Sicario is a moody, sun-bleached thriller set south of the border

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Somewhere between the Wild West and Iraq lies Juarez, Mexico.

A brightly colored urban sprawl with a population of just over 1.3 million, in 2008 its murder rate was the highest in the world: 130 per 100,000. According to Sicario, the latest film from director Denis Villeneuve, it’s a city where mutilated corpses hang from overpasses, a warning from the cartels.…

Escobar: Paradise Lost thrives in the shadow of The Godfather

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

A feared and beloved crime family patriarch relaxes on a compound surrounded by loved ones, there to celebrate a special occasion. There’s music, and one of the clan has brought along their significant other.

So far so The Godfather, though the setting of Esobar: Paradise Lost is more akin to the film’s 1974 sequel, the isolated townships, dirt roads, and tropical forests of Colombia.…

Inherent Vice is stoner noir par excellence

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 

From aspiring porn stars in the sun-drenched ‘70s to megalomaniacal, turn-of-the-century oil barons, Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the most uniquely identifiable directors currently working in cinema.

His projects range enormously in topic and scope; all that connects his work is a handful of recurring themes and a certain visual acuity that marks him as a director.…

Guardians of the Galaxy could be a brave new world for Marvel

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Having come to define the superhero genre, after nine films and six years, Marvel has finally dared to go a little weird.

While there’s a definite built-in audience for the likes of Iron Man and Captain America, the Guardians of the Galaxy are relative unknowns.…