My Man Godfrey (1936)
Arguably the best of these reliably eat-the-rich films...the film's satirical edge emerges from its pillorying of the propertied classes and the empty promise of economic recovery.
Posted Jun 19, 2020
Corinne's inconsistencies play out in a film that abounds with them, tensions and discrepancies that likely reflect the conflicting visions of its makers but that take nothing away from the movie's feral vigor.
Posted Jun 19, 2020
The rare movie that intelligently and compassionately honors the push-pull dynamic between two young women, a pair of Brooklynites whose tight bond began when they were children but is starting to fray.
Posted May 22, 2020
Observing the figure of Crusoe in the round, Buñuel finds the prismatic reflections of all manner of hermits, cranks, and holy fools.
Posted May 8, 2020
My Favorite Season-Deneuve's third film with director André Téchiné, and which he cowrote expressly for her-gives the actress one of the richest, most equitable relationships she's ever shared with a male co-lead.
Posted Apr 24, 2020
The Clock (1945)
Like all the best melodramas, it shows us how society is set up to keep our hopelessly ambiguous interior worlds in check. But all you have to do is look at Garland to feel that racing pulse beneath the skin...she knew that love is anxiety.
Posted Apr 10, 2020
The Conversation (1974)
The coldest, most alienated Hollywood film from an era of suspicion and anxiety, a time in American life when we realized that ordinary discourse had to be decoded, that the unseen forces controlling our lives were sinister, and knowledge was fragmentary.
Posted Mar 23, 2020
Refusing to grandstand, Hittman has made a vital film about the perils of female adolescence in a country rank with hypocrisy, hysteria, and worse about sexually active young women.
Posted Mar 13, 2020
Vitalina Varela (2020)
Vitalina Varela, for all the psychic and economic devastation it depicts, is beautiful to the point of being ravishing.
Posted Feb 21, 2020
Schanelec creates a subdued, cryptic domestic drama-one denuded of the histrionics typically associated with the genre but one that nevertheless gives a real sense, if only in glimpses, of the burdens and joys of this Schöneberg household.
Posted Feb 14, 2020
Cane River (2020)
What Jenkins is after in his 1982 film is a granular, micro regionalism, one that's measured in acres, surnames, and property lines...the film is filled with the pleasures of specificity.
Posted Feb 7, 2020
New York, New York (1977)
The look and sound of 'New York, New York' may rapturously bring to mind any number of postwar MGM marvels. But its mood suggests outtakes from a scorching psychodrama, rushes from a documentary of a couple imploding.
Posted Jan 31, 2020
Beanpole (Dylda) (2020)
Balagov, in thrall to the debased visual motifs of depicting agony, ends up banalizing the women and the era he wishes to honor.
Posted Jan 24, 2020
Little Women (2019)
Vital, bodied performances further the sense of characters who will exercise their will not on the hidden hills to which "independent" women are typically consigned but in the world, who will pass into womanhood not just still living but alive.
Posted Jan 13, 2020
Little Joe (2019)
Just as the formal and technical aspects of Little Joe ensure its consistent mystery and surprise, so too does the film's genre fluidity guarantee that no one theme is overinvested with meaning.
Posted Dec 13, 2019
If the film lurches at times with schematic dudgeon-devolving into a checklist of coolly outraged points to be made-it also gloriously blooms as a tale of lesbian ardor.
Posted Dec 6, 2019
Susan Sontag's first film begins with the sound of repeated knocking or hammering...Sontag knocks on cinema's door: she wants to spank cinema but also to be granted admission to its fecundating chamber.
Posted Nov 22, 2019
Diop's film, her first feature, isn't only one thing or beholden to a sole genre. Nested within this tale of the reanimated dead is a mythic romance and a coldly furious allegory about the migrant crisis.
Posted Nov 15, 2019
The Irishman (2019)
This opera seria about decay is handled with utmost brio, vivified by the signature élan of one of American cinema's most enduring big-canvas filmmakers.
Posted Nov 8, 2019
Marriage Story (2019)
I felt that I was watching "acting"- since his protagonists are show people, Baumbach has allowed them more theatricality, thus risking the naturalism he wanted to portray.
Posted Nov 1, 2019
Synonyms (Synonymes) (2019)
Mercier, who appears in nearly every scene, is a consistently galvanic presence.
Posted Oct 25, 2019
Downtown 81 (2001)
Viewers of 'Downtown 81' become de facto archaeologists. We peer into long-since-shuttered clubs, and gaze at rubble-filled lower Manhattan blocks where a Whole Foods or Capital One bank may now stand.
Posted Oct 18, 2019
A film that takes on the nigh-impossible task of smuggling transgressive underground danger into a contemporary, risk-averse multiplex tentpole package.
Posted Oct 11, 2019
Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019)
At the core of this film is an us-vs-them solidarity that makes even its most contrived narrative payoffs reverberate with emotional authenticity.
Posted Oct 4, 2019
The profound melancholy that suffuses the film results from two artists contending with their senescence, with their prolific careers and their attendant triumphs and misfires.
