Death of British filmmaker Michael Apted at 79, director of Up documentary series, Coal Miner’s Daughter
By Paul Bond and Kevin Martinez, 12 January 2021
Film director Michael Apted, who died January 7, was responsible for an intriguing variety of work over his lengthy career. We are reposting here the review of 63 Up as a tribute.
By Ed Hightower, 7 December 2020
Writer-performer Sacha Baron Cohen cannot resist mocking even the most undeserving targets, including a Holocaust survivor who tries to disabuse the title character of his (feigned) anti-Semitism.
By Joanne Laurier and David Walsh, 24 October 2020
The film deals with the court proceedings in 1969–70 in which organizers of protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago faced charges of conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intent to incite a riot.
By Marc Wells, 25 September 2020
After months of negotiations behind closed doors, the Hollywood unions reached a return-to-work agreement that will expose entertainment industry workers to the COVID-19 contagion as television and film production resumes.
By Carlos Delgado, 5 September 2020
Far from honoring his memory, the media’s over-the-top eulogizing demeans the actor’s work and serves reactionary political ends.
By Erik Schreiber, 6 June 2020
The latest film from the Safdie brothers has much momentum, but little insight into its grasping protagonist or his tawdry world.
National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood—How the US military and CIA go about their propaganda operations
By Charles Bogle, 27 February 2020
The book, by Matthew Alford and Tom Secker, presents extensive evidence that US government departments and agencies use multiple means to manipulate content and even block production of Hollywood films.
By Tom Carter, 23 January 2020
Weinstein has every right to confront his accusers—and yes, attempt to discredit them.
By Erik Schreiber, 11 January 2020
To present former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly as a truth-teller and role model, Bombshell minimizes Kelly’s right-wing views and largely ignores her employer’s role in promoting them.
By Matthew MacEgan, 27 December 2019
December 2019 saw the end of the “Skywalker Saga” with the latest entry in the Star Wars franchise of films.
By Carlos Delgado, 9 October 2019
The film attempts to treat a number of critical social issues, but falls short of making much sense of them.
By Joanne Laurier, 31 July 2019
Tarantino’s latest film reimagines 1969 Los Angeles and the disintegration of the traditional studio system.
By Kevin Martinez, 6 April 2019
Director Jordan Peele’s latest horror film tells the story of a vacationing family stalked by their doppelgängers. The results are murky, pretentious and strangely unaffecting.
By David Walsh, 22 March 2019
Kevin Tsujihara, one of the American film industry’s most powerful executives, resigned March 18 after texts were made public indicating he had promised to promote an actress’ career in exchange for sex.
By Carlos Delgado, 20 June 2018
The film stars Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, a professional criminal who concocts a plan to steal a $150 million diamond necklace during New York City’s Met Gala.
By Joanne Laurier, 17 March 2018
Woody Allen’s newest film, Wonder Wheel, set in the 1950s, involves four characters whose unhappy lives become entwined in Coney Island—New York’s iconic amusement park.
By Joanne Laurier, 23 December 2017
Payne’s latest work is a science-fiction satire that proposes to solve the earth’s ecological and other problems by “downsizing,” or physically shrinking, human beings.
By Eric London, 18 October 2017
The Weinstein sex scandal clears the way for the far-right takeover of a major Hollywood studio.
By Kevin Martinez, 28 December 2016
Despite its use of exotic locales and beautiful people, this World War II era “romantic thriller” fails to make a lasting—or much of any—impression.
By Matthew MacEgan, 21 December 2016
December 16 saw the release of the first stand-alone Star Wars film. The plot of Rogue One is an exact prequel to the 1977 original.
By Hiram Lee, 7 January 2016
Tarantino’s latest is a deeply unpleasant work, another in a long line of the director’s blood-soaked revenge fantasies.
By George Marlowe, 14 December 2015
In Spike Lee’s latest film, young women in Chicago seek to end gang violence and social breakdown by means of a sex strike.
By David Walsh, 24 February 2015
Social and political realities found expression on Sunday in a manner that accords with the film world’s peculiarities and contradictions.
By David Walsh, 4 March 2014
Sunday’s awards ceremony in Hollywood was undistinguished for the most part by excitement, urgency or social insight.
By Joanne Laurier, 11 February 2014
George Clooney’s new film is the story of a squad of art experts serving in the US and Allied military who, toward the end of World War II, attempt to rescue art masterpieces stolen by the Nazis.
