than Bombs

This American character study and meditation on a family’s grief is by a skilled and thoughtful Norwegian filmmaker, but it doesn’t work. Louder Than Bombs opens on false notes […]

 
 

Twenty-five Netflix Films for Spring 2016

It took a lot of video rentals, but I’ve finally caught up with some of the most essential titles of 2015. With family obligations, i.e., parenting two kids, I was taken away from covering […]

 
 

Batman v Superman

Smorgasbord of comic book elements, done with rapid-fire cutting, in search of a story. Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice is another one of those mass consumer blockbusters made of go-nowhere […]

 
 

Spotlight

There is one seminal newspaper movie and this is it. True, I wanted more from it, but that’s only because it is such a strong picture I wanted it to risk more at the end. When Spotlight is very good, however, it’s so powerful that time stands […]

 
 

The Verdict (1982)

Read it here, this is the all-time best courtroom drama ever made. The Verdict (1982) is from the autumn part of Paul Newman’s career […]

 
 

The Band Wagon (1953)

“Singin’ in the Rain” is supposed to be my all-time favorite musical, and everybody else’s too, but after awhile I knew it by heart so well I was happy to stumble upon a new favorite. The Band Wagon (1953) a dozen viewings later is […]

 
 

Hail, Caesar!

There’s one guarantee in life and that’s a Coen Bros. film, even if it opens in February away from Oscar season. Hail, Caesar! is a behind the scenes spoof of the 1950’s golden age of Hollywood […]

 
 

Knight of Cups

An experimental dud. Knight of Cups is really out there, but it gets uninteresting quick. I confess to have been gripped by the first ten minutes, which is a montage of free association images […]

 
 

Best Films of 2015

I truly love these films […]

 
 

The Revenant

This grueling experience is elevated by its visual achievements. The Revenant is practically a fantasy of mine as a boy on how I would shoot a dirty […]

 
 

The Big Short

Improbable director Adam McKay (of Will Ferrell comedies) doesn’t need a bail-out, he has undisputedly done a great job. The Big Short goes back […]