• The Princess

    The Princess

    There’s something kind of remarkable about watching a 90-minute film that only has a single idea spread across its entire running time — “what if ‘The Raid,’ but about a fairy tale princess trying to fight her way down from the castle tower where she’s been imprisoned by an evil suitor?” — but my awe at what passes for a movie these days was no match for my disappointment in this one. Hulu’s dull and exasperatingly basic “The Princess” wastes…

  • Clara Sola

    Clara Sola

    ★★★★

    In some ways, Clara (Wendy Chinchilla Araya) is the most liberated woman in the verdant, remote, and deceptively matriarchal Costa Rican village where she works for God. A semi-feral 40-year-old who — legend has it — was once visited by the Virgin Mary, Clara has been molded into a faith healer by her ultra-religious mother (Flor María Vargas Chaves as Fresia), who’s successfully rebranded her daughter’s curved spine and childlike intellect as symptoms of divinity.

    Aside from miracles on demand,…

  • A Perfect World

    A Perfect World

    ★★★★

    brain-melting charisma was so cool. the movies should really consider bringing that back.

  • Brian and Charles

    Brian and Charles

    ★★★

    A sweetly eccentric beardo who lives by himself in a stone cottage on a Snowdonia farm track some 20 miles west of Cardiff, Brian (David Earl) has all but given up on having any sort of human connection. “I was very low,” he confesses to the “Office”-like documentary crew who follow his every move (they’re presumably shooting a project about the weirdest people in Wales, which would at least make a little more sense than a 200-hour film about a…

  • Of Medicine and Miracles

    Of Medicine and Miracles

    ★★★½

    In the first minutes of “Born into Brothels” director Ross Kauffman’s simple but immensely moving “Of Medicine and Miracles,” one of the world’s foremost cellular engineers stares into the camera and shakes his head. “It’s hard to say that you’re trying to cure cancer,” he says. “It sounds foolish coming out of your mouth… may not even ethically sound.” His name is Carl H. June, and he’s been fighting cancer for more than 40 years. Not in himself, but in…

  • Vengeance

    Vengeance

    ★★★½

    At the risk of damning an impressively strong debut with faint praise, B.J. Novak’s “Vengeance” is perhaps the best possible movie someone could make out of a murder-mystery that starts with John Mayer standing on the rooftop bar of a Soho House (where he’s waxing philosophical about the pointlessness of monogamy in a world so fractured that people have been reduced to mere concepts, like “Becky Gym,” “Sarah Airplane Bathroom,” or any of the actual names he’s assigned to the…

  • Lightyear

    Lightyear

    ★