By David Walsh, 18 April 2013
The new film from director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, 2010), set in and around Schenectady, New York, is made up of several interconnected stories that take place over the course of fifteen years.
By David Walsh, 18 January 2013
The filmmaker and her screenwriter Mark Boal, in their political blindness and misreading of the current state of American public opinion, thought they could get away with murder, as it were.
By David Walsh, 11 January 2013
This year’s Academy Award nominations were announced Thursday morning during a media event at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California.
By Joanne Laurier, 10 January 2013
Sacha Gervasi’s new film focuses on the making of Psycho (1960), one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best known works.
By David Walsh, 5 January 2013
A German-born bounty hunter teams up with an ex-slave in the antebellum South in Quentin Tarantino’s newest film.
By David Walsh, 2 November 2012
German director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Heaven) and Andy and Lana Wachowski, responsible for the Matrix films, have teamed up to adapt David Mitchell’s 2004 novel, Cloud Atlas, for the screen.
By Dan Brennan, 24 October 2012
Argo, a new political thriller starring and directed by Ben Affleck, is based on declassified information about a little-known episode during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980.
By Hiram Lee, 28 October 2011
Filmmaker Bennett Miller turns a critical eye on the American professional sports industry in Moneyball.
By Hiram Lee, 26 May 2011
Thor, directed by actor-director Kenneth Branagh, is this year’s first blockbuster comic book movie.
By Hiram Lee, 3 May 2011
Source Code and Hanna are among the most recent and, unfortunately, most typical of Hollywood thrillers.
By David Walsh, 8 April 2011
The Lincoln Lawyer is a thriller-courtroom drama centering on Los Angeles attorney Mickey Haller, directed by Brad Furman (The Take) and adapted from the best-selling 2005 novel by veteran crime writer Michael Connelly.
By David Walsh, 1 March 2011
The 83rd Academy Awards ceremony, held Sunday night in Los Angeles, yielded few surprises, in terms of either the various presentations and special appearances or the winners in the most-prized categories.
By David Walsh, 23 February 2011
Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) is a sheltered insurance agent from a small town in Wisconsin in Cedar Rapids, a comedy directed by Miguel Arteta.
By David Walsh, 9 February 2011
In The Company Men, writer-director John Wells aims to dramatize the devastating consequences of the financial crash of September 2008.
By David Walsh, 26 January 2011
The Academy Awards process, like a good many social events in the US at this point, has a largely ritualistic character. Very little is left to chance, either in the nomination process or the ceremony itself.
By Joanne Laurier, 11 January 2011
Set in the early 1990s, the movie fictionally recounts the story of welterweight Micky Ward and his trainer, half-brother Dicky Eklund, as they battle poverty and adversity.
By Ramon Valle, 4 January 2011
Well-known filmmaker James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News) has directed an insipid, fairly pointless comedy.
By David Walsh, 2 December 2010
Why do make people make films? Why do people go see them? These questions come up in relation to Morning Glory, a film about the television business, directed by Roger Michell, because it seems such an essentially empty exercise.
By Hiram Lee, 7 October 2010
In Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, director Oliver Stone once again turns his attention to the crimes of the financial elite, which he first addressed in his 1987 film Wall Street.
By Kevin Martinez, 3 August 2010
The latest film from British director Christopher Nolan, responsible for Memento and The Dark Knight, in which a team of corporate spies are able to travel inside a person’s dreams to obtain valuable company secrets on behalf of wealthy clients.
By Charles Bogle, 13 July 2010
Solitary Man continues the unfortunate trend of American films on social problems that lack perspective and much understanding of the phenomena they set out to examine.
By Kevin Martinez, 24 June 2010
The recently released documentary about Jim Morrison and the Doors presents many intriguing images, but comes up short on explaining much about what produced the creative outburst of the time.
By Ramón Valle, 22 June 2010
Latest film starring Vanessa Redgrave has enough sentimentality and predictability to go around.
By Hiram Lee, 18 May 2010
Iron Man 2 is the latest comic book blockbuster to hit the big screen. It continues the saga of wealthy weapons manufacturer Tony Stark who battles super-powered villains with the aid of a special armored suit.
By Hiram Lee, 27 April 2010
The Runaways tells the story of the all-girl rock band with the same name that began performing in the 1970s and whose rise to fame was as much a tragedy as it was a success.
