Category Archives: Movies

Review: Silk Road

Writer-director Tiller Russell’s highly dramatized recreation of the rise and fall of the darknet website Silkroad.com takes a novel approach to the classic protagonist-antagonist dynamic in that the two main characters are really antagonists. In fact, it’s safe to call … Continue reading

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Review: Third Time Lucky

When it premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in 2015, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Happy Hour revived interest in Japanese art house cinema among those who had mostly given up on it since the dawn of the 1990s. A long, intimate portrait … Continue reading

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Review: Riders of Justice

Danish director Anders Thomas Jensen’s revenge film manages to hit all the expected beats in terms of violent actions and righteous payback while undermining most of the narrative justification necessary to get the audience rooting for said violence. But unlike … Continue reading

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Review: CODA

After reading the synopsis for the American film CODA (Children of Deaf Adults) but prior to seeing it, I felt as if I’d seen this movie before, and, as a matter of fact, it is based on a 2015 French … Continue reading

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Review: Stillwater

Director Tom McCarthy gives the viewer every opportunity to offer his painfully thoughtful movie every benefit of the doubt, especially in the beginning when he introduces his protagonist, Bill Baker (Matt Damon), a laid-off oil worker from Oklahoma who wears … Continue reading

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Review: I’m Your Man

Ostensibly a romantic comedy about android love, this subversively heartbreaking German feature, written (with Jan Schomburg, based on a published short story) and directed by Maria Schrader, makes too much sense for a tale that, while remaining stubbornly cerebral to … Continue reading

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Review: Monk/Monk in Europe

These two hour-long documentaries by Michael Blackwood, filmed in a verite style, follow the jazz pianist Thelonious Monk during several concert and recording stints in the U.S. and then Europe in 1967. There is no narration, and much of the … Continue reading

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Review: The Day I Died: Unclosed Case

South Korean cinema has perfected the police procedural owing mainly to Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder (still his best, I think), which set the bar very high at a crucial time when Korean directors were coming into their own internationally. … Continue reading

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Review: House of Gucci

Given that the elaborate set piece which sets the extravagant mood for this highly stylized retelling of the fall of the Gucci fashion brand is a wedding where everyone sports comically distinctive Italian accents, it’s tempting to approach Ridley Scott’s … Continue reading

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Review: Spider-Man: No Way Home

The mind-boggling box office success of the latest Spider-Man installment during another surge in the pandemic only goes to prove that there’s no such thing as too much Spider-Man, and while some will point to the MCU imprimatur as being … Continue reading

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