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 […]


What if all those people who told you metal was the devil’s music were right? What if playing the right heavy tune could actually bring forth the end of the world? Such is the clever premise of Jason Lei Howden’s promising zom-rom-com debut “Deathgasm,” […]

A Christmas Horror Story

Although the very idea of combining Christmas cheer and grisly gore is probably still enough to send certain people into pearl-clutching apoplexy, Yuletide-related bloodbaths have proven to be a popular trope for horror filmmakers over the years. On the grand scale of big-screen Noel […]


Like “The Walk,” “Freeheld” is based on an Oscar-winning documentary. The 2007 film of the same name told the true story of terminally ill Laurel Hester, a veteran Ocean County, New Jersey police department detective who fought to leave her pension to her domestic […]

The Martian

“The Martian,” Ridley Scott’s film about an astronaut surviving on a desolate planet, is at heart a shipwreck story, one that just happens to take the form of a science fiction adventure. But although the outline offers no surprises, the details and the tone […]

1 2