Posted Sep 27, 2019
Ad Astra (2019)
The film's Latin title means "to the stars." But the satisfactions of James Gray's project lie in a special branch of astronomy-not the study of planets, but of the supernova at the center of "Ad Astra": Brad Pitt.
Posted Sep 27, 2019
A Bigger Splash (1974)
One of its primary pleasures, perhaps even more so with the passing of time, is the intimate peephole it provides into the private lives of now-historical art-world figures.
Posted Jun 28, 2019
Booksmart too often seems dutiful and assiduous, as if its makers had simply followed a manual listing the proper, righteous bromides for the characters to speak. In this time-condensed rumspringa, nothing offensive, troubling, or surprising happens.
Posted May 24, 2019
Bioethics, offshore banking, the surveillance state, celebrity in the age of social media, the politics of immigration-Diamantino is, through its expansive menagerie of subjects as well as its formal maneuvers, a relentlessly contemporary work of art.
Posted May 20, 2019
The pleasures of Asako I & II lie in witnessing the keen understanding evinced by Hamaguchi and his cast of how genuine emotions in romantic dyads are expressed or, just as often, concealed.
Posted May 10, 2019
Non-Fiction (Doubles vies) (2019)
Assayas is interested in seeing how these characters paddle along with (or against) the currents of the oceanic, macro-scale culture market-but also how their micro-scale market of sex and sentiment creates its own little ripples within that ocean.
Posted May 3, 2019
Queen of Diamonds (2019)
In Queen of Diamonds, Menkes offers a trance-inducing tour of an overdeveloped city-a stand-in for our overdeveloped country-by fixing her camera precisely on the castoffs of conspicuous consumption.
Posted Apr 26, 2019
Her Smell (2019)
Movies about self-destructing rock stars, whether based on real idols or centering on wholly invented characters, are often hackneyed. But Perry's pulsating, quicksilver film, boosted by Moss's jagged magnetism, vivifies the genre.
Posted Apr 19, 2019
High Life (2019)
Sometimes absurd but always absorbing, Claire Denis's sci-fi adventure begins with a bit of baby talk. "Da-da," cosmonaut Monte coos to his infant daughter during their celestial voyage. It's an apt prelude for a film that drifts off into Dadaism.
Posted Apr 12, 2019
Peele seems to lay bare the tremendous anxiety among the members of this family to maintain "respectability," that odious burden so essential to racism's armature.
Posted Mar 29, 2019
Ash Is Purest White (2019)
Ash becomes Jia's most resonant work in at least a decade, a film in which the warring impulses within a single character cut through the noise of big themes and national metaphors.
Posted Mar 15, 2019
Gloria Bell (2019)
For "Gloria" fans, "Gloria Bell" is a confounding watch, a bit like that dream where your dad is your dad but also Brad Pitt.
Posted Mar 8, 2019
Ultimately the movie, with its gimcrack period pageantry, cannot escape its essential conundrum: that it is subordinate, inferior to the still images that festoon it.
Posted Mar 1, 2019
The shape of Transit becomes close to that of a double helix, in which the convoluted managerial processes of immigration become intertwined in the recursive patterns of desire.
Posted Feb 22, 2019
Sorry Angel concerns several dynamic topics, namely intergenerational romance and love among men during the height of the AIDS pandemic. Yet it rarely plays like a film about churning, ungovernable life. It is instead a precious, inert gloss on lifestyle.
Posted Feb 15, 2019
Each character an outsider in some way-Simon owing to his age, Song to her nationality-the child and his minder form a tender dyad, one marked by reciprocated respect and curiosity.
Posted Jan 25, 2019
This is a graceless work. That gracelessness feels like a spiritual resource, a kind of optimism of the will.
Posted Jan 25, 2019
Now, humor is a fickle and subjective thing, but for the record, I laughed aloud exactly once while watching Vice...More often the film is only embarrassing in its flinging about for novelty.
Posted Jan 4, 2019
Everywhere strain is evident. Kidman and the filmmakers are unremitting in their determination to show us the effort required to portray such a dejected, dehydrated antiheroine, a role atypical of the A-lister.
Posted Dec 14, 2018
Amazing Grace (2019)
Although the voice of Aretha Franklin, however incomparable, may be familiar to us, it's rare to witness the sheer physical and mental exertion required to create that glorious sound.
Posted Dec 7, 2018
If Beale Street Could Talk (2019)
We're constantly reminded of what so many movies revolving around themes of oppression fail to acknowledge: that even under threat, love can still feel like love-which is to say, like a state of rapture.
Posted Nov 30, 2018
Deliberately, alluringly unstable and destabilizing, 'The Wild Boys' is made even more turbulent by its superabundance of references and inspirations.
Posted Nov 16, 2018
Burning (Beoning) (2018)
It's a pity that a work so precisely constructed as Burning too often devolves into yet another male-insecurity movie...dwelling intently on male pathology at the level of character psychology and signposting its connections to the problems of the day.
Posted Oct 26, 2018
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)
An echt New York eccentric, Lee Israel onscreen has been remolded into a generically grumpy outcast, one whose miseries seem to stem from that catch-all etiology, "trust issues."
Posted Oct 19, 2018
First Man (2018)