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Kubrick in Reverse: The Earthly Pull of GRAVITY

Far from being a mere homage to Kubrick's "2001," Cuarón's "Gravity" offers an ingenious and moving revision and critique of its predecessor, one that begins in the stars but returns us to our own earthly soil.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • October 9, 2013 9:45 AM
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  • 2 Comments

INSIDIOUS, CHAPTER 2: The Haunting of the American Male

The Insidious films take place in an America haunted by faded dreams of a prosperity provided by a loved and respected father. In James Wan’s vision this patriarchal figure has been replaced by a maniacal presence brooding in the dark corners of a house where women are the strongest presence and men have become peripheral.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • September 18, 2013 10:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Axis of Cool in DRINKING BUDDIES, and How It Tilts

Joe Swanberg, as has been duly noted elsewhere, is building a portrait of a generation with his body of work. It's easy to imagine that, as Swanberg's films expand in scope, the crisis his characters face, the crucial question--can my plaid, my organic coffee, and my iPod survive my larger life crisis?--will become a more and more resounding issue.
  • By Max Winter
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  • September 3, 2013 8:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Kill the Rich: YOU'RE NEXT and the Discreet Charms of the One Percent

In its by turns disturbing and hilarious portrayal of a privileged family’s reunion gone horribly wrong, You’re Next gives us what is perhaps this year’s most trenchant commentary on an America increasingly riddled by narcissism and greed.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • August 28, 2013 8:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Pablo Larraín's NO: A Movie That Says Yes To Itself

The Chilean film "No," written and directed by Pablo Larraín, is up for a foreign film Oscar this year. I hope it wins, if only to bring attention to an extraordinary film by an increasingly sophisticated director.
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • February 4, 2013 9:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Ramble On: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

From one perspective, it’s ironic that the adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s "Lord of the Rings" books have been so successful; they owe their success to technological progress, and yet an argument against such progress is one of their underlying themes.
  • By Ali Arikan
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  • December 13, 2012 11:55 AM
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  • 10 Comments

DJANGO UNCHAINED Is All Too Restrained

A plantation in the antebellum South is a perfect setting for a Quentin Tarantino film. His movies flip expectations, revealing gangsters as mundane chatterboxes and assassins as loving parents, transforming the would-be victims of murderous stalkers and World War II Nazis into forces of vengeance.
  • By Peter Labuza
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  • December 12, 2012 12:20 AM
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  • 9 Comments

The Sensible Craft of Ben Affleck's ARGO

Ben Affleck's third directing effort, "Argo," is funnier than expected, is expertly paced, and has a fantastic 70s look (the most convincing since Zodiac), plus knockout supporting performances by Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, and John Goodman in very colorful roles.
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • December 3, 2012 8:35 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Beyond the Veil of the Flesh: David Cronenberg's THE FLY (1986)

I’m glad I re-watched David Cronenberg’s 1986 version of "The Fly" on Blu-ray. I haven't watched it in decent resolution since I saw it in a theater on first release. It's still brilliant and perfect, and profoundly moving—maybe Cronenberg's greatest and most perfect film; a horror tragedy that doesn't cop out, ever.
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • December 1, 2012 5:55 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Clint Abides: TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE

In one of his great essays about baseball, the late A. Bartlett Giamatti famously called the game “our best invention to stay change.” Giamatti (who, besides being president of Yale University, was briefly commissioner of Major League Baseball) added, “I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun.”
  • By Peter Tonguette
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  • September 28, 2012 8:21 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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