REVIEW: The Beguiled (2017) replaces melodrama with subtle, sultry power play

4 Stars (4 / 5)
We open on black, as we know all important films must.1

When we fade in, it’s on a little girl in a checked skirt, wandering beneath the hanging moss of a long dark tunnel of oak trees.…

20th Century Women: sun-dappled reflections on ’70s history; both personal and cultural

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The surrogate bunch in Mike Mills’ latest, 20th Century Women, is certainly unique; if not quite unhappy.

It’s tough being a kid: discovering your sense of self, your place in the world.…

Live By Night sits comfortably, if undistinguishedly, between polish and pulp

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)


Live By Night is a “lavish gangster epic” of the sort in which Hollywood used to specialize.

A throwback in more ways than one, it’s also an old-fashioned star vehicle for its director Ben Affleck.

Based on a novel by Dennis Lehane (as was Affleck’s directorial debut), Live By Night sees the Boston native back on home turf — albeit a century out of time— as Joe Coughlin, a smooth stick-up artist who returns to America after the Great War.…

There’s more to The Neon Demon than meets the eye

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)


Like its predecessor, Only God Forgives, Danish director Nicholas Winding Refn’s latest, The Neon Demon, was also booed at Cannes. Unlike its predecessor, only the film’s final third might merit any such reaction.

The film starts as a glossy, lurid scrutiny of beauty and what it elicits.

Trumbo is a barnstorming triumph of cinematic liberalism

4 Stars (4 / 5)


From Sunset Boulevard to Argo, Hollywood has always been in the business of self-mythologizing.

It’s not often, though, that the industry takes its licks for the mistakes it’s made along the way.

Writ large among them is, of course, the blacklist, which saw scores of talented, Left-leaning film-makers left out in the cold as the paranoia surrounding Communism reached fever pitch.…