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#New York Film Festival

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Review: The Other Side of the Wind

Orson Welles’ final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was shot from 1970-1976, but it wasn’t fully assembled until this year. The film released by Netflix today is an imperfect salvage job. Welles only finished editing about 40-...

 
 
 
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The 300 Week 40: THIS IS GAGA!

Why howdy, partner, and welcome back to The 300, a rootin' tootin' feature on my wild attempt to watch 300 movies in theaters in the year 2018. I’ll be watching new releases, classics, hidden gems, and festival films to experience the...

 
 
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NYFF Review: Roma

Thinking about the opening shot of Roma brings tears to my eyes. The centerpiece film at the 2018 New York Film Festival is a masterful display of Alfonso Cuaron’s craft, and how the magic of filmmaking can situate the mind in a speci...

 
 
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NYFF Review: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Like Hail, Caesar!, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a movie about movies. Hail, Caesar! took the tropes of the old-fashioned studio pictures and turned them into an interconnected backlot pastiche of cinematic styles. You had composites of ...

 
 
 
 
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Review: Last Flag Flying

Richard Linklater's movies tend to work best when they feel like hanging out. There's a breeziness to the language as people walk, talk, and spend time with one another that resembles genuine conversation. The Before trilogy best exemplifie...

 
 
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Review: Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird reminded me of my own experiences growing up. When a coming-of-age movie works, I'm bound to say that, and Lady Bird is one that works so well. Or, as they say in Northern California, hella good. Given, Lady Bi...

 
 
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Review: The Square

The Square, the latest film from Force Majeure director Ruben Östlund, reveals its entire thesis in its opening scenes. Anne, an art journalist (Elizabeth Moss), interviews Christian, an art museum curator (Claes Bang). She quotes a bi...

 
 
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Review: Wonderstruck

Watching Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck is like watching a juggler who can't quite find the right rhythm. Parallel narratives unfold 50 years apart (one in 1977 and one in 1927), but it takes 20 minutes before the cross-cutting finds a proper fl...

 
 
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Review: The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

All happy families are the same; each unhappy family is only sort of the same, and will eventually wind up in their own movie or book. Take the Meyerowitzes in Noah Baumbach's latest movie. This sophisticated clan of New Yorkers reminded of...

 
 
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NYFF Review: Zama

Zama is a novelistic film, but not because it's an adaptation of a 1956 Argentinian novel by Antonio di Benedetto. Watching Zama creates a feeling that's similar to reading. The shots are so carefully composed, the sound design so meti...

 
 
 
 
 
 
Review: The B-Side photo

Review: The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography

The B-Side is an atypical Errol Morris documentary. He doesn't use the Interrotron at all, his tool that allows interviewees to stare directly into the camera. Instead, the camera's just off to the side. The score is delicate rather than a ...

 
 
Review: Abacus photo

Review: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Steve James may be incapable of directing a bad documentary. His films includes Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, and Life Itself. With Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, James continues his record as one of America's most reliable non-fiction...

 
 
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Review: My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea

There are so many possibilities in My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, the directorial debut of indie comics artist Dash Shaw. There's the image of an entire high school building adrift on the ocean and sinking. Think Lord of the Fl...

 
 
Review: Paterson photo

Review: Paterson

Jim Jarmusch's Paterson is work of subtle optimism. It's a gentle film, kind and generous, funny, too. Watching the movie, I sensed Jarmusch giving me a reassuring push, like a parent at a swing or a child casting off a toy boat. Paterson i...

 
 
NYFF Review: Toni Erdmann photo

Review: Toni Erdmann

There's no way Toni Erdmann could ever live up to its hype. Reviews from Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival touted the German film as a 162-minute screwball comedy masterpiece, packed with high emotional stakes and major lau...

 
 
Review: I, Daniel Blake photo

Review: I, Daniel Blake

Bureaucracies make great villains. Faceless and absurd, they operate in such nefarious ways and are perfect machines for dehumanization. Bureaucracies are reliably inefficient, needlessly hierarchical, ruthlessly procedure-obsessed, and alw...

 
 
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Review: Manchester by the Sea

Watching Manchester by the Sea, I was reminded of two lines from the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch: "I cry, because I will laugh if I don't" and "I laugh, because I will cry if I don't". Kenneth Lonergan's latest film is filled with con...

 
 
Review: Billy Lynn's photo

Review: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

I can say this about Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: Ang Lee and his cast have their hearts in the right place. Adapted from Ben Fountain's novel of the same name, the film is constantly trying to remind its viewers about the toll that war...

 
 
Review: The 13th photo

DOC NYC Review: 13TH

13TH feels like a culmination of Ava DuVernay's career to this point. The documentary brings together the racial and social history of Selma, her years of work as a documentarian, her stint as a journalist, and even her undergraduate degree...

