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Film

'Ad Astra' Says Goodbye to the Great White God

At its better moments, James Gray and Dan Bradley's Ad Astra brings forth larger themes beyond the usual space action-thriller.

Recent
Film

'Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood' May Be Tarantino's Best, Most Assured Film

Tarantino's latest, Once Upon a Time.. in Hollywood, is a breezy, top-down-on-the-convertible kind of film that wows you with its surprising sweetness before punching you with a bloody fist.

Film

The Society of the 'Fight Club' Is the Society of the Spectacle

All work and no play make Fight Club's Jack deconstruct life, Cinema, and his own sanity.

Reviews

'Allied' and the Tired Fumes of Nostalgia

Despite an appealing cast, Robert Zemeckis' WWII romance relies too heavily on its influences and too little on engaging drama.

Reviews

'The Big Short' Falls Short

An informative and sometimes entertaining take on the recent financial crisis,The Big Short doesn't quite deliver on our investment.

Books

Roger Luckhurst's 'Zombies' Is Gory and Highly Informative

Zombies is just as much an anti-imperialist work as it is an historical examination of the walking dead.

Reviews

Want to Live? Better Keep Moving: 'World War Z'

Gerry is an implausible figure, low-key and soulful, vulnerable and repeatedly penetrable, but also unkillable. He sees what others don't, he acts when he must, and he knows what the plot needs him to know.

Reviews

'Moneyball', Like Baseball, is About More than Just Baseball

How could a movie present such dense material and interest general audiences? With the help of a few key players, of course.

Film

The Bad News Statisticians: 'Moneyball'

There’s an ugly and unromantic truth behind Bennett Miller’s baseball stats semi-comedy Moneyball that it acknowledges and then dances away from.

Reviews

'If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise': The Big Not so-Easy Keeps Its Head Just Above Water

Spike Lee has proven himself adept at juggling vast amounts of information and conflicting points-of-view.

Reviews

Inglourious Basterds

The bad news is that the Weinsteins may have been right about trimming some of the fat; the good news is that even a flawed Tarantino is better than a perfect most anyone else.

Film

Summer of Same: August 2009

With names like Tarantino, Lee, and Zombie, the final month of the season pulls out all the film geek stops. Still, the only guarantee is familiarity, not freshness.

Film

Part 3: The Sixth Sense to Fight Club (August - October 1999)

Films that have left a lasting impression on their creators (M. Night Shyamalan, Sam Mendes, David Fincher) make up the majority of Part Three of our Films of 1999 overview.

Film

The New Classics - The 30 Best Films of 2008

Unlike previous years, where classics came crawling out of the celluloid woodwork with regular reckless abandon, 2008 was more calm… and considered. That's not to say that choosing 30 top titles was hard. The difficulty in placing them in some manner of rank order suggests the actual depth of quality involved.

Film

Iconic - The Top 20 Male Performances of 2008

Like the gladiators of old, 2008 resembles a battle of formidable acting gods, especially when looking over the 20 choices presented below. Indeed, if anything, choosing a winner requires more of a leap of faith than any amount of critical skill - they all were that good.

Reviews

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

It's an inelegant but provocative means to measure Benjamin and Daisy's ostensibly transcendent connection: as he grows young and she grows old, they share but a single moment when their bodies and visions and hopes can easily coincide.

Reviews

Burn After Reading

Ozzie (John Malkovich) embodies the problem of the CIA, of the "intelligence community," which is that it reacts to data, then fashions a story about it to comport with the reaction.

Film

Talk, Talk, Talk: December 2008

Just like the end of an inspiring speech that may or may not succeed in making its point, these final four weeks before 2009 tend to define or defeat the entire awards season purpose.

Books

You Do Not Talk About Fight Club by Read Mercer Schuchardt (ed.)

Using Sartre and superstring theory as a foundation, Vacker adds a voice to the continuation of Palahniuk’s theme, which deals, essentially, with the will to live -- and more importantly, how to live.

Film

Talk, Talk, Talk: September 2008

From wars both past and present to a number of nail-biting thrillers, September is sizing up as a potentially profitable one.

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A Gallery of Good Works: The Best Films of 2007

From Julian Schnabel's artsy The Diving Bell and the Butterfly to the legendary Coen Brothers splendid adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, PopMatters counts down the 30 best films of 2007.

Reviews

Babel: Borders Within

As a director, Inarritu is kinetic, adventurous and deeply motivated by spontaneity of feeling. The new edition of Babel is worth getting ahold of for the extra feature documentary alone.

Rebecca Chang
Reviews

Babel: Lest We Be United

The great, overarching question one asks during a film such as this is: where is the light? At 143 minutes, this much sadness and tragedy becomes somewhat numbing.

Stuart Henderson
Film

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

By turns brutal and lyrical, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford considers Wild Western mythology and masculinity, violence and madness.

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Part 5: The Return of the Auteur

That noise you heard near the start of the new millennium was the creative din of a brash new breed of filmmakers tearing down the traditions of mainstream moviemaking. Their motion picture mission statements -- including the ones featured on this list -- remain the rulebook for new generations of anxious film artists.

Reviews

Oceans Thirteen (2007)

Every time George Clooney or Bernie Mac admits to the lameness of Number Two, the third film in the franchise can't help but promise improvement.

Film

Monkey Business (Part 2: June)

Apparently, as the sun's strongest rays finally settle over the movie going public, sequels are the remedy to cool down an overheated demographic. This month alone holds five examples of such redux refreshment. The rest of the choices are a variety pack of genres, ideas and possibilities.

Reviews

Babel (2006)

With a movie that encompasses international relations, broken families, personal epiphanies, romantic longings, painful secrets, and our constant aching need for human connection, Iñárritu might have bitten off more than he could chew.

Jack Patrick Rodgers
Film

The Pay Off: The Best Film of 2006

For many of the movies on PopMatters' 2006 list of the year's best films, it is clear that a heavy personal and professional stake was riding on the final product.

Film

Babel (2006)

Associated by instances of violence, the stories in Babel all concern children caught up in circumstances beyond their easy comprehension, while adults struggle to maintain some semblance of illusory order.

Reviews

Mr. & Mrs Smith: Unrated Collector's Edition (2004)

Mr. & Mrs. Smith strips away the niceties of the classical narrative form to revel in pure spectacle, and to surprisingly pleasurable effect.

Whitney Strub
Reviews

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)

John's casually precise athleticism and stuttering are oddly enchanting.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

More evocative of Fred Astaire than James Bond, John's killer athleticism reflects a general quickness of mind.

Cynthia Fuchs

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