Oh, those sweeping shots of Florence and Istanbul. Ah, the Renaissance palazzos. And the inevitable anagram hidden in a classic painting, and the frantic quest that elevates perusals of museum stacks into thrilling set pieces.
Itâs difficult to make a board game scary. Most of the time, the games sit in closets gathering dust, or being pulled out for entertainment at family gatheringsâas such, theyâre not exactly evocative symbols of eldritch horror.
Thereâs a saying often creditedÂ to pulp writer Jim Thompson that there is only one plot: âThings are not as they seem.â In the case of The Handmaiden, the maxim applies equally to the story and the filmmaking.
Kelly Reichardtâs exquisite, character-based indie films are often described as âlow keyâ or âdeliberately-paced.â They tend to âtake their time.â If you read between the lines, what that really means is that they can be a bitâ¦slow.
Though she never really went anywhere, Ally Sheedyâs return to form in Zach Clarkâs SXSW indie Little Sister feels infinitely satisfying as a long-awaited big screen comeback for the Brat Pack actress, some 30 years after she first splashed onto the scene as part of The Breakfast...B-
Behold the hero only Ben Affleck could play: Mortal, yes, but blessed with extraordinary abilities, he is driven by childhood tragedy to take on a secret identity, a righteous vigilante haunting the darkest corners of the underworld.
Nate Parkerâs lightning-rod account of slave-turned-revolutionary Nat Turner arrives in the opposite of a vacuum: The long path to releaseÂ has been so clouded by expectation, controversy, and extracurricular noise that itâs almost strange to be reminded that there is, in fact, an actual movie at...B+
What makes a movie adaptation of a book succeed? The quality of the source material matters, of course, but itâs hardly a guarantee; a lot of great Ânovels have curled up and died on screen, and some forgettable or even truly awful ones have been pulled through the weeds.Â
The film rights for Paula...A-
It is Barack Obama that we first hear in Selma director Ava DuVernayâs staggering, scorching Roman candle of a documentary about endemic racism and the prison system. âThe United States is home to five percent of the worldâs population,â he says, âbut 25 percent of the worldâs prisoners.â...A
Of all the cinematic horrors that have risen from the sea â the krakens and mega sharks, murderous squid and needle-toothed barracudas â there might not be one as catastrophic as the monster that drives Deepwater Horizon: greed.
Ti West, the director of The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, and The Sacrament, doesnât possess the visual imagination or ear for dialogue of his most obvious cinematic antecedent Quentin Tarantino.
Director Greg Mottola has proven that he knows how to transform a tired comedy clichÃ© into something special, whether thatâs tackling the retro coming-of-age dramedy in Adventureland or the raunchy high school sex farce in Superbad.
Itâs telling that the trailer for American Pastoral features almost no dialogue at all, just a painterly series of images (flag, firebomb, meaningful stare) unreeling over a melancholy cover of Tears for Fearsâ âMad World.â Ewan McGregorâs directorial debut is built on words â the...C-
Immigration has been a hot-button issue in the race for the White House. And thereâs no denying that itâs a complicated subject. Sadly, you wonât find any of that complexity in JonÃ¡s CuarÃ³nâs DesiertoÂ â a classed-up B-movie riff on The Most Dangerous Game.
With mass shootings such a disturbingly common occurrence in the United States today, itâs becoming more and more difficult to remember a time when news of such senseless violence wasnât met with the same exhausting thought: âAgain?â
Tower, the effective mixed-media docu-drama, transports...A-
Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience is the logical next step for writer, director, and enthusiast of hands gently grazing wheat stalks Terrence Malick. The 45-minute, large-format version of his spin on the history of the world is as visually stunning, languid, and heavy on the voice overâ...C+
Mascots should be the perfect match. Christopher Guest is the godfather of mockumentaries (even though itâs a term he himself hasÂ disavowed), and the oddness of the sportsÂ mascot subculture makes them a perfect target for the director of Waiting for...B-
At first, Mastermindsâ title feels accurate. It is, after all, a fictionalization of the largest cash heist in American history (the 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery in North Carolina). But once the movie has introduced viewers to its squad of criminalsâbumbling armored car security guard David...B
With the recent true-crime spree of The Jinx, The People v. O.J. Simpson, and Making a Murderer taking over TV, audiences have announced how they want their homicide: long, bloody, and intensive.
When American academic Deborah Lipstadt called out a famed anti-Semite named David Irving in 1993 for claiming that, among other things, Hitler was actually a great friend to the Jews, she never imagined sheâd be sued for libel â or that the ensuing court case would essentially put the entire...B-
Thereâs nothing particularly new about serious, over-qualified actors being recruited to class up a Marvel movie. But the studioâs latest, Doctor Strange, wouldnât work as well it as it does (and it mostly works very, very well) without Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton â two actors,...B+
When we look back on our lives, trying toÂ figure out how we wound up where we are and who we are, thereâs a tendency to focus on a few events that, in retrospect, are weighted with course-determining significance.
Here it is: the sequel no one asked for to the movie that no one quite remembers. Yes, weâve come to that late stage in Hollywoodâs franchise economy where any film that narrowly outperforms its budget overseas automatically gets a follow-up.
In the rarefied realm of dueling biopics, Christine Chubbuck seems like an unexpected name to land alongside Truman Capote, Wyatt Earp, and Steve Jobs. A reporter for a local news station in Sarasota, sheâs mostly famous â or infamous â for killing herself live on air three weeks before her 30th...B
The beginning of Kevin Hart: What Now? feels less like a standup special and more like an elaborate James Bond spoof, introducing the titular comedian as Agent 0054 and various celebrities as themselves, including Ed Helms and Don Cheadle.
Whether in reality or on the big screen, youâve seen the story before; teenage boy meets teenage girl, one breaks the otherâs heart, and they go their separate ways, growing into adulthood and apart from each other.
How could life get any worse for a liberal-minded woman living in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war of the â80s, as fundamentalist proscriptions and Iraqi missiles rain down on the population?
Fredrik Backmanâs 2012 novel A Man Called Ove became an international bestseller several years ago, chronicling the life of a grumpy old curmudgeon and the unlikely friendship he strikes up with his neighbors.
A raunchy, rapturous teenage dream, American Honey is indie cinemaâs latest attempt to capture the quicksilver magic of what it means to be young and restless and radically alive on screen.
The creepy vintage photos that pepper Ransom Riggsâ original Miss Peregrine novel look like relics from Tim Burtonâs attic, so itâs fitting that the master of macabre is shepherding Riggsâ book to the big screen.