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Tuesday, September 9 2014

The Teachers Are the Children in ‘Words and Pictures’

The premise of the film is too silly to ring as true, but the palpable chemistry of Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche makes this an enjoyable trifle.


What Happens When You Don’t Want Your Kid?: ‘Proxy’

A slack conclusion can't totally detract from the twisty script, mannered performances, and uncommonly gorgeous direction that make Proxy, the must-see independent thriller of 2014 so far.


Monday, September 8 2014

‘A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY’: Tales of How to Stay Alive

Knowledge of what might happen, a sense of limits and possibilities, make New York firefighters' lives simultaneously extraordinary and essential.


Abuse and Weakness in Pialat’s ‘We Won’t Grow Old Together’

The most excruciating of breakup movies, "We Won't Grow Old Together" showcases a classic performance from Jean Yanne.


‘Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!’: Pornography and Love in the Eye of the Beholder

Almodóvar's shocking, NC-17 film makes us realize that pornography and love are only in the eye of the beholder.


Friday, September 5 2014

‘Gringo Trails’ Explores the Complicated Business of Tourism

Gringo Trails doesn't explore the construction of travelers' desire for an "authentic" experience, but instead focuses on its effects: the global tourism industry.


(Not So) Sex Obsessed: ‘Alain Robbe-Grillet: Six Films 1963-74’

The controversial French director's best known films are collected into this handsome six-film BFI box set, full of impressive nouvelle vague innovation.


Thursday, September 4 2014

‘Wetlands’: Grossing Out and Coming of Age Now

Wetlands is both sweet if off-kilter love story and a movie full of stomach-churning material. Think of a substance you might find unpleasant, and you can probably find it here.


Twenty Years, Too Fast: ‘The Past Is a Grotesque Animal: A Film About Of Montreal’

The Past Is a Grotesque Animal takes a compelling, 20-year long story, and zips far too quickly through it.


Wednesday, September 3 2014

‘To Be Takei’ Is to Be a Civil Rights Activist, Nonstop

Framing George Takei as part of a larger project that has as much to do with his civil rights activism as with his acting career, "to be Takei" is something of a job.


‘Blended’: Sandler’s Still Searching for His Sweet Spot

Reuniting Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore can't spark the magic long lost from the former comedian's flailing career.


Tuesday, September 2 2014

Unnerving ‘Insomnia’ Gets Under Your Skin

Most people know Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia; few people, regrettably, know the superior work from which it is adapted.


Nixonian Paranoia in 2014: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

The Captain America movies are well-suited to mix and match time periods with a comic-book-y flair.


Friday, August 29 2014

‘Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering’: Language Turned Inside Out

Eric Merola's documentary shows us what happens when our everyday language must be turned inside out.


Yet Another One Bites the Dust: ‘The Calling’

Ironically, this film also takes pains to point out the obvious pratfalls of making yet another serial killer film in the first place.


Thursday, August 28 2014

‘Love Is Strange’: Complicated Lives in Tight Spaces

The film reminds us of just how difficult it can be to find one's own tempo amidst radical changes caused by unjust circumstances.


In ‘The Love Punch’, Money Does Buy Happiness

The troubling implicit moral at the end of The Love Punch encapsulates the film's insubstantial construction.


‘The Wind Will Carry Us’ Is a Challenging Climb to the Top of the Hill

Abbas Kiarostami's film subverts viewer expectations of what makes a film satisfying, or even enjoyable.


Wednesday, August 27 2014

‘The Railway Man’ Goes Off the Rails With Sentimentality

The movie wastes its impressive cast, choosing instead to drown itself in sentimentalism.


Tuesday, August 26 2014

Kristen Wiig Sinks ‘Hateship Loveship’

Infusing Alice Munro's portrait of a lonely woman and her quest for happiness with deadpan comic beats, Kristen Wiig muddies the tone of "Hateship Loveship" and leaves it without a center.


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