'Detropia' and 'Five Broken Cameras' Offer Intimate Portraits of Communities in Decline and Conflict
Published 1/30/2013 at 11:50 a.m. 0 comments
There are more than 100,000 homes standing vacant in the city of Detroit, many of them fallen into what can only be characterized as ruin. Combined with equally vast tracts of crumbling industrial infrastructure, these acres of shambles have come ...
'Compliance' and the Rediscovered 'Wake in Fright' Depict Life Under Extreme Conditions
Published 1/23/2013 at 10:48 a.m. 0 comments
Compliance (Magnolia) would be a 15-minute short without the not-uncommon quality that gives it its title. Based (alarmingly closely) on actual events, writer/director Craig Zobel’s new film aims to get at the get-along/go-along relationship we have with power, and the ...
'Looper' Seems Behind the Times, But 'Cosmopolis' Approaches Timelessness
Published 1/9/2013 at 10:49 a.m. 0 comments
Perhaps it’s a function of generation, but I remain fascinated by the short period during which Charlton Heston was Hollywood’s Man of the Future, its übermensch of dystopia. Maybe it was simply the success of The Planet of the Apes ...
The Best Home Video of 2012
Published 12/26/2012 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments
Our critic picks the best DVD, Blu-Ray, and streaming choices of the year.
Time-Travel Thriller 'Sound of My Voice' Hits the Wrong Notes
Published 12/12/2012 at 10:00 a.m. 0 comments
Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius) are skeptical. They’ve heard about the ethereal blonde woman drawing followers to a suburban California basement, but they can’t believe she’s anything but a sham, a cult leader sucking in the gullible, the ...
A New Criterion Edition Sparks Reconsideration of 'Heaven’s Gate'
Published 11/28/2012 at 11:46 a.m. 0 comments
For a generation of filmgoers, the very title is synonymous with “bloated debacle.”
It’s the Right Time for a New Edition of Godard’s Biting, Class-Conscious Comedy 'Weekend'
Published 11/14/2012 at 11:52 a.m. 0 comments
If there was ever a time for Weekend to reappear, it’s our recessionary, Occupied era.
Lives of the Artists: Two New Docs Offer Insight Into the Creative Life
Published 10/24/2012 at 11:12 a.m. 0 comments
In many ways, Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present (Music Box DVD) is a film about watching a woman sit nonreactive, silent, motionless in front of a parade of strangers for hours, for weeks, for months. But Matthew Akers’ new ...
The Criterion Collection Stretches the Boundaries of Classic Cinema
Published 10/10/2012 at 12:24 p.m. 0 comments
What makes a classic film a classic? Landing on some critic’s list? Currency among cinephiles over time? One possible definition is inclusion in the Criterion Collection, the movie-nerd benchmark for quality and erudition.
'Beyond the Black Rainbow' Is More Than Just a Stylish Tribute to ’80s Horror and Sci-Fi
Published 9/19/2012 at 11:06 a.m. 0 comments
The stark, chromatic décor and the pulsing synth score telegraph the days when future visions were transmitted via VHS cassette, or maybe expensive laserdisc. But then this isn’t quite like any 1983 that ever existed on film, much less anything ...
Two Different Approaches To Murder: 'The Snowtown Murders' and 'Kill List'
Published 9/5/2012 at 9:47 a.m. 0 comments
Poverty, broken windows, broken family structures, substance abuse—you know the story. As The Snowtown Murders unfolds, this based-on-actual-events tale takes an even more disturbing turn. Casual murder as a fact of life gets an altogether more facile rendering in Kill ...
Two New Documentaries Look at the Dramatic Lives of Bob Marley and Bobby Liebling
Published 8/22/2012 at 11:25 a.m. 1 comment
Bob Marley remains one of the best-known people on the planet, even 31 years after he left it. But all the namechecks and merchandising have left him seeming like more of an icon than a mere mortal, or even an ...
Dog Days: Our Critic Suffers Through the Late-Summer Dregs of Home Video So You Don’t Have To
Published 8/8/2012 at 11:08 a.m. 0 comments
There comes a time every summer when the home-entertainment enthusiast finds him- or herself at a loss, surveying the options for a wind-down flick and finding them wanting. Or maybe this only happens to home-entertainment enthusiasts who write biweekly columns ...
Kenneth Lonergan Gives Viewers Plenty to Talk About With Two Cuts of His Long-Awaited Indie Drama 'Margaret'
Published 7/25/2012 at 11:42 a.m. 0 comments
Margaret is a masterpiece. Margaret is a debacle. It’s the follow-up from hell, the vindication of an exacting filmmaker, a potential career-crippler. It’s indulgent and “arty,” and it’s brisk and disciplined. And none of these judgments are necessarily dependent on ...
Two Rare Spaghetti Westerns Exemplify Gritty Italian Filmmaking of the ’60s
Published 7/11/2012 at 5:44 p.m. 0 comments
The stylistic legacy of director Sergio Leone and his less-celebrated muchachos extends into the present day, not least in Quentin Tarantino’s forthcoming pasta-faux-zool Django Unchained. But there are still plenty of treasures left unexplored by most quick-draw cinephiles, and niche ...