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A Family Visit Turns to Guerrilla Warfare in 'The Truth'

Catherine Deneuve plays an imperious but fading actress who can't stop being cruel to the people around her in Hirokazu Koreeda's secrets- and betrayal-packed melodrama, The Truth.

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Film

'The Grand Budapest Hotel' Gorgeously Conveys Our Need for Poise and Elegance

The sense of artifice in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel helped him create an alluring reverie of both color and meaning.

Film

'The Ghost of Peter Sellers': When an Actor Destroys His Own Movie

Peter Medak's documentary about his ill-fated 1974 pirate comedy, The Ghost of Peter Sellers, is less bonkers tale of a production gone mad than therapeutic excursion into a traumatic memory.

Film

From the Smoker to 'The Oscar': The Sweet Stink of Success

Russell Rouse's The Oscar is fabulously gaudy and kitschy, with overdone sets and costumes. The film practically hyperventilates in mood, story, and acting. You should see it.

Film

Disruptive Films and Political Turmoil

Facet's Disruptive Film: Everyday Resistance to Power, Volume Two documents the multiple approaches a variety of filmmakers take in wielding video and celluloid for social change.

Film

'Capital in the 21st Century': Pie for the Rich, Crumbs for the People

Justin Pemberton's film version of Thomas Piketty's landmark book on the dangers of today's yawning income inequality, Capital in the 21st Century, is more TED Talk than documentary, but it's a handy summary nonetheless.

Film

Before Ru Paul and Trixie Mattel There Was the Ball Circuit: 'Paris Is Burning'

Told through the voices and movements of the legends and pioneers of the '80s Harlem drag-ball scene, Paris Is Burning is an indispensable look at one of America's most influential subcultures of the last half-century.

Film

Pop-Ups Desirable: The Bizarre Delights of '3-D Rarities II'

After the nymphs wave their diaphanous rags at the camera, the boys parody their terpsichorean poses with a magically appearing ball. These and other delights in Flicker Alley's 3-D Rarities II.

Film

Jeff Baena Explores the Intensity of Mental Illness in His Mystery, 'Horse Girl'

Co-writer and star Alison Brie's unreliable narrator in Jeff Baena's Horse Girl makes for a compelling story about spiraling into mental illness.

Film

'Slay the Dragon' Is a Road Map of the GOP's Methods for Dividing and Conquering American Democracy

If a time traveler from the past wanted to learn how to subvert democracy for a few million bucks, gerrymandering documentary Slay the Dragon would be a superb guide.

Film

'The Serpent's Egg' Marks One of Ingmar Bergman's Strangest Efforts

The Serpent's Egg bares many of the Bergman's trademark features – the suffocating auras of despair and an underdog's sense of triumph over tragedy – but falls short of a more intelligent rendering of human drama.

Film

Ross Is the Name, Crime Is the Game: 'My Name Is Julia Ross'

My Name Is Julia Ross is fast, direct, and easy fun. It never tests the viewer's patience with unnecessary trills.

Film

Great Scots: 'Whiskey Galore!' and 'The Maggie'

Two Scottish comedies from Alexander Mackendrick, Whiskey Galore! and The Maggie, were part of Ealing Studios movies meant for a depressed postwar England to "let off steam".

Film

Yasujiro Ozu on the Arts of Pachinko, Baseball, and Marriage

Yasujiro Ozu's films can often be described as movies in which nothing happens -- nothing except the revelation of a world, its inhabitants, and a deep understanding of their contradictions.

Film

In 'Downhill', Getting Dark Just Means Getting Harsh

Nat Faxon and Jim Rash's comedy, Downhill, paints in broad strokes and peaks early, never matching the clever satire of its source material, Force Majeure.

Film

Lurking and Smirking: Anthony Perkins and Charles Bronson Match Wits in 'Someone Behind the Door'

If we judge a film by keeping us on the edge of our seat, 1971's Someone Behind the Door, starring Anthony Perkins and Charles Bronson, is a success.

Film

'Eyes of Laura Mars' Is Best as a Document of '70s New York

A romantic thriller that boasts a contribution from John Carpenter, Eyes of Laura Mars benefits greatly from the gritty '70s Manhattan scenery.

