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An Ingenious New French Comedy of Art and Friendship

One of the privileges and pleasures of working as a film critic is that people occasionally send me movies that…

10 Min Read

“Last Summer” Is a Ferocious Vision of Sexual Frenzy

A decade ago, when the Wolfie Wars were being fought—with critics charging that Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street”…

11 Min Read

“Janet Planet”: Melt the Icebergs

There’s some quietly ferocious, fiercely expressive dialogue in the playwright Annie Baker’s first feature, “Janet Planet,” and several moments of…

15 Min Read

“The Bikeriders” Lends a Wild Bunch a Mythic Grandeur

Authenticity is a feeling and investigative fervor is an attitude. The Italian neorealist classics bear the marks of the journalistic…

12 Min Read

“Shoeshine” Marked a New Era of Political Cinema

Though the Second World War continued in Europe through May, 1945, Rome was liberated from Nazi occupation in June, 1944,…

9 Min Read

The Rediscovery of “Naked Acts” Expands Film History

Movies that rely on symbolism usually do so through conspicuous artifice, whether that of high style (Hitchcock, Hawks, Wes Anderson)…

11 Min Read

“Flipside” Is a Treasure Trove of Music and Memory

Chris Wilcha’s new documentary, “Flipside,” is easy to summarize, but it defies summary nonetheless, because it advances by a lurching,…

13 Min Read

Could Elaine May Finally Be Getting Her Due?

Elaine May became famous at twenty-five and rich soon thereafter, but it took her another decade to figure out what…

16 Min Read

How Hindsight Distorts Our View of the Beatles in “Let It Be”

The catalogue of great posthumous movies, such as “Eyes Wide Shut,” “Rebel Without a Cause,” and “Amazing Grace,” also includes…

13 Min Read

How Does “Challengers” Make a Love Triangle Feel So Empty?

All movies with complicated time schemes have the same problem to overcome: the movie’s dramatic sequences, like tiles in a…

13 Min Read