Great films are rarely made from great books, and Ciro Guerra's film of J.M. Coetzee's novel underlines the perils—and even the pointlessness—of many literary adaptations.
Marjane Satrapi tries—but not, ultimately, hard enough—to build something interesting around the standard biopic formula.
Dexter Fletcher's Rocketman is endearingly goofy, and occasionally moving, but only rarely transcends the shallow limitations of a jukebox musical.
Jordan Peele's triumphant sophomore effort is a smart and terrifying cinematic ordeal, and a disturbingly dark mirror held up to America.
The race for the Best Actress Oscar begins here, with Julianne Moore's remarkable portrayal of an unremarkable woman.
Rapturous and resonant, Pawel Pawlikowski's new film is a deceptively simple cinematic masterpiece.
Lush, lyrical, and deeply romantic, Barry Jenkins celebrates the sustaining beauty in one of James Baldwin's darkest stories.
My choices for who will win, who should win, and who must not be allowed to win at the 90th Annual Academy Awards.
In a very good year for cinema, I'm naming my top-five films in six categories: Drama, Comedy, Action, Horror, Animation, and Documentary.
Erik Nelson's new documentary is a near perfect distillation of homegrown American crazy, and a timely look at a dark undercurrent of American culture.
Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis' infuriating and empowering new documentary about Ferguson is essential viewing for every American.
Steven Soderbergh is back—but have we really missed him?
No. Just no.
Like the rest of its dishonorable and disposable ilk, Annabelle: Creation is just a fairly efficient machine for generating meaningless jump-scares.
Luis Prieto's KIDNAP, starring Halle Berry, is a cheap and ugly grindhouse film for the soccer-mom set.
Amanda Lipitz's documentary is a rare and inspiring celebration of the love, beauty, and optimism of disadvantaged black communities.
Nikolaj Arcel's quick and pointless adaptation of Stephen King's sprawling epic is a tepid, paint-by-numbers picture.
Simplistic, reductive, and perversely exculpatory, Kathryn Bigelow's DETROIT is well-executed torture-porn that irresponsibly exploits the destruction of black bodies.
Holly Hunter is always good, but Katherine Dieckmann's road-trip movie drives her down some frustratingly contrived roads.
I do not seem to have the appropriate catalog of symbols on my app to adequately express my feelings about The Emoji Movie.
Charlize Theron can do no wrong, but Atomic Blonde needed to either be a whole lot smarter, or a whole lot stupider, to be any fun at all.
In my attempt to see and review every new movie this summer, I've fallen a little behind. Here are shamefully quick takes on films that didn't get full reviews, including The Bad Batch, The Little Hours, A Ghost Story, and Lady Macbeth.
Funny, fearless, and full of genuine feeling, Girls Trip is the best American comedy of the summer.
Simultaneously awful and glorious—but always beautiful—Luc Besson's buddy-cop space opera is a goofy, gonzo, candy-colored cornucopia of silliness.
Elsa Dorfman is likable and interesting, but Errol Morris's documentary both overstays its welcome and under-explores its subject.
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk masterfully captures a key moment of human triumph, but it is not a film that's remotely interested in human beings.
Someone should have wished for a better movie.
Oliver Hirschbiegel's latest film is an imperfect but intriguing exploration of a forgotten resistance hero.
The motion-capture in the latest Apes film is a stunning work of art. Now if only the screenplay could match it…
Nick Hamm's painfully contrived, preposterous film reduces the complexities of the Irish Troubles down to an unconvincing marital spat.
Like its subject—embodied in a fantastic performance by Sally Hawkins—Aisling Walsh's film finds joy and color in unexpected places.
The latest entry in the animated franchise is crowded, uneven, and deeply silly. But it has enough cleverness, humor, and heart to make it worthwhile.
Great comedies pose important questions. So, coincidentally, does this one.
The iconic hero's introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is light to the point of flimsiness, sacrificing both narrative power and emotional depth.
João Pedro Rodrigues' beautiful but increasingly frustrating film is a slow descent into surreality and obscure religious metaphor.
An unconvincing love story married to a silly spy thriller, David Leveaux's The Exception is a forgettable costume drama.
Sophia Coppola's beautiful but shallow remake leaches all life out of a tale that once teemed with repressed emotion and kinky Southern Gothic melodrama.
Based on the real experiences of Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Michael Showalter's film is a smart, grounded comedy about funny people dealing with serious situations.
Edgar Wright has channeled his pop-music, pop-culture obsessions into the perfect summer movie.
Zoe Lister-Jones' feature debut is a harmless enough ditty, but it's a little too shallow and slight to be a truly great love song.
A good director and an excellent cast can't quite rise above a script that lacks the sophistication, subtlety, and insight needed to do its premise justice.
I'm sorry. It's my fault. I just didn't understand how far the bar had been lowered.
It's only taken Sam Elliott 50 years to become an exciting new movie star.
Reducing Tupac Shakur's legend to a series of sensationalistic incidents, All Eyez on Me is a denigrating takedown clothed as a tribute.
Colin Trevorrow's new movie is horrible in unique, unfathomable, nearly unprecedented ways.
Tired, tedious, and tame, Lucia Aniello's Rough Night (2017) lacks the courage of its pretended coarseness.
Johannes Roberts' murky, oxygen-deprived shark movie is dead in the water.
Once, Pixar made a movie about talking cars, and it made a lot of money. So, they made another one. Now, they've made a third one.
Heart-warming and soul-crushing in almost equal measures, Ken Loach's new film is a furious, funny, unfailingly humane masterpiece.
Existing at a curious nexus of buddy-comedy and crime-thriller, writer-director Ned Crowley's dark debut feature is uneven but promising.
