Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

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: after an eleven-year break, Ocean’s Eight revives the finest heist movie franchise in all of cinema. The perfect opportunity […]

It had to happen eventually: Steven Soderbergh has at last made a film that I just don’t like at all. Unsane, the director’s second film in his un-retirement, following the lanky heist film Logan Lucky, is the latest in the proud tradition of Full Frontal, Bubble, and The Girlfriend Experience: a film made to be as […]

For his inevitable return to feature filmmaking after the busiest retirement in the history of the entertainment industry, Steven Soderbergh has looked backwards, kind of. He’s never made a film exactly like Logan Lucky (a failed attempt at creating a new commercial opening for creator-driven mid-budget films, but otherwise one of the most effortless triumphs […]

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: Money Monster is a very sober crime thriller about fiscal malfeasance starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. I would […]

There are two ways to primarily think about Erin Brockovich, I believe: one is that it is among the most conventional films in the career of director Steven Soderbergh, which isn’t to say that it’s really so conventional as all that, but coming sandwiched in his career smack-dab in between The Limey and Traffic, it […]

And so, what kind of a career-defining statement is the last feature-length movie to be directed by Steven Soderbergh, until he changes his mind and starts making them again? None whatsoever, thankfully. The thought of the curtly unconventional Soderbergh making a pat “this is my theory of everything, good night” gesture is anathema to his […]

The unfortunately loaded baggage that Side Effects carries with it, something it does not deserve but has to deal with anyway, is the question, “if this actually ends up being Steven Soderbergh’s last theatrically-released feature film, does it make a suitable cap to his career?” Like any pointless rhetorical question, the answer is both “yes” […]

Every Sunday 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: Oliver Stone’s Savages finds a filmmaker who was once a great stylist hunting for meaning in his career by […]

Of all the questions I hoped to have answered by a movie this summer, the one that’s been bothering me the most, for the longest time, is what on earth compelled Steven Soderbergh to direct Magic Mike. The parsimonious answer is that Channing Tatum told the director all about his life as a young stripper, […]

Steven Soderbergh has, for a while now, been conducting experiments and going through exercises, more than he’s been making actual, functioning movies. Some of us find this unbearably exciting, and some of us are turned off by it. I find it unbearably exciting, and that’s why I loved the living hell out of Haywire (a […]

Over the years, director Steven Soderbergh has established himself as something of a chameleon: social dramas, biopics, epics, caper films, action movies, satire of the political and non-political varieties, he’s done them all, always with a stylistic flourish on the material that could come from no other filmmaker, and to my mind, he’s done them […]

“Fucking movies! Fucking overpaid, fucking unhappy childhood fuckers, fucking movie fucking fuckers.” -Lee Bright (Catherine Keener) If you share with me a healthy love for a certain kind of artistic indiscipline – a willingness to give a hearty “piss off!” to the money-men and the more lackadaisical bourgeois members of the receiving public, in favor […]