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Chris Barsanti
Image: Chris Barsanti

Chris Barsanti is an habitual scrivener on books and film for the lucky readers of PopMatters, Film Journal International, Film Racket, and Publishers Weekly, and has also been published in The Chicago Tribune, The Millions, The Barnes and Noble Review, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and New York Film Critics Online. His books include Filmology: A Movie-a-Day Guide to the Movies You Need to Know, the Eyes Wide Open annual film guide series, and The Sci-Fi Movie Guide: The Universe of Film from ‘Alien’ to ‘Zardoz’. His writings can be found here.


Tuesday, December 30 2014

2014: A Most Mediocre Year

The odds of discovering gems like Boyhood felt thinner in 2014 than they have for quite some time.

Sunday, January 13 2013

Films Facing Reality in 2012

The only movie of 2012 that makes a strong case for America being a cohesive social body with moral purpose binding it together is Lincoln. For those keeping track, that film is set 147 years ago.

Wednesday, August 22 2012

What 'True Romance' Did for Tony Scott and Hollywood

Tony Scott’s take on this violently funny genre mishmash gave his career new life, and also transmitted Quentin Tarantino’s vision more credibly than the screenwriter and then-novice director could have done himself.

Sunday, January 15 2012

Movies 2011: American Gothic

While comic-book apocalypses ripped across US multiplexes, some smaller films of 2011 envisioned an icier, more disruptive darkness at the heart of the American family.

Wednesday, January 5 2011

It Was a Very Good Year for Film

Now that the first decade of the new millennium is done with, despite what the snarking class might say, the state of film is very healthy indeed -- even considering atrocities like Sex and the City 2.


Sunday, March 9 2014

The Drowning Pool: When Great Writers Are Drunks

Berryman, Carver, Cheever, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Williams; none could tend the flame of their talent with anything but liquor and devastation.

Thursday, January 16 2014

A Lot of Good Books Published in 2013 Kept Me Awake at Night

The year 2013 saw a rash of big new books published, from the likes of Stephen King, Malcolm Gladwell, and David Sedaris; none of whom made this list.

Tuesday, February 19 2013

‘Going Clear’: Lawyers, Guns, Money & Scientology

Lawrence Wright’s devastating, impeccably researched history of Scientology’s “Prison of Belief” vividly illustrates the ability of this “Church” to successfully prey upon nearly every dark strain in the modern American psyche, from celebrity-worship to ego-mania and the lust for power and money.

Wednesday, October 10 2012

Woe is Us: ‘What’s the Matter with White People?’

Salon editor Joan Walsh’s half-brilliant and half-confused memoir / manifesto posits that many white Americans have historically taken out their frustration over declining opportunities on minorities … and Democrats.

Wednesday, November 3 2010

President Obama and The Long Fade

Two new books on the Obama presidency make clear that the dream, such as it was, is over -- though not necessarily in the way you'd think. Whether or not something has actually died, the obituary has already been written for Barack Obama's promise of progressive reform


Friday, March 27 2015

'Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter' Finds Riches in the Coen Brothers' 'Fargo'

This film about a woman so obsessed with Fargo she thinks it contains clues to buried treasure turns into a beautiful, chilly odyssey.

Wednesday, March 18 2015

‘The Whites’ Gives Slumming a Good Name

Reported reality gives Price’s novel, published under his new crime-genre pen name Harry Brandt, a sharp tang that resonates with the best of his work.

Tuesday, March 3 2015

In 'Ghettoside' Murder Isn't Just a Crime, It's a Disease

Reporter Jill Leovy’s intimate and intricate story of murder in Los Angeles is part crime epic and part call to arms about a crisis decades in the making.

Monday, February 9 2015

Does 'The Jinx' Give a Platform to a Possible Murderer?

The elements of glorification and exploitation in The Jinx are enough to make one wonder if it supports accused murderer Robert Durst.

Friday, February 6 2015

The Wachowski Siblings Repeat Themselves in 'Jupiter Ascending'

At this point in the Wachowskis’ career, another hyped-up science-fiction saga about fate and humanity-as-cattle feels like less of a recurring theme and more like a lack of imagination.

Avatar [17.Dec.09]
A Serious Man [10.Dec.09]
Serious Moonlight [10.Dec.09]
The Last Station [8.Dec.09]
Endgame [5.Nov.09]
9 [8.Sep.09]
Grey Gardens [19.Apr.09]
Brothers by Yu Hua [22.Feb.09]
Bonnie and Clyde [30.Apr.08]


Friday, January 23 2015

'The Grand Budapest Hotel' Deserves to Win Almost All the Oscars 'Boyhood' Doesn't

Ralph Fiennes holds civilization together with little more than his impeccable manners and mustache in Wes Anderson’s absurdist dollhouse of a tragicomedy.

Tuesday, January 13 2015

Tom Hardy in 'Locke': The Most Overlooked Performance at the 2014 Golden Globes

Tom Hardy’s visceral performance in this one-man meltdown packs more drama than a half-dozen multi-character stories.

Tuesday, September 9 2014

The Top 5 Sci-Fi Movies That Never Were

No, David Cronenberg’s Total Recall never made it to the screen. And we are all the poorer for it.

Wednesday, August 6 2014

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Out-Whedons ‘The Avengers’

What makes James Gunn's scruffier and un-spandex'd band of reluctant heroes so appealing is how they approximate the good-hearted rogues on the raggedy charm of space westerns like Whedon’s own "Firefly".