By Kevin Martinez, 14 April 2010
British director Guy Ritchie’s portrait of the famous Victorian detective, in his recent Sherlock Holmes, more closely resembles a quasi-superhero who likes to brawl and fight opponents with his bare hands.
By Hiram Lee, 13 April 2010
Repo Men is science fiction set at a time when artificial organs are sold on a payment plan and may be repossessed in the event that a transplant recipient can no longer pay his or her bills.
By Hiram Lee and David Walsh, 9 March 2010
This year’s Academy Awards ceremony has come and gone. The broadcast Sunday night from the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, at three hours and 32 minutes, was a long and dull affair in which relatively little of real life found its way into the proceedings.
By Hiram Lee, 27 January 2010
In Armored, a struggling Iraq war veteran gets a job as a guard with an armored car company and agrees to take part in a heist planned by his co-workers.
By Tracy Montry, 25 January 2010
Director Linklater wants it both ways: to associate himself with Welles’s well-known “anti-establishment” credentials, his most positive attributes, on the one hand, while shaking a politically correct finger at Welles’s personal ‘excesses,’ on the other.
By Christie Schaefer and Hiram Lee, 5 September 2009
Based on a popular toy and cartoon franchise, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a film that does little more than glorify militarism and war.
By Hiram Lee, 1 September 2009
Director Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is another sadistic revenge tale, this time set during the Second World War.
By Tom Horton, 14 August 2009
Funny People, producer-director Judd Apatow’s bid for recognition as a serious filmmaker, serves instead as the first major theatrical failure since his string of hits began in 2004.
By Joanne Laurier, 11 July 2009
Based on material in Bryan Burrough’s Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34, Michael Mann’s new film chronicles John Dillinger’s spectacular and shortlived crime spree.
By David Walsh, 3 July 2009
Malden first made his name in the New York theater as part of a generally left-wing group of writers, directors and performers and later enjoyed a long career in Hollywood extending from the postwar years to the early 1970s.
By Alan Whyte, 2 July 2009
A remake of the 1974 film, the new version of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 retains the same plotline: a gang of criminals hijacks a single New York City subway car and attempts to extort cash from city officials.
By Charles Bogle, 22 June 2009
In one astonishing 12-month period, 1932 to 1933, American filmmaker William Wellman directed 13 movies, 6 of which are included in this, the third volume in Turner Classic Movies’ “Forbidden Hollywood” collection.
By David Walsh, 30 May 2009
Lymelife, directed and co-written by Derick Martini (along with his brother Steven), takes place in a New York City suburb in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The film has its share of clichés, but it also reveals a certain insight.
By David Walsh, 27 March 2009
After the relatively critical edge of Michael Clayton, filmmaker Tony Gilroy appears to offer an olive branch to Hollywood in the form of the trivial, unengaged Duplicity.
By David Walsh, 13 March 2009
Films are only going to get worse before they get better, if Watchmen and the noisy, bombastic trailers accompanying it are any indication.
By Hiram Lee and David Walsh, 23 January 2009
The nominations for the 81st Annual Academy Awards were announced on Thursday. In general, it’s a poor showing of films not up to the task of treating real life with any complexity.
By Kevin Martinez, 6 January 2009
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button concerns itself with the fate of an individual who ages in reverse. Born a shriveled old man, Benjamin Button experiences the natural aging process backward.
By Jordan Mattos, 27 December 2008
In Darren Aronofsky’s fourth feature film, The Wrestler, veteran actor Mickey Rourke plays Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a professional wrestler in his fifties who is coping with life as a prisoner of his own mistakes.
By David Walsh, 22 October 2008
Directed by Oliver Stone, screenplay by Stanley Weiser W. is veteran American director Oliver Stone's film about the life and career of President George W. Bush. It was shot and edited rapidly for release while Bush was still in office. The November 4 election was no doubt a consideration as well.
By Hiram Lee, 1 October 2008
The death of actor Paul Newman on September 26, after a long battle with lung cancer, was followed by a flood of tributes and remembrances.
By Hiram Lee, 9 September 2008
Almost immediately, Hamlet 2, the new film from director Andrew Fleming and South Park writer Pam Brady, takes up a number of interesting and important themes. The film contains more than its share of promising material.
By David Walsh, 20 October 1998
Orson Welles directed the filming of Touch of Evil, his seventh feature, in early 1957. He got the assignment from Universal Studios in part due to the urging of the film's leading actor, Charlton Heston. It was Welles's first Hollywood film in a decade, and his only one of the 1950s.