Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven arrived at a time when audiences were slowly saying goodbye to classic and revisionist Westerns in favor of high-octane blockbusters driven by special effects. This makes it a perfect candidate to nail […]
When I think about westerns, I think about iconography: lone gunman, vistas, a lot of strong silent types. What I don’t think of are men dreaming of opening stores, Utopian ideals, and fraternal bonds of […]
There are few sounds as important to the American iconography as the engine rumble of a powerful car. It’s the aural equivalent of an open stretch of road anywhere but here; a powerful, mechanized decedent […]
After two intimately-scaled, white-knuckled Americana thrillers (Blue Ruin and Green Room), director Jeremy Saulnier decides to stretch his abilities as a storyteller by unwinding his tightly threaded grotesqueries, opting instead for a sprawling and, comparatively, […]
Editor’s Note: As we bring Horsepower Month to a close, we turn our eyes to October, to what we’re calling #FearEra, and, ultimately, to Halloween. Thus the team is frothing at the mouth, Cujo style, […]
For any young Koreans learning the national history in Korea, Goguryeo holds a special place. The northern country (modern day North Korea and parts of Manchuria) of the Three Kingdoms period in ancient Korean history […]
‘sert la bonne cause et meurt’ (serve the good cause and die) Despite being adapted from a 19th century novella, Beau Travail is an incredibly cinematic work that explores questions of memory, identity, and sexuality, […]
Everything you need to know about Little Italy is in the poster. It went viral this year, perfectly attuned to the internet’s beige fixation on the ordinary. It shows an uncomfortable Hayden Christensen, flummoxed by […]
Light spoilers for the entire series, followed by a spoiler section with a little more detail on some particulars. Netflix is now putting out an absurd amount of content at an unfathomable rate. Every single […]
Film Frame Friday is a regular series where one of our contributors will pick a film and highlight its unique cinematic style, from cinematography to mise-en-scene and editing. It is a great way to not […]
*This review contains minor spoilers only.* In the first act of Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut there’s an electricity in the air, a tangible atmosphere with jolts of energy. Because when navigating crowds and guitars, A […]
The Facebook Watch series provides excellent performances in Elizabeth Olsen and Kelly Marie Tran.
It’s amazing how a city can come alive at night, pulsing with an electric vitality much like that of the human heart. Lights flicker in the sky and alongside busy streets like millions of curious, […]
Earlier this week, my colleague Kevin Lever reviewed Netflix’s spooky new series The Haunting of Hill House, based on the Shirley Jackson novel of the same name. I suppose with October just around the corner, it’s […]
“It ain’t like it used to be, but it’ll do.” One of the greatest slices of western Americana you’re ever bound to find, The Wild Bunch is, in many ways, a series of goodbyes. A goodbye […]
In early 2011, I started paying attention to trailers for this bizarre animated feature, a quirky western with a cast of funny animal characters and Johnny Depp as a chameleon that looks as if the […]
Well, this series is now done. I can’t say I’m completely disappointed in it, but as a whole it’s very mixed. Odd entries are good and even entries are not. Now you know where I’m […]
If you were to catalogue my favorite films of all time, you’d quickly discover a certain strain of emotion that characterizes a large portion of them: melancholy. Inside Llewyn Davis, Alice in the Cities, The […]
The Man in the High Castle returns with its best season yet.
Big Mouth returns with more hardships and complicated feelings. It’s still a hell of a show.
Author’s note: This article CONTAINS SPOILERS for the episodes of discussion and all episodes of the series that have preceded them. During my vacation-induced absence of last week’s review, a lot has changed in the […]
Netflix and Mike Flanagan bring us a fantastic new version of the classic tale.
Godard Mon Amour’s already been reviewed by its subject. As Jean-Luc Godard famously noted, it’s a “stupid, stupid idea,” a quote which has been bandied about on all of the film’s marketing. Cutting and full […]
In the best episode of the season, Dud and Ernie go on a journey with their new friend.
In the summer of 1999, everything changed for China’s seventy million or so Falun Gong practitioners. Introduced in 1992, the spiritual movement had grown rapidly by emphasizing common sense ideals: truthfulness, compassion, and morality. However, […]
Recently I was contacted about reviewing Canadian director Leon Lee’s new film, Letter From Masanjia. For those that don’t who Lee is, I’ll let his IMDb page brief you: Leon Lee is an award winning film […]
A masterful limited series with gorgeous direction and impeccable performances from Jonah Hill and Emma Stone.