Friday, July 25 2014

You Barely Need One Percent of Your Brain to Appreciate 'Lucy'

If you surgically grafted a snippet of Flowers for Algernon and a low-end documentary about the human brain onto a Cliff Notes summary of La Femme Nikita, the result might approach the lazy schizophrenia of Luc Besson's latest fembot warrior fantasy.

The Stultifying Speeches of ‘The Monuments Men’ (Short Ends and Leader) [11.Feb.14]
An Absence of Evidence: 'The Unknown Known' (Short Ends and Leader) [27.Nov.13]
‘Gravity’: You’re All Alone (Short Ends and Leader) [4.Oct.13]
‘Oblivion’ Scavenges for Ideas (Short Ends and Leader) [2.Aug.13]
Crime Story: Dennis Farina (1944-2013) (Short Ends and Leader) [29.Jul.13]
Dad Against the Apocalypse in ‘Pacific Rim’ (Short Ends and Leader) [12.Jul.13]
The Academy Awards Are Decadent and Depraved (Short Ends and Leader) [26.Feb.13]
Getting on With It in ’56 Up’ (Short Ends and Leader) [23.Jan.13]
A ‘Hobbit’ That Overstays Its Welcome (Short Ends and Leader) [13.Dec.12]
The '2016' "Snub" (Short Ends and Leader) [6.Dec.12]
Icons at War in ‘Skyfall’ (Short Ends and Leader) [16.Nov.12]
In ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Money Matters (Short Ends and Leader) [10.Aug.12]
‘Take This Waltz’: The Rites of Summer (Short Ends and Leader) [29.Jun.12]
The 5 Greatest Martin Scorsese Oddities (Short Ends and Leader) [6.Mar.12]
Five Oscars the Academy Got Wrong (Short Ends and Leader) [1.Mar.12]
The Bad News Statisticians: 'Moneyball' (Short Ends and Leader) [23.Sep.11]
The Not-Quite Lost Art of the Movie Poster (Short Ends and Leader) [6.Apr.11]
'Sucker Punch'; The Zack Snyder Experience (Short Ends and Leader) [25.Mar.11]
'The Fighter', Quietly Brawling (Short Ends and Leader) [17.Dec.10]
ESPN Films 30 for 30 Gift Set Collection, Volume 1 (Consuming Consumables) [14.Dec.10]
The Pacific (HBO Miniseries) (Consuming Consumables) [13.Dec.10]
Encyclopedia of the Exquisite (Consuming Consumables) [9.Dec.10]
Silverdocs Documentary Festival 2010: 'Regretters' (Notes from the Road) [28.Jun.10]
The A-Team: Flying Tanks and Jolly Rangers (Short Ends and Leader) [11.Jun.10]
Alice in Wonderland: The Triumph of Reason (Short Ends and Leader) [4.Mar.10]
Shutter Island: In a Lonely Place (Short Ends and Leader) [18.Feb.10]
Blue World: James Cameron’s 'Avatar' (Short Ends and Leader) [17.Dec.09]
Fables the Deluxe Edition: Book One (Consuming Consumables) [1.Dec.09]
We Live in Public: Post-Reality TV (Short Ends and Leader) [29.Aug.09]
Inglourious Basterds: The Trouble with Tarantino (Short Ends and Leader) [20.Aug.09]
Harry Potter, Forever! (Short Ends and Leader) [15.Jul.09]
Redemption of a Jerk (Re:Print) [6.Jul.09]
Away We Go: Home Sweet Wherever (Short Ends and Leader) [4.Jun.09]
The Sucker King (Re:Print) [28.May.09]
Outrage Review Censored (Short Ends and Leader) [18.May.09]
A Shortage of Villainy (Short Ends and Leader) [7.May.09]
The Beats: A Graphic History (Re:Print) [15.Apr.09]
Adventureland: Bastards of Young (Short Ends and Leader) [8.Apr.09]
Watchmen (Consuming Consumables) [13.Dec.08]
Willie & Joe: The WWII Years (Consuming Consumables) [4.Dec.08]
WALL-E: 3-Disc Special Edition (Consuming Consumables) [30.Nov.08]
The Graphic Report: Summer Edition (Re:Print) [11.Aug.08]
Consumer Apocalypse: WALL-E (Short Ends and Leader) [29.Jun.08]
Late Delivery: Take Out (2004) (Short Ends and Leader) [28.Jun.08]
HBO: The Movie (Short Ends and Leader) [29.May.08]
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Short Ends and Leader) [21.May.08]
The Will Eisner Edition (Re:Print) [22.Jan.08]
Mexican Radio (Re:Print) [10.Jan.08]
The Graphic Edition (Re:Print) [6.Jan.08]
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan [$13.95] (Consuming Consumables) [28.Nov.07]
The Road by Cormac McCarthy [$14.95] (Consuming Consumables) [18.Nov.07]
National Book Awards (Re:Print) [16.Nov.07]
Truth in Comics: After the Deluge (Re:Print) [3.Nov.07]
Bookmarks: The Book of Vices (Re:Print) [28.Sep.07]
We Are (Somewhat) Amused (Re:Print) [30.Aug.07]
Winning the Right War (Re:Print) [23.Aug.07]
The World Without Us (Re:Print) [7.Aug.07]
Getting Biblical (Re:Print) [30.Jul.07]
Soon-Forgotten Harry (Re:Print) [23.Jul.07]
Vampire Love Triangle (Re:Print) [18.Jul.07]
The next Potter? (Re:Print) [16.Jul.07]
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