Trey Edward Shults both explores and exploits our fears of the unknown, in a stark, harrowing, disturbingly intimate horror film.
Roger Michell's adaptation of du Maurier's novel is a stately exercise in indecision, and something of a cinematic Rorschach test.
Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite and star Kate Mara bring remarkable restraint, sensitivity, and authenticity to a feel-good story about a soldier and her dog.
I don't expect The Mummy to be the worst movie I see all year, but it's a banal mediocrity that bodes ill for Universal's interconnected "monster" franchise.
Comedian Demitri Martin's feature debut is not a completely insufferable movie, but it is a completely insubstantial one.
Sarah Adina Smith's ambitious second feature is a provocative, harrowing, and haunting film, if a slightly too-perfect vehicle for star Rami Malek.
Not since the Blitz has Winston Churchill been forced to suffer through this kind of bombing.
Every generation needs to learn potty humor, slapstick, and a total disregard for authority. Thankfully, Captain Underpants is here to lead the way.
Rest easy, well-wishers—and suck it, haters—Wonder Woman is a major triumph.
The Unaffiliated Critic—somewhat recklessly—announces his plan to see and review every single movie that opens between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Ridley Scott gives up on the incomprehensible mythology of Prometheus, and sadly embraces the uninspired misery of another Alien retread.
Silly, soulless, and disappointingly executed, Life is an instantly forgettable B-movie dressed up—not very convincingly—to look like a serious production.
Thoughtful, powerful, and existentially bleak, Logan may be the film that finally expands our expectations of what a "superhero movie" can be.
Jordan Peele has made the first essential horror film of the Black Lives Matter era, and the smartest, most self-aware scary movie since The Cabin in the Woods.
Gore Verbinski's stylish horror film manages to entertain the eye and taunt the brain, but it never really engages the heart or soul.
James Baldwin's is the voice we need right now, and director Raoul Peck knows it, bringing a comparable clarity and poetry to one of the most powerful and provocative films of the year.
Theodore Melfi's Hidden Figures is not a groundbreaking film, but an old-fashioned, very entertaining film about some groundbreaking people.
When it's not trying to be more, Civil War is a fantastic superhero movie.
With the narrative simplicity of the darkest fairy tale, but dense with psychological and spiritual complexity, The Witch heralds the arrival of a major new talent.
My choices for who will win, who should win, and who must not be allowed to win at the 88th Annual Academy Awards.
There's more beauty, sadness, humor, and wisdom in this year's Animated Shorts than I saw in most full-length features this year.
Deniz Gamze Erguven's debut feature Mustang is both a dark parable of patriarchy and a joyous celebration of feminine rebellion.
Alejandro González Iñárritu leaves behind most of his narrative pretensions, and offers a purer form of beautiful misery porn.
Riding a populist wave of gleefully indulgent ugliness, Quentin Tarantino may be the Donald Trump of American film directors.
J.J. Abrams passes the torch to a new generation of heroes, and gives Star Wars fans what they desperately needed: a new hope.
In a medium rampant with stories of horny teenage boys, Marielle Heller's exploration of young female sexuality—delivered without exploitation or admonishment—is something to celebrate.
Gareth Edwards' GODZILLA is a curious beast, neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring.
From the Chicago Critics Film Festival, a review of THE ONE I LOVE, directed by Charlie McDowell, starring Elisabeth Moss, Mark Duplass, and Ted Danson.
To say that OCULUS is a better-than-average scary movie is to acknowledge the tragically lowered expectations of the genre itself.
A review of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, and Robert Redford.
A review, in Biblical verse, of Darren Aronofky's NOAH.
A review of DIVERGENT, directed by Neil Burger, based on the novel by Veronica Roth. Starring Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, Theo James, Jai Courtney, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ashley Judd, and Tony Goldwyn.
A review of the VERONICA MARS movie, written and directed by Rob Thomas, starring Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Gabby Hoffmann, Krysten Ritter, Martin Starr, Percy Deggs III, Tina Majorino, Francis Capra, Chris Lowell, and Enrico Colantoni.
My choices for who will win, who should win, and who must not be allowed to win at the 86th Annual Academy Awards.
A review of POMPEII, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, starring Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jared Harris, and Carrie-Anne Moss.
THE MONUMENTS MEN is an artless movie about art, and a monument to nothing but mediocrity.
A review of the five films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Film.
My review of THE OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS: ANIMATION.
I, FRANKENSTEIN? Ay, caramba…
Sharply funny, visually stunning, and with a generous heart, THE GREAT BEAUTY is an exuberant celebration of life.
As a war movie, Peter Berg's LONE SURVIVOR is all war, no movie.
The Unaffiliated Critic's choices for the 20 Best Movies of 2013.
There's a troubling marriage of technical bravura and moral vacuity in Martin Scorsese's THE WOLF OF WALL STREET.
Smart, wise, and emotionally rich, HER turns out to be one of the most believably touching romances of the 21st century so far, and easily one of the best pictures of the year.
Inside Llewyn Davis is one of the Coen Brothers' most mature and masterful films so far, and one of the best American movies in recent years.
Director Francis Lawrence builds honorably on the solid foundations of the first film, improving the action but sacrificing a little of the moral high-ground.
To say 12 YEARS A SLAVE is the best movie of the year is to damn it with faint praise, because it is a much more important work than that, a vital corrective to 100 years of cinematic lies.
A technological masterpiece, GRAVITY provides all the width and breadth of space: you just have to bring your own depth.
Continuing my round-up of 2013 movies—the ones I didn't get around to reviewing—I cover the worthy failures, near-misses, mixed-bags, and the ones that utterly mystified me.
In Part One of a three-part roundup of all the movies I've seen that I didn't review in 2013, I discuss nine movies I think you should stay far away from.