Film Reviews

Reviews of movies

Review: Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World

Encounters at the End of the World movie image Werner Herzog

This filmmaker can’t resist extremes, both geological and psychological.

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Liberation Aesthetics: Sinning and Surviving in Meirelles’ City of God

City of God

As one of its major themes, City of God painfully illustrates poverty’s numerous privations: the few choices, the slim chances, the narrow and vicious minds.

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Paying Dearly for Masculinity in 3:10 to Yuma

Dan Evans (Christian Bale, left) takes Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) to the 3:10 to Yuma. At a critical moment in 3:10 to Yuma, the hero, Dan Evans (Christian Bale), is overpowered, pinned to the floor, and struggling to stay alive. Nearly breathless from a vicious choking given by the outlaw, Ben Wade (Russell Crowe), he […]

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I Know You, Rider: Luv & Haight at the Wetlands Preserve

Wetlands Preserved: The Story of An Activist Nightclub (2006) documents the rise and fall of a unique enterprise, one that was both inspired by–but in no way limited to–the 1960s hippie ethic.

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Jan Svankmajer’s Faust and the Folly of Control

Is
the struggle to control destiny nothing more than an internal wrestling
match? Svankmajer hints that things are no more settled in heaven
or in hell.

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Dreams with Sharp Teeth: Documenting Harlan Ellison

Matthew Sorrento reviews the new documentary about famed writer Harlan Ellison

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History Lessons in The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd provides a warm, period look for this movie, which is saturated with subdued color, and makes good rhetorical use of the rugged landscape.

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Exterminating Angels and L’Iceberg Reviews

David Lynch has a lot to answer for. Too many directors assume that by using blue light, white noise, and incomprehensible plot twists, their film will become the next Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.

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The Hoax – Too Close For Comfort

Why do we feel blocked from our own laughter, sadness and outrage when we watch The Hoax? – This film has caught us as a society standing too close to the mirror.

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The Passion of Gary: 1982’s The Last American Virgin

The final moments of the forgotten classic The Last American Virgin are what elevate the picture from cultural curiosity to subversive brilliance.

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The Danse Extraordinaire of Ballets Russes; Hard Candy, a Bitter Pill

The story of the Ballets Russes dance company is the story of the modern cult of celebrity.

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A Nightmarish Fling with The Last King of Scotland; A Dose of Twilight Sleep in Dreamgirls

Two Film Reviews by A. Mary Murphy

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Back to the Beginning: Louis Malle’s Elevator to the Gallows

Criterion Collection presents journeyman director Louis Malle’s debut, a French exercise in noir.

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America Out To Pasture: The Good Shepherd

Is it possible to make an engaging film about a bureaucrat who carries a briefcase instead of a gun? Ask second-time director Robert De Niro.

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John Waters on This Filthy World

John Waters’ films have shown us the seedy, and revealed it as a mirror on ourselves.

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