Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Intermittently this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. Last week: there are many ways we could plausibly describe Midsommar, one of them being to call it a psychodrama about the […]

In space, maybe, nobody can hear you scream, but in High Life, space is marked out primarily by the thick omnipresence of sounds. The lucky 13th feature film by director Claire Denis – and her first in English, a leap she navigates with a force and confidence that equals any other great director’s forays into […]

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: Disney revives the evergreen “Arabian Nights adventure” genre with their new remake of Aladdin. The studio’s original 1992 version […]

With John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski and his team at 87Eleven Productions have achieved one of the rarest and most impressive feats in Hollywood filmmaking: they’ve made a trilogy (for now) in which every film has improved upon the one preceding. And 2014’s John Wick wasn’t any kind of low bar […]

Peterloo is, in essence, what happens when Mike Leigh makes a Ken Loach film, and it’s also a costume drama. If you are anything like me, you have already perhaps decided that it is clearly the best movie of the 2010. In which case, I am sorry to have to splash some cold water on […]

The question that must be answered by a movie titled Arctic, and I daresay the only question: does it seem to be extremely cold? And this is something that the 2018 Icelandic thriller of that very title can answer with an emphatic yes. The cinematography, by Tómas Örn Tómasson, is sublimely severe and unyielding, capturing […]

Nine years ago, How to Train Your Dragon became the first film to demonstrate that DreamWorks Animation could be more than The House That Shrek Built; the first film to eschew the lazy pop culture references, music cues and shticky jokes based on celebrity personae and just go out and make a rich-looking, emotionally resonant […]

Want another opinion? Check out Conrado’s thoughts on the film! Every movie, even if just by accident, starts out by telling us how to watch it. Roma, the eighth feature film directed by Alfonso Cuarón (who also takes solo screenwriting credit), just happens to be unusually great at doing this. The film’s exemplary opening shot […]

No film could possibly earn such a monumental title as Cold War, and at 89 minutes, the new Polish film going by that title (or, anyway, that title in Polish) is hardly monumental besides. But that’s okay, it’s a masterpiece anyway, the best film yet made by director/co-writer Paweł Pawlikowski. And with his last film […]

Want another opinion? Check out Conrado’s thoughts on the film! I have not read James Baldwin’s 1974 novel If Beale Street Could Talk, so I cannot say if the new film adaptation written and directed by Barry Jenkins is especially respectful (it’s the first English-language feature film taken from Baldwin’s works). I can certainly say […]

Want another opinion? Check out Conrado’s thoughts on the film! A movie about the love life of a British monarch, released during the last six weeks of the calendar year, directed by an Oscar-nominated screenwriter who also has a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee to his credit, starring in the three roles a trio […]

Want another opinion? Check out Conrado’s thoughts on the film! Joel and Ethan Coen have, in their long career as the most interesting and probably best American-born filmmakers alive, dabbled in damn near every genre that a filmmakers in the last 30 years could possibly get away with dabbling in, but in some way it […]