Max O'Connell

Freelance film critic/arts journalist. Bylines at, The Film Stage, Rapid City Journal, elsewhere.

Favorite films

  • Daisies
  • In the Cut
  • Certain Women
  • The Loneliest Planet

Recent activity

  • The Dead Zone


  • Videodrome


  • Scanners


  • The Brood


Recent reviews

  • Who'll Stop the Rain

    Who'll Stop the Rain


    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The seeds of every great Nick Nolte performance are in Who’ll Stop the Rain, Karel Reisz’s excellent adaptation of Robert Stone’s post-Vietnam War novel Dog Soldiers. Nolte, a talented actor who’d had a breakthrough with the miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man and had a hit film but a forgettable performance in The Deep, credits Reisz as the director who taught him how to be still, “to focus my attention on a visual spot, then transfer it to a single thought,”…

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Angel Has Fallen


    Spent this weekend catching up with Den of Thieves, undoubtedly one of the best uses of Gerard Butler (I generally find him dour and uninteresting), and rewatching The Prince of Tides, the film that nearly won Nick Nolte his Oscar and got him named People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive of 1992. What better way to cap things off than by watching the third entry in Butler's pedestrian, exasperatingly humorless X Has Fallen series, in which the "man's man that women…

Popular reviews

  • Incendies


    Incendies's story takes inspiration from a couple of famous tragic plays (one in particular, though saying which would be giving the film's risible climax away), but an important element in tragedy is that of choice – even in plays where fate plays a central role, it's the characters who have to choose to make their terrible decisions. Here, no one has enough inner-life to make them more than devices to deliver human anguish, which, judging by Denis Villeneuve's also-loathesome Prisoners,…

  • Jojo Rabbit

    Jojo Rabbit

    There is no way The Day the Clown Cried is worse than this.