Film

Richard Fleischer's 'Trapped' Escapes from Noir Obscurity

Thanks to Richard Fleischer's Trapped, Lloyd Bridges got the chance to shine in a starring role as unregenerate slimeball Tris Stewart, among the most amoral self-centered leads in noir.

Film

In Sophie Hyde's 'Animals', the Party Must End, Already

Animals is both a personal and creative coming of age story, and a satisfying yet frustrating tale about avoiding the tragedy of getting left behind.

Film

Leaving Is Just as Hard as Loving in 'Marriage Story'

Noah Baumbach's attention to the daily agonies of divorce in Marriage Story displays love's enduring power—or at least, its residue.

Film

Saint of Heart: Jean-Claude Brisseau's 'Céline'

Brisseau's Céline thoroughly explores the misgivings and desires of women on the brink of emotional collapse.

Film

'The Rise of Skywalker' Is a Lightsaber Duel between Good and Evil, Past and Present, Authenticity and Greed

The Rise of Skywalker has been trumpeted as the last in the Skywalker saga. But with Disney's and this trilogy's annoying tendency to resurrect, it may never end.

Film

'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Is a Let-Down

The third installment to the Star Wars trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker, has us wondering. Is this trilogy about creating memories? Or is it simply an act of remembrance?

Film

In 'Uncut Gems' Adam Sandler's Howard Ratner Is on the Brink of Everything, or Nothing

The Safdie Brothers' nervy ball of tension, #PMPick Uncut Gems, sends a hustler blasting recklessly through a city where everybody is on the make.

Film

How Thrash Metal Became Bonded by Blood, Denim, and the Bay Bridge

Documentary Murder in the Front Row examines the birth, wild life, and eventual plateau of thrash metal in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Silas Valentino
Film

The Power of Looking Compels 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'

Set in 18th century France, Céline Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire applies ravishing historical details to the timeless poetry of forbidden love.

Film

Ludicrous Irony in Scorsese's 'The Irishman'

With its big performances and stellar script, The Irishman is the glorious culmination of Scorsese's lifelong fascination with mobsters and their built-in self-destruction.

Film

Quiet Desires in Allison Anders' 'Gas Food Lodging'

Allison Anders' Gas Food Lodging gives us such compelling characters that we cannot help but sit and observe them.

Film

Cynthia Erivo's Performance Carries Kasi Lemmons' 'Harriet'

Cynthia Erivo's transcendent turn as Union spy, escaped slave, and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman shines through Kasi Lemmons' heroic but oversimplified biopic, Harriet.

Film

Rupert Goold's 'Judy' and the Queer-ing of the Biopic

Recent queer icon films Judy, Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman tease their key audience while keeping one foot solidly in straight land. Is this progress?

Film

Tragic Spectacle as Social Commentary in Todd Phillips' 'Joker'

Todd Phillips' divisive Joker stirs the conscience -- and the stomach.

Film

Robert Eggers' 'The Lighthouse' Blazes with Brilliance

Director Robert Eggers' emotional powerhouse, The Lighthouse, is a profound allegorical reminder that no man is an island.

Film

Hamptons International Film Festival 2019: 'On Broadway'

Oren Jacoby's richly illustrated documentary on the ups and downs of modern Broadway, On Broadway, is all celebrations and no questions. Whether that's a problem depends on your level of theater mania.

Film

Pedro Almodóvar's 'Pain and Glory' and the Healing Power of Art

Veteran Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar's pointedly autobiographical film, Pain and Glory, reflects on the power of art in shaping a life and legacy.

Film

'Prospect': A Coming of Age Character Arc in Realistic Sci-Fi

In a sci-fi setting with Wild West overtones, Sophie Thatcher's Cee is discovering how far she will go to get what she wants in Prospect.

Film

New York Film Festival 2019: 'Bacurau'

Loony anti-colonialist Brazilian satire Bacurau doesn't always balance its humor with its bite, but its communitarian soul, oddball wit, and dark vision of the future still hits home.

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