On the occasion of the arrival of a lumbering load of steampunk-drenched, whimsy-drained wrongheadedness disguised as family entertainment known as “Pan”—someone is really baiting headline writers with that pun-ready title—let us ponder this conundrum: Why do filmmakers continue to feel the need to squeeze […]

Steve Jobs

The second the credits started rolling at the end of “Steve Jobs,” I reached into my purse and did what so many other people in the theater did: I turned on my iPhone. Currently, I’m writing this review on my MacBook Pro. Later this […]

The Forbidden Room

Ever since he first burst upon the scene in 1988 with his hypnotic debut feature “Tales from the Gimli Hospital,” Guy Maddin has been one of those filmmakers whose new work I most eagerly look forward to seeing. In a time when most movies […]


There’s a moment in Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe’s excellent “(T)ERROR” in which everyone in the audience will instantly sit up and move forward in their seat, expressing shock with their body language. I almost wish I could see it in a […]


Vincent Cassel is incapable of being uninteresting. His Gallic charm, wolfish features and ever-present hint of a slitheriness lurking beneath the surface commands you to watch him. Very closely. His domineering dance master in “Black Swan” is typical of the sorts of complex characters […]


For Iranian director Jafar Panahi, officially banned by his country from making films and traveling for at least the next decade, necessity and courage have been the mothers of his cinematic invention. Under different circumstances Panahi has forged sharp, full-hearted parables and critiques of […]

He Named Me Malala

Lizzie Velasquez and Malala Yousafzai grew up half a world away from each other, but the paths they took from ordinary girl to international symbol of hope follow some similar ground. Both suffered persecution: Velasquez for her appearance, Yousafzai for her activism. Both chose […]

Addicted to Fresno

“Addicted to Fresno” is such a mean-spirited, dull and silly movie that it buries its talented cast under the weight of a horrendous script that they can’t possibly redeem. Much like the recent “Staten Island Summer,” it’s a “comedy” with a great ensemble given […]

Northern Soul

“Northern Soul” is the motion-picture feature debut of the photographer Elaine Constantine, whose work in stills has shown a knack for capturing the particularities of youth culture. So this movie, a gritty kind of bildungsroman set in an extremely particular music and dance scene […]


After awkwardly collecting dust in the Weinstein attic for at least five years, Mikael Håfström’s “Shanghai” is finally getting released. This pre-WWII noir, released in China in 2010 before going MIA until this weekend, cannot blame time for any of its flaws, no matter […]

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