 
 
Review: Elle photo

Review: Elle

Elle has been billed as a rape-comedy, but that's a misnomer. It's a comedy in the classical sense given the events of the story, but it's not necessarily funny (there are funny scenes, though). And yes, it's about rape. Elle has been laude...

 
 
Review: Gimme Danger photo

Review: Gimme Danger

Iggy Pop and Jim Jarmusch sound like an unlikely pairing. One's the primal frontman of proto-punk legends The Stooges, the other's a mellow, measured indie auteur. But maybe there's something magnetic about their respective brands of Midwes...

 
 
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Review: Moonlight

I don't want to (and am not going to) make this review about the fact that Moonlight is a film about African Americans. It's not a topic I can avoid, but I want to get as much of that as I can out of the way in this intro. So... here goes: ...

 
 
Review: Fire at Sea photo

Review: Fire at Sea

Sometimes I'll see a movie and that makes me shake my head and say, "Okay, yeah, I get it". These sorts of movies are ones that I can understand at a formal, metaphorical, or thematic level, and yet even though I understand the choice that ...

 
 
 
 
Review: The Lobster photo

Review: The Lobster

I still haven't gotten around to seeing Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth, though I intend to. The blackly surreal 2009 film was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar and drew favorable comparisons to the work of Luis Bunuel and Michael Han...

 
 
Review: Where to Invade photo

Review: Where to Invade Next

Michael Moore and Donald Trump have something in common. No, seriously. They want to make America great again. In Where to Invade Next, Moore pretends he's been sent by the Pentagon to invade other countries. His mission: to steal their ide...

 
 
Review: Steve Jobs photo

Review: Steve Jobs

I was texting a friend about Steve Jobs over the weekend, the new biopic written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle. Sorkin thankfully avoided the birth-to-death biopic that we've all seen and grown tired of by now. Instead Jobs' l...

 
 
Review: Experimenter photo

Review: Experimenter

If you've taken an Intro to Psychology class, you've heard about Stanley Milgram. His most famous experiments involved obedience and how normal people succumb to the effects of authority. The set up: Subject A is asked to test the memory of...

 
 
Review: Bridge of Spies photo

Review: Bridge of Spies

Watching Bridge of Spies, I realized almost immediately the difference between a beautiful film and a handsome film. Steven Spielberg's latest movie is handsome. It's cleanly shot, polished, glossy, with impeccable acting in almost every sc...

 
 
The Forbidden Room review photo

Review: The Forbidden Room

Guy Maddin's The Forbidden Room has been described as a series of nested movies, but I don't think that description is accurate. "Nested" seems more about neat structure to me, the way that Matryoshka dolls fit neatly (or neat enough) one i...

 
 
Review: Junun photo

Review: Junun

How do you review a home movie with a great soundtrack? In a lot of ways that's precisely what Paul Thomas Anderson's Junun is. Anderson shot the footage earlier this year, chronicling a month-long recording session between Radiohead's Jonn...

 
 
Review: The Walk photo

Review: The Walk

It's impossible to watch The Walk without thinking about James Marsh's 2008 film Man on Wire. The Academy Award-winning documentary chronicled French tightrope walker Philippe Petit's high-wire act between the towers of the World Trade Cent...

 
 




Reviews   filter by...

Instant Family"I'm not crying! You're crying!"

 

Widows"Viola Davis = fire"

 

They Shall Not Grow Old"Every bit as remarkable as expected"

 

The Long Dumb Road"Not quite long and only a little dumb"

 

Overlord"Cloverlord"

 

The Girl in the Spider's Web"Great 'Girl,' lame 'Spider's Web'"

 

The Grinch"Stink, Stank, Stunk"

 

The Other Side of the Wind"Orson Welles' "final" film is an angry, sloppy, salvaged ego trip"

 

Bohemian Rhapsody"Traveling at the speed of light"

 

The Great Buster"Proof that silent movies never get old"

 

Monster Party"Cause the party don't stop until -- wait, it does stop."

 

Mid90s"A pretty good coming-of-age movie that you've probably seen before"

 

Castlevania (Season 2)"Let us go out this night for exposition"

 

Johnny English Strikes Again"Atkinson is a load-bearing actor"

 

All Creatures Here Below" And the Most Disturbing Movie goes to..."

 

Suspiria"An arthouse overhaul of Dario Argento's 1977 classic that will enrage and alienate audiences (but I liked it... I think?)"

 

Blessed Are the Children"Won't someone think of the children?"

 

Halloween"You can teach an old slasher new tricks"

 

Wild Rose (London Film Festival)"Country music, without the Western"

 

Johnny Gruesome"A GWAR T-shirt come to life"

 

First Man"Spaceman says everybody look down"

 

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween"It'll make you cry like an anime fan on prom night"

 

Apostle"This is not The Raid 3"

 
 
 
 
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