Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

When one of the greatest working directors of actors and one of the greatest working actors collaborate on their first film together, it is extremely easy to get one’s expectations all riled up. And this much at least can’t be denied about Where’d You Go, Bernadette: Cate Blanchett (for she is the actor) is splendid, […]

As a rule, I try very hard not to write film reviews of the “consumer report” style, but sometimes it’s important to look a potential ticket-buyer square in the eye, grab them firmly by the shoulders, and state clearly and urgently, “it’s important that you know this”. And there is something that it’s important for […]

It’s fun, kind of, to finally catch up with a major talking point movie after it’s been out awhile, and to have seen its reception shift around a bit. With >Boyhood, we’ve seen the initial near-religious rapture of its Sundance reviews give way, bit by bit, to a backlash, and now we’re far enough along […]

Sometimes, artistic genius sneaks up on you before it clocks you upside the head, and that is exactly what happened to me about one-third of the way through Before Midnight For whatever reason, the third installment of the every-nine-years study of evolving romantic feelings and the different ways that men and women view the world […]

The filmmaking and storytelling in 2004’s Before Sunset are so simple as to be almost crude: two characters meet in the first scene, and in 76 almost flawless real-time minutes (I had remembered there being a couple cheats between locations, but if there’s more than a few seconds dropped here or there, I did not […]

I was all set to open up with a little historical primer about how in the mid-’90s, director Richard Linklater, and actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke had various things to prove, that they could be more than Gen X chroniclers in the men’s case, and Euroart sexpots in Delpy’s. But movies like Before Sunrise […]

If I were to claim of Bernie, that it is Richard Linklater’s best film since Before Sunset – and that is exactly what I do claim – I haven’t really told you much of anything about it. “Better than the well-intentioned but dramatically arid Fast Food Nation? Better than the poundingly unnecessary remake of Bad […]

There are a few directors who make dull, even insipid movies much too often for it to be a “surprise”, but I’m heartbroken every time it happens anyway. One of the kings of this tendency is Richard Linklater, who made the stunning dyad of romantic dramas Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, as well as the […]

I almost couldn’t bring myself to review Fast Food Nation at all, for not only is it nearly at the end of its tenure in America’s art theatres, it’s just plain mediocre, and mediocre movies are hard to write about and boring to read about. But it’s also a movie by Richard Linklater who I […]

In the early 1990’s, Richard Linklater wrote and directed two films – Slacker and Dazed and Confused – that were masterpieces of laid-back, plotless observation. As suggested by their titles, these are films about just kind of being; hanging around, doing nothing, and talking a lot about what’s on your mind but saying very little. […]