Judi Dench. Maggie Smith. Joan Plowright. Eileen Atkins. Together they are a combined 338 years old, and having started their careers in the 1950s, each possesses more acting experience than just about anybody else on […]
The French New Wave represents a rejection of the old way of making film. This resembled a great series of pictures shot on location, of their own time, all putting forward something like an argument […]
My answer to “What’s your favorite film?” is never concrete. There are always several movies running through my brain at any given time, whether it be something spectacular I recently saw for the first time, […]
“We grew up in America, and we tell American stories in American settings, within American frames of reference.” — Ethan Coen That’s the consensus. There is, however, a point of contention over what is truly […]
So Horsepower Month is in full swing, and I have to compensate for everyone else writing way faster by making my article about the fastest car in the bunch. Clearly, that’s the Batmobile. You don’t […]
America’s sweetheart Eli Roth, usually occupied with horror films about torture and cannibalism, has made a seasonal horror romp for the family. The story is based on the John Bellairs series of young adult novels […]
Happy Death Day chronicles a scenario in which a selfish and badly behaved student is forced to relive her birthday over and over again à la Before I Fall. The difference is this is horror, […]
While watching director Christina Choe’s lonely and isolating first act of Nancy, one might start to wonder when the aspects of the film’s mystery might come in. For the first half hour we mostly see […]
Horsepower Month is all about men on horses or in fast cars, and there are none faster on the tracks than the 900 horsepower beasts in Formula One racing (aside from some jet-powered monstrosities). But […]
We are currently in the midst of 2018’s Fall Festival Season, with heavy-hitters Venice, Telluride, and Toronto having finished up, and the likes of New York, Chicago, London, and Austin coming up soon. (For genre fanatics, […]
I had just gotten the briefing from my editor. He had grown tired of the typical Bond introductions and suggested I visit Tokyo and drink Sake in proper preparation for this expert analysis on Sean […]
Part two was a pretty bad movie and I kind of anticipated the trend to continue, with each entry getting worse and worse. However, I can pleasantly say that this movie definitely gunned down my […]
This was my first full dive into Director Peter Yates’ late 60’s action movie Bullitt. Having seen the famous car chase a number of times, I felt Horsepower Month was the right time to finally get […]
Like our love lives, our relationships with television can be marked with Facebook-like status updates. Falling in love, falling out of love, taking a break, unconditional love til the day we die; these are all […]
I was first introduced to Johnny Guitar the way I assume a lot of people my age were: patrolling the Mojave Wasteland in Obsidian Entertainment’s modern roleplaying classic, Fallout: New Vegas. It’s one of my […]
We all grow up, we all go through changes, and we all feel really awkward about it. There’s a lot we can’t say to someone else, even though they’re going through the exact same thing […]
I‘m not exactly sure how this one ended up on my watch list. Maybe it was the absurd title or maybe it was Sergio Leone directing. So far, I’ve only watched his epic Once Upon a […]
Immersed in the eternal, wondrous beauty of the northern California Redwoods, a fragile Theresa (Kirsten Dunst) drowns in the guilt associated with the emotional weight of helping her mother commit assisted suicide with poison-laced cannabis […]
Everything’s very big. It’s really very big. Written by Saturday Night Live‘s Kyle Mooney and Kevin Costello, Brigsby Bear is essentially a film about film, made for people who love film. James Pope (Mooney) was […]
Aired in May on BBC Two and coming September 28th to Amazon’s Prime Video, King Lear is a new take on the classic Shakespeare play with a mind to set itself apart in scale and […]
I honestly joked with my staff that after watching Mandy in theaters earlier last week that it would be downhill for the rest of the films in the month. Thirty minutes into A Simple Favor, […]
Author’s note: SPOILERS for the seventh episode of Lodge 49, “The Solemn Duty of the Squire”. “The Solemn Duty of the Squire” was a time of mourning a sovereign protector who was, at minimum, cooky. […]
FilmEra is at TIFF from September 6th to 16th. In this final dispatch, we reflect on the festival and review new films from Shinya Tsukamoto, Lee Chang-dong and Peter Farrelly.
Author’s note: Five of the ten episodes were provided for review. The full season arrives on September 21st. Netflix is going classic with its new series, The Good Cop, premiering September 21st. The comedy/drama, from […]
Seventy years ago today, a motion picture was released immortalizing the drama and danger of the rancher. Howard Hawks directing with John Wayne and Montgomery Clift starring, this tale of betrayal, action, and lots and […]
Ride due west as the sun sets; turn left at the Rocky Mountains . . . With this simple advice, Jeremiah Johnson sets forth on a brutal course toward life anew. Robert Redford is the […]
Claire Denis travels to the farthest reaches of the solar system to craft one of the most singular, fearsome and uncompromising films of her career.
FilmEra is at TIFF from September 6th to 16th. In this dispatch, we review new films from Bi Gan, Karyn Kusama and Yury Bykov.
The Children Act is a dour and chiefly British release anchored by an incredibly powerful performance by Emma Thompson. In it, she plays a well-admired and respected judge who’s been given a case that challenges […]
When I first heard news about a Predator sequel directed by none other than writer-director Shane Black, I was stoked. That excitement remained, despite the bad word-of-mouth, besides the terrible track record of the series; […]
I have a funny and embarrassing story involving this film. I watched this whole movie believing Elle Fanning was in this and not Dakota. I got the sisters mixed up the whole time. Another embarrassing […]
I‘m not going to lie, when I first saw the movie poster I thought it was going to be some kind of monster from The Mist inhabiting a truck and dining on whatever road kill it […]
Written by David Milch. Directed by Michael Mann. Starring Dusting Hoffman and Nick Nolte. Back in 2011 it seemed HBO’s Luck had the makings of a surefire hit. But it was not meant to be. […]
If I told you I had a dream involving Mandy, would you believe me? Ever since that dream, Mandy has been on my mind, and when I found a theater next to me I knew […]
FilmEra is at TIFF from September 6th to 16th. In this dispatch, we review new films from Mia Hansen-Løve, Chen Kaige, and Paul Greengrass.
Edgar Wright is one of my favorite directors. I adore his films for their mastery of both verbal and non-verbal humor conveyed through visuals. On top of being laugh-out-loud funny, his comedies can withstand the […]
Film Frame Friday is a regular series where one of our contributors will pick a film and highlight its unique cinematic style, from cinematography to mise-en-scene, and editing. It is a great way to not […]
FilmEra is at TIFF from September 6th to 16th. In this dispatch, we take a look at some short films, including this year’s Short Film Palme d’Or winner.
Hey guys, welcome to the fourth installment of my James Bond retrospective! We’ve fought the fiendish Dr. No, we’ve tangled with Tatiana in From Russia With Love, and we’ve escaped the cold touch of Goldfinger. What tricks are […]
Sofia Coppola’s teenaged concoction dealing with the infamous Bling Ring robberies that took place in Calabasas, California is a candy-coloured, ridiculous mixture of young dumbass-ery mixed with high stakes crime. Its surrealism even extends to […]
Family is everything is the repeated mantra of Fast & Furious. Our eighth entry—the first after Paul Walker’s tragic death—is about the possibility of future generations. The finest moments are when it’s forward-looking. It’s Dwayne […]
Author’s note: SPOILERS for the tenth episode of Castle Rock, “Romans”. The town of Castle Rock has become Hell on Earth in the season finale, “Romans”: with birds dive-bombing cars, people walking into oncoming prison […]
FilmEra is at TIFF from September 6th to 16th. In this dispatch, we dive into more avant-garde films in the Wavelengths program.
The best way to truly understand Susanna White’s Woman Walks Ahead is to consider it more as a fictionalized and romanticized account of a moment in painter and Native American rights advocate Catherine Weldon’s life […]
Furious 7, or: how Fast & Furious is gonna make you cry. This is the final entry for Paul Walker. The star’s shadow is cast large over the production. His co-star’s faces are marked with […]
I Am Paul Walker is the headliner and season ender for the Paramount Network’s I Am series. Walker is in good company, with the series exploring the memories of Martin Luther King Jr. and JFK […]
Slice is cheesy good fun, a deep dish with all the fixin’s. The film is a dizzying array of inventive ideas and worldbuilding famously starring Chance the Rapper and directed by his music video collaborator, […]
Author’s note: This article CONTAINS SPOILERS for the episode of discussion and all episodes of the series that have preceded it. After a slightly slow start to the season, Better Call Saul is back fiercer […]
What makes a great action scene? Why is something like, say, Man of Steel’s climactic battle an exercise in tedium when something like the church shootout from John Woo’s The Killer lives on as an […]
The fact is I cannot explain in any cohesive way what Fast & Furious 6 is about. That’s okay, because the movie can’t explain itself either. When taking on reviewing every piece of the franchise, […]
Author’s note: SPOILERS for the sixth episode of Lodge 49, “The Mysteries”. He who thinks a fire, is a fire. Remember that. We open on Lodge 49, ages before, with Larry as a kid defending […]
FilmEra is at TIFF from September 6th to 16th. In this dispatch, we review new films from Bai Xue and Claire Denis.
I went into this movie with higher hopes than I should have. I had seen The Conjuring 2 in theaters and had been really pleased with it. Sure, there were a lot of jump scares, but they […]
It may have taken five movies to get here, but finally someone had asked: what if The Fast and The Furious were greater than the sum of its parts? Fast Five is our proof that […]
Old ways die hard. That’s the crux of the understated disquiet—dread is perhaps too strong a word for the brand of haunting at the center of The Little Stranger—that malingers around the dreary grounds of […]
Perfect Blue is a film known by everyone but me; this 20th anniversary showing is the first time I have ever watched it. For those who are familiar with the film, you are probably smiling reading […]
2009’s Fast & Furious reboot has the best opener of the series. It begins with a high-thrill action sequence, where Director Justin Lin flexes his action muscles. The crew have graduated from thieving TVs with […]
FilmEra is at TIFF from September 6th to 16th. In this dispatch, we dive into experimental films in the Wavelengths program.
“Every gun makes its own tune.” Widely considered to be Sergio Leones’s opus alongside Once Upon a Time in the West, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly is the conclusion to the Dollars Trilogy, one […]
By all accounts, Jennifer Garner is a pretty great mom. A cursory glance at Google reveals headlines like “13 Times Jennifer Garner Proved She’s the Most Relatable Mom in Hollywood” and a joke music video […]
FilmEra is at TIFF from September 6th to 16th. In this dispatch, we look at new films from Wanuri Kahiu and Shane Black.
This film seems like a missed opportunity. It came out six years after the original and doesn’t feature any of the original cast except Yul Brynner, even though the three survivors of the original return. […]
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is my idea of a good time. Taking the formula from the streets of Los Angeles and Miami and relocating to the vibrant and colorful world of Tokyo’s […]
*only minor spoilers ahead* The year Stranger Things was unleashed onto Netflix’s catalog many weird things happened: Winona Ryder and Christmas lights, monsters pushing their way through wallpaper and fake cadavers stuffed like toys. Among […]
The opportunity to spring forth into the stars and become the first to ever land on Mars is a wonderful ideal. It’s about exploration, science, and furthering the survival of the human race. But to […]
Author’s note: the first three episodes were provided for review. Netflix’s The Dragon Prince, its first season arriving September 14th, feels like a blast from the past. It has the trappings of a scrappy, fun […]
2 Fast 2 Furious operates inside the original film’s basest instincts. It’s ratcheted up the neon; every car is now fitted with neon underglow lighting. This is more of a fetishization of street racing than […]
In Loving Memory of Burt Reynolds. I just got outta the cheapest choke n’ puke I could find and hopped in my Jimmy and barreled down the highway sipping on hundred mile coffee. The car […]
Experimental and avant-garde film is generally defined as being made outside of the film industry on an artisanal basis and disregarding and redefining the traditional structures of narrative film. Many experimental films involve arts from […]
While writing these reviews, I’ve tried to be as critical as possible. To me that means a comprehensive and thorough examination of a film. Every piece of a film should work towards a common goal. […]
The Fast and the Furious is an early-‘00s marketing team’s wet dream. Straight from the pages of a street racing magazine, the initial installment captured the zeitgeist of a particular sub-culture, being in the right […]
Author’s note: SPOILERS for the ninth episode of Castle Rock, “Henry Deaver”. God turned his back on this place. The schism revealed itself, and Henry Deavers have swapped universes. “Henry Deaver” places itself in a […]