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Thursday, July 24 2014

‘The Newburgh Sting’ Has Us Wondering, Is the FBI Thwarting or Conjuring Terrorism?

The plot these would-be terrorists conjure is as preposterous as any you'd find in a bad action movie.


Wednesday, July 23 2014

Disney and Spike Lee Unite in ‘The Spike Lee Joint Collection’

Even with some dips in quality, these four movies represent part of a remarkable run; you can feel all of them strive for masterpiece status.


Tuesday, July 22 2014

‘30 for 30: Slaying the Badger’: Shenanigans at the 1986 Tour de France

Slaying the Badger constructs an exciting, sometimes troubling story of competition and deceit, focused on the 1986 Tour de France.


‘Scanners’ Still Has the Power to Blow Your Mind

Three decades later, Scanners is still a head-popping good time.


Monday, July 21 2014

The Editor as Auteur in ‘A Fever in the Blood’ and ‘Wall of Noise’

Despite their flaws, A Fever in the Blood and Wall of Noise reveal the crucial role of the film editor.


Music Brings New Life to the Elderly in ‘Alive Inside’

The film's best argument for the positive effects of music is made in images of individuals' vivid, apparently immediate responses.


Friday, July 18 2014

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel Act Out for ‘Sex Tape’

Sex Tape demonstrates that it's very hard to do a funny movie about the difficulty of maintaining a successful marriage.


‘The Purge: Anarchy’ Takes Aim at the One Percent

The absurd extremes of this story have an expansive quality that leaves acres of room to explore its moral, political, and socioeconomic possibilities. But it doesn't.


‘Ace in the Hole’ Points its Finger at the Audience

Billy Wilder spares no one—not even the viewer—in this scathing satire of American culture.


Thursday, July 17 2014

‘The Congress’ Is Ari Folman’s Ode to Cinema

While The Congress suggests the entertainment industry is dystopian, its own rich strangeness offers a utopian corrective.


In ‘Overlord’, Someone’s Gotta Go First

Stuart Cooper's World War II drama Overlord easily deserves a place among the great anti-war films.


Wednesday, July 16 2014

‘Broken Heart Land’ Heartbreakingly Tells of the Harm Done by Intolerance

Norman, Oklahoma serves as a haven for both tolerance and intolerance. This contradiction comes to trouble the parents of Zack Harrington, who killed himself in 2010.


‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ Is Elliptic and Suggestive

Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock, now in a sterling Criterion edition, remains lovely to look at and difficult to fully comprehend.


Tuesday, July 15 2014

Mysterious Aliens and Inscrutable Humans: ‘Under the Skin’

The simple yet transformative hat-trick of Under the Skin is that it is the humans who are alien.


Monday, July 14 2014

‘Getting Back to Abnormal’ Is How Things Are Done in New Orleans

Masquerade is a means of survival in post-Hurricane Katrine New Orleans.


‘Closed Curtain’ Opens the Door to Trouble

Jafar Panahi's Closed Curtain showcases the difficulties of making art and being an artist in a troubled world.


Friday, July 11 2014

It’s the Humans That Go Ape in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

Matt Reeves’ sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a tight, bleak, and dramatically lopsided tragedy wrapped inside a pummeling summer crowd-pleaser.


On Roman Polanski and the Psychosexual Power in ‘Venus in Fur’

Polanski's movies tend to be even-handed in their treatment of the sexes, at least in that both male and female characters can be conniving and power-mad.


‘Southern Comfort’ Is Populated By Tropes

Walter Hill's talkiest action film boasts one of his best stories, but isn't the forgotten classic one might hope for.


Thursday, July 10 2014

The Art of Romance in ‘They Came Together’ and ‘Begin Again’

With so many mainstream movie romances mired in clichés, it's up to the indie sector to offer more nuanced, more original versions of the movie romance.


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