Take Shelter

Ingeniously bouncing off current events and the nation’s downbeat mood, Take Shelter is a dark, Gothic tale of misunderstood prophecy and a sobering lesson on the state of mental health care in rural America, suggesting comparisons with the early work of Stanley Kubrick and Terrence Malick.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Philomena

Glum, mostly compelling, and not blinkered by its good intentions, Philomena is a poignant meditation on motherhood lost and a subtly told tale of tragedy and redemption – plain and occasionally sappy, growing surprisingly inward and dense. It’s a small, smart, and unsweetened film deserving of a large audience.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Shame

Composed, seething, and soul-churning, Shame is a Dante-esque odyssey through a treacherous nightworld and a raw, unsparing look at the downside of humanity. Resembling an amusement park ride, it’s a visual and sonic symphony, and a dreary visit to a house of horrors that ends where it begins. Hypnotic yet abjectly miserable, it will hover in your psyche for a long time.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Drive

Shiny, sleek, slickly compelling, and sickeningly suspenseful, Drive is a pulse-pounding, heart-racing machine. Imperturbable yet tautly paced at the breakneck tempo of the getaway cars, Drive is frankly commercial and sneakily artistic, smart, sophisticated, and peerlessly stylish. Low-key, beautifully crafted, and shamelessly entertaining, it’s a hyperactive love letter to road rage that unnerves us with its idling quiet, then pins our ears back when it stomps the accelerator.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Daft, deft, deliciously designed, and obsessively detailed, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a wild, wonderful ride plucked out of Anderson’s dream journal, playful without being self-congratulatory, lush without being cloying. Containing innumerable surface pleasures and rococo ornamentation on the level of an expert dessert decorator, it’s a splendid contraption, fantastically elaborate, artistically manicured, and comically rich, a wheels-within-wheels thriller that’s pure movie oxygen.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 Assassins

Electric, epic in scope and execution, and exceedingly violent, 13 Assassins is a slam-bang remake of Eiichi Kudo’s 1963 Japanese period classic, a wild pageant of dizzying panache, and a masterful exercise in cinematic butchery, building slowly, accumulating characters and themes, pounding with blood-drenched action, then exploding into a prolonged battle sequence inside a deserted town.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

The Kids Are All Right

Witty, urbane, and thoroughly entertaining, The Kids Are All Right is a grin-cracking portrait of a modern American family in minor and then major crises. Positioned somewhere between sitcom and piercing human drama, both overtly familiar and cutting edge, it is an unmistakably modern film so rooted in the now that it’s bound to be remembered as a cinematic landmark.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.