• The Killer

    The Killer


    Following the propulsively, efficiently jarring opening credits, David Fincher greets us with an opening shot captured with more unsteady than usual camerawork for the filmmaker. That Fincher implements this rather atypical (for him) visual motif fairly consistently throughout THE KILLER is congruous with the arc of the obsessive assassin of the story. This stylistic choice clues us into the idea that--for better or worse and however intentionally or not--this film is not going to be as, you know the word,…

  • Anatomy of a Fall

    Anatomy of a Fall


    Involved and methodical in every facet of its storytelling and in Justine Trier's blending multiple ideas and sub-genres into a smooth and engaging 2.5 hours. This film approaches every angle of the plot with clarity and empathy, an intimate balance of the procedure and the emotional details that enrich Trier's and Arthur Harari's screenplay, and Simon Beaufils's camerawork that encourages us to see the specific details and the bigger picture just about all at once. We're left thinking about the…

  • Lynch/Oz


    LYNCH/OZ isn't the film I was anxious it would be, which might have relied too heavily on explanation that would have ultimately softened the mystique behind David Lynch's work and THE WIZARD OF OZ. The contributors here are more concerned about the emotional experiences they had with Lynch and OZ; unique takes that stand on their own but are structured by Alexandre O. Philippe to be in conversation with one-another. It's, well, pretty dreamlike to hear each contributor express how…

  • The Color of Money

    The Color of Money


    In Robert Rossen's THE HUSTLER, pool is a supplement to the characters. Eddie Felson's methodologies only on the surface level deal with the game, but it's just a front for how Eddie approaches and reckons with his own self-worth.

    Whether it be intentional, THE COLOR OF MONEY is almost all about pool, with the characters secondary. This legacy sequel is the ostensibly more "exciting" sports film rather than the nuanced drama of its predecessor. In a story that seems to…

  • Killers of the Flower Moon

    Killers of the Flower Moon


    Early in WHO'S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR, which I finally watched for the first time front-to-back right before seeing this, Harvey Keitel's and Zina Bethune's characters strike conversation about film magazines and Westerns (John Wayne specifically).

    The Girl: "I'm not used to admitting I like Westerns."
    J.R.: "Oh yeah, why not, huh? Everybody should like Westerns. Would solve everybody's problems if they liked Westerns."

    How poignant a bookend (for now) for Scorsese's filmography, then, that KILLERS OF THE FLOWER…

  • Once Upon a Studio

    Once Upon a Studio

    There’s more care and craft put into this nine-minute short than much of anything Disney has produced in the past few years. This could have been a bit of shameless (if well-made and harmless) brand hagiography coming off of (and distracting from) what hasn’t been a particularly rosy anniversary for its studio. Instead, it is a loving tribute to the years of animation storytelling and its endearing characters, created with infectious joy and heart. The animation is of course seamless…

  • Limbo



    LIMBO is stark and uncompromising yet hollow and redundant.

    It wears its influences on its sleeve, with a plot drawing heavily from THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and David Fincher films as well as the technical precision recalling the likes of Park Chan-wook. It's the technicalities that are the most rewarding; Soi Cheang crafts some astonishingly visceral sequences amidst a sharp black and white landscape. Cheng Siu-Keung's cinematography strikes the perfect symmetry between film noir aesthetics and neo-noir sensibilities and…

  • The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

    The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar


    Wes Anderson picks the right material to continue a later-career exploration of the very mechanics of storytelling, peeling back equally how stories are created, told, and received. Like ASTEROID CITY, HENRY SUGAR is a film about storytelling being the sum of its parts as well as those individual parts; unlike Anderson's earlier film from this year, which called attention to its layered design, this Roald Dahl adaptation smoothly flows from one perspective into another and back again, told through cleverly…

  • Sweet Movie

    Sweet Movie


    Makes a few scenes in Salo seem normal by comparison.

  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse


    I see ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE in part as a response to the exhausted dominance of superhero films and the trends established post-INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE. This film acknowledges what superhero films have come to be about--superbeings, who feel less and less like extraordinary people, using their might and will to maintain and reinforce the status quo--while embracing what they should be about--the thoughtfulness of these people, who ultimately feel and are human, grappling with their extraordinary circumstances and unfathomable responsibilities.

    ACROSS isn't…

  • Elemental



    This is the rare Pixar film that's worthwhile strictly—and almost exclusively—for its visual invention; this film is simply gorgeous to look at and is limitless in its physical world building. There is the simple joy of seeing its characters simply stick out among this world, and it's always fun seeing the clever ways these characters come to interact with this environment. This might have been a masterpiece if it took its queues from WALL-E's first third and simply let the…

  • Stop Making Sense

    Stop Making Sense


    It's still miraculous to me just how much STOP MAKING SENSE heightens the art of the concert film, and the art of filmmaking as a whole, into another language. The concert itself tells a story all on its own not just through Taking Heads's dynamic performance but through the entire show's shape and structure; from the gradual momentum of David Byrne's quirky "Psycho Killer" solo performance and each band member joining him song-by-song as the crew continues setting up the…