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Painful Humor and Euphoric Pleasure In 'Punch-Drunk Love'

Anderson's quirky film is reinvention in the purest sense, free of commercial pressure.

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Film

In Defense of 2012's Best Movie, 'The Master'

With the Oscars set to be handed out this Sunday, it's time to take a look at what made the one film that got pushed to the back of the awards season bus so transcendent, so polarizing, and so great.

Film

Cinema as Rorschach Test: 'The Master'

Much like the kaleidoscopic design of The Master’s theatrical poster, the way one perceives the film -- indeed, all films -- is reflective of the prism through which one views the artform itself.

J.C. Sciaccotta
Film

"Jack Goes Boating": Philip Seymour Hoffman's Directorial Debut (trailer)

The acclaimed actor steps into the director's chair for this Sundance film about working-class New Yorkers finding love – and learning how to swim.

Reviews

'Mary and Max' Is Better Than 'Avatar' and 'Shrek' Combined

Mary and Max is the irresistible tale of two pen-friends: eight-year-old Australian, Mary and 42-year-old New Yorker, Max. Claymation is at its best in this film which also boasts clever dialogue and off-beat humor.

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 5: Toy Story 2 to Titus (November - December 1999)

On this final day of PopMatters' 1999 overview, awards season hype gives way to pure acting prowess and definitive directorial flair.

Reviews

Synecdoche New York

Consumed with existential dread, this film captures the feeling of near-death angst remarkably well, enough to the point where it's not Caden that's feeling it -- it's the audience.

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.

Film

Tough and Tender - The Top 20 Female Performances of 2008

Twenty talented ladies, 20 performances worthy of multiple little gold men. Unfortunately, as in all years, someone has to come out on top. But after looking over this impressive list, picking the preeminent turn of 2008 seems almost impossible.

Reviews

Doubt

Sister James (Amy Adams) embodies her historical moment, yearning to believe, adhering to tradition, and yet also inspired by a changing world.

Film

Shameful Exposure

A fiery Kate Winslet saves morality tale in 'The Reader' while a similarly powerful Meryl Streep can't do the same for the overly certain 'Doubt'.

Reviews

Synecdoche, New York

Much like protagonists in previous Charlie Kaufman scripts, Caden is an artist in search of his art.

Film

Identities in Flux

Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York is performance art as civilization-annihilating Godzilla, whereas Eastwood's Changeling is a film that wins the stranger than fiction category, hands-down.

Film

Cinema Qua Non - Indispensable DVDs: Part 3

Day Three - The final ten, a cross-culture collection teeming with big ideas, larger than life visions, and perhaps the greatest documentary on rugby you've probably never heard of.

Reviews

The Big Lebowski: 10th Anniversary Edition

A generation-defining comedy about peace and brotherhood, set in a world of backstabbers, liars, and semi-professional bowling leagues.

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.

Film

Talk, Talk, Talk: October 2008

What studio suit thought this was a good idea? With four months to schedule your high priced efforts, you instead unload almost 30 overpriced pictures on an unsuspecting movie audience.

Reviews

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

What a quirky pair of brothers do Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke make.

Matthew Sorrento
Reviews

Charlie Wilson's War

Sorkin's signature dialogue -- smart, rapid fire chatter that packs a punch -- makes this the most engaging poli-sci class you'll ever attend.

Reviews

The Savages

Sometimes the simplest stories about the most ordinary of people can be the most engaging, rewarding and entertaining.

Reviews

The Savages

The flawless performances and bracing humor enliven this film's grim subject matter.

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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.

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Performance Art: The Best Acting of 2007 - Male

From the tender and eerie precision of Sam Riley's depiction of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis in Control to yet another superlative performance by Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, PopMatters highlights the best male actors of 2007.

Reviews

Charlie Wilson's War

Like The West Wing, Charlie Wilson's War is leftish and glib, entertaining and exasperating, and written by Aaron Sorkin.

Reviews

The Savages

Jenkins and her gifted cast have put together an insular film that subtly examines and questions the state of elder care in the United States.

Matt Mazur
Reviews

The Savages

Tamara Jenkins' movie mixes bleak humor and acute insight, familiar and strange at the same time.

Reviews

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Family tensions run high throughout Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.

Film

Mission Impossible III (2006)

A movie titled M:I:III can't lean too hard on verbal wit, and so it quickly leaves Laurence Fishburne behind to head out into the actionated field.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Capote (2005)

As Miller and Kimmel finish one another's sentences and demonstrate a charming sort of sync, the artists here suggest how Capote came to be such a tight, complex, and elegant film.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Capote (2005)

Capote reveals the dangers of journalism in search of authenticity and based in intimacy. It also reveals the monster Capote sees in himself -- or more accurately, the monster the movie sees him seeing.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Cold Mountain: Collector's Edition (2003)

Anthony Minghella's image of the birds in snow articulates Cold Mountain's aesthetic and themes, its interest in collision and reverie, in nostalgia and resistance.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Along Came Polly (2004)

Though plainly Ben Stiller's vehicle, Along Came Polly features an endearing, oddly delicate performance by Jennifer Aniston.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Cold Mountain (2003)

The first scene in Cold Mountain is sensational and sickening, an apt introduction to what will be a Civil War saga.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews
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