.Movies

Sep 21, 2022

Here on Earth: Docs about a killer avalanche and the life of ‘ecopragmatist’ Stewart...

You don’t have to be a winter sports enthusiast to be mesmerized by Buried. The documentary, subtitled The 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche, shows in frighteningly vivid terms what happened on March 31, 1982, when a 3,200-foot wall of snow thundered down the slopes of Alpine Meadows ski resort in...
Aug 24, 2022

Tough Break: What makes the bank-holdup movie ‘Breaking’ different from the rest?

Stripped to its bare essentials, Breaking is a chamber piece. An extremely tense one—botched daylight bank robbery, hostages, police snipers closing in, the lone bank robber growing increasingly unglued. Only four main characters are involved: the armed...
Aug 17, 2022

Odd Man Out: ‘Free Chol Soo Lee’ is a portrait of inequality, racism and...

If it’s accurate to suggest that the chief business of most mainstream narrative movies is to provide happy endings and that documentaries own the license to make an audience agitated, worried or depressed, then the documentary Free...
Aug 10, 2022

Nope: Mopey gloom and doomsayers are no match for Keke Palmer’s shine.

Jordan Peele’s NOPE opens with a chimpanzee wearing one of those outfits that barely contained Gene Kelly’s biceps in An American in Paris (1951). Unlike Kelly, Gordy the chimpanzee doesn’t dance across a movie screen awash in...
Aug 10, 2022

Thieves Like Us: Bad girl Aubrey Plaza hits her stride as ‘Emily the Criminal’

A few of us have known someone like Emily, the protagonist of Emily the Criminal—usually for a very short time. That’s because our heroine, played in the key of B-So-What by Aubrey Plaza,  operates on the slippery...
Aug 3, 2022

Almost Grown: Coming of age is no picnic in Lena Dunham’s ‘Sharp Stick’

Let’s talk about Lena Dunham. Tiny Furniture (2010)---which she wrote, directed and starred in—set the bar for ultra-indie explorations of the lives of women, Millennial-style. In it, she portrays a recent college graduate who has moved back...
Jul 27, 2022

You’re So Vain: What’s okay about ‘Not Okay?’ Plenty.

It’s a shame we don’t have more sharp-fanged communications-biz character studies like Quinn Shephard’s Not Okay. Too many would-be satires aim for easy political targets and end up ignoring the most despicable wrong-doings—for instance, social media. Writer-director...
Jul 20, 2022

Hee Haw!: ‘My Donkey, My Lover & I’ passes the ‘Make It French’ test

When it comes to curious mental games that critics sometimes play, one of the most entertaining is “Make It French.” It works like this: In the midst of watching an ordinary, insipid American-made romantic comedy, the viewer...
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