Captain America: Civil War
A Bigger Splash
Green Room

A Bigger Splash

A Bigger Splash 

* * * Simultaneously about everything and nothing, Luca Guadagnino’s luscious A Bigger Splash is a glossy paen to the lifestyles of the rich and famous, here the seaside affairs of an international rock star (Tilda Swinton) entangled in a hothouse of temptation. What it lacks in narrative momentum it makes up for in passion […]

Continue reading...

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War 

* * How can there be so little to say about a movie that tries—so hard—to do so much? Perhaps because Captain America: Civil War, the latest Marvel cash cow, is an overstuffed and altogether unnecessary movie that throws so much at us that the only word I could summon during its 147 very long […]

Continue reading...

Green Room

Green Room 

* 1/2 There is simply no reason to care about anything in Green Room, an exercise in nihilism that begins with grit before quickly devolving into unrestrained violence minus the empathy or substance to give it consequence. Written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier as a sophomore follow up to 2013’s much superior Blue Ruin, the […]

Continue reading...

Everybody Wants Some!! Tyler Hoechlin, Will Brittain and Blake Jenner Come of Age on Richard Linklater’s Bromantic Throwback

Everybody Wants Some!! Tyler Hoechlin, Will Brittain and Blake Jenner Come of Age on Richard Linklater’s Bromantic Throwback 

Everybody Wants Some!!, Richard Linklater’s ode to brotherly love circa 1980 Southeast Teas State University, is a sex comedy, rite of passage, gentle love story and a movie that tries to get at the core of both bromance and romance about what it means to be young. Billed as a “spiritual sequel” to Linklater’s 1993 […]

Continue reading...

The Witch

The Witch 

* * 1/2 An odd amalgam of Calvinist tradition and bedeviled horror, The Witch won the director’s prize for filmmaker Robert Eggers at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival for its atmospheric tale of outcast Puritans who settle on the edge of a haunted wood before hysteria and demons intervene. And while the mostly effective picture […]

Continue reading...

Hail Caesar!

Hail Caesar! 

* * * * The first terrific movie of 2016, the Coen Brothers’ lavishly inspired Hollywood satire Hail, Caesar! is one of their very best comedies, a gleaming love letter to the old Hollywood studio system that both evangelizes the transformative magic of the movies while affectionately critiquing Tinseltown’s castles in the air. It’s a […]

Continue reading...

45 Years

45 Years 

* * 1/2 As adult dramas go—and there are so few today it seems out of line not to be generous—45 years, starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtney as a longtime married couple whose relationship fissures when the past intervenes, is tasteful, well-acted, sincere and so low-key it feels anemic. Its chief merit is Oscar-nominated […]

Continue reading...

The Revenant

The Revenant 

* * * * You really have to hand it to director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, whose films never cozy up to their audiences, instead demanding a partnership that can be agonizing in the moment but always haunting, enlightening even, upon reflection.  With a handful of rigorously commanding movies under his belt, from the accomplished Mexican triptych Amores Perros to […]

Continue reading...

The 11 Best Movies of 2015 (and the best of the rest)

The 11 Best Movies of 2015 (and the best of the rest) 

1. Brooklyn – John Crowley’s magnificent Brooklyn is a study in contrasts, between small Irish towns and big American cities, nationals and immigrants, naiveté and womanhood, former homes and new horizons, an Italian-American love and an Irish suitor.  It’s also one of the best movies ever made about coming of age and identity, and Saoirse […]

Continue reading...

Carol

Carol 

Todd Haynes’ Carol, as gorgeously rendered an evocation of star-crossed love as the movies has maybe known, is a meticulously mounted, finely felt and beautifully acted examination of the costs of self-actualization in an unforgiving world. With a screenplay by Phyllis Nagy from Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt, about forbidden love and its […]

Continue reading...