Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Previously reviewed at the Film Experience Many directors have had great years, in which they’ve released two (or more!) tremendously good films that demonstrate the breadth of their skills. But very, very few directors have ever had a years like Yuasa Masaaki had in 2017. This was the year that the animation genius, whose work […]

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 […]

Previously reviewed at the Film Experience Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a joyful, celebratory movie. I cannot name another superhero movie in the 40 years since Superman invented the modern version of the genre that has so perfectly captured the free-floating, whiz-bang, everything-is-possible delight of comic books. This is the movie version of a child […]

It’s reckless as hell to say, after the man has made a grand total of two feature films separated by eight years, that Panos Cosmatos is one of my favorite active filmmakers. It’s reckless to assume he even is active in any meaningful sense, or that his two extant films will be joined by a […]

In the short period of time that Mission: Impossible – Fallout has existed out in the world, the claim “it’s the best action film since Mad Max: Fury Road” has gone from being a fun bit of hype-raising and a useful comparison to a lifeless clichΓ© to a symptom of unmitigated critical groupthink, and yet […]

Whatever else we can say about it, 24 Frames sure as hell is different. The final film by the late master director Abbas Kiarostami (it premiered a little under a year after his death) would already have my affection just for being such a swerve, albeit a totally in-character swerve. After briefly leaving Iran to […]

I speak from personal experience in stating that being hypnotised is nothing like it’s presented in pop culture (this is going someplace, I promise). It’s not at all about blacking out and waking up without realising time has passed, but also now you’re wearing a hat made out of your pants. It’s more like… you’re […]

In the first decade of the 21st Century, Argentine director Lucrecia Martel made three feature films and instantaneously became one of the most important and exciting voices in international cinema: first came 2001’s La CiΓ©naga, then 2004’s The Holy Girl, then 2008’s The Headless Woman, and then silence. Not calculated silence; just one of those […]

Screened at the 20th Wisconsin Film Festival. Be forewarned: I don’t think it’s possible to discuss this film without sounding like a pretentious ass, and anyway, I wasn’t trying not to. Both in person and online, I have encountered the criticism-or-maybe-it’s-just-an-observation that if you don’t know what The Green Fog is doing before you see […]

Annihilation feels like it might be the most Alex Garland thing that Alex Garland has written. The writer’s sixth screenplay – the second that he has directed – is the embodiment of all his most characteristic traits: it is far more interested in ideas than characters, it’s infatuated with the scientific processes at the heart […]

There is absolutely no reason for the wonderful 2015 short World of Tomorrow to have needed a sequel. But we got one, and it is equally wonderful. World of Tomorrow, Episode Two: The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts is a fucking miracle: it manages to succeed entirely as a follow-up to World of Tomorrow while […]

I cannot tell you about the moments in Faces Places that brought me the most happiness. This is partially because those moments are clustered in the film’s last 30 minutes, and they are far too wonderful in their little surprises for me to dare spoil them. This is partially, also, because they are so pure […]