Nightcrawler makes a scintillating roadshow out of the modern media circus

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 

The best films are often a product of the age in which they were made (interesting word that, “product”).

Without the post-‘Nam disillusionment of the mid-‘70s, no Taxi Driver. Without the on-air suicide of TV news reporter Christine Chubbuck the same year, no Network.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a confectionary treat

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 

Whether you love him, hate him, or are simply indifferent, you have to admit that Wes Anderson is a unique director.

More so than any other filmmaker at work today, he has a personal style to which he is beholden.…

Dallas Buyers Club is a life-affirming tonic of a film

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

If ever there was a film that just may have conceived to mint Oscars, Dallas Buyers Club might be it.

It concerns the exploits of a homophobic cowboy, Ron Woodroof, who contracts AIDS and pairs up with trans woman, Rayon, to begins selling unapproved drugs to the Dallas gay community.…

Nebraska: an emotionally resonant father-son road trip

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

A meditative, black-and-white exploration about growing up, growing old, and accepting life’s defeats.

Middle-of-the-road bachelor David Grant (Will Forte) takes his indolent, cantankerous father, Woody (Bruce Dern), on a road trip to collect on a junk-mail flyer for a million dollars.…

Flight is a film trip well worth the making

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Robert Zemeckis’ Flight is the most character-driven film of this year’s Academy Award contenders, which is impressive given the broad and eclectic range of performances on display.

Spielberg’s Lincoln is just as much about slavery and the passing of the 13th Amendment as it is the title character, though Daniel Day Lewis brings much-needed subtlety to the role in a film that might otherwise seem overly celebratory given the issues on display.

Django Unchained lets Tarantino loose with a bloody tale of race and revenge in antebellum America

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Is there a more outwardly exciting director at work today than Quentin Tarantino?

It’s been three years since the release of Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino’s revisionist history cum Spaghetti Western account of Nazi killers and vengeful Jews in occupied France, and a further fifteen since he arguably created a whole new type of cinema with Pulp Fiction.…

Life of Pi (or, Piscine’s Wager) is a minor miracle of cinema

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 

The first time that Ang Lee’s Life of Pi truly seized my attention, it’s protagonist was skittering across the wind and rain-swept of cargo freighter, shouting to the turbulent heavens like some underage, subaltern Lear.

However, what Piscine Molitor Patel – named for a Parisian swimming pool – sees as God putting on a show is nevertheless deadly: we watch as, on the cargo deck below, we an unknown, faceless sailor is swept overboard by the invading sea.…

Argo is Alan J. Pakula without the bite

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

The newest film by Chasing Amy* star Ben Affleck is notable for many reasons, not least in that it has broken the director’s run of continuous 94%s on Rotten Tomatoes.

Whether it is an objectively better film that either Gone Baby Gone or The Town is open to debate.…

The Master is a meditation on faith, sex, and the duality of man

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 

The Master is a difficult film to unreservedly love.

For one thing, it’s a far trickier beast than Paul Thomas Anderson’s previous world-beater, the relentless and aptly titled There Will Be Blood. There are no oil-rig explosions, no dairy beverage related analogies, though the film is certainly closer to it’s immediate predecessor in style, tone, and content than any other PTA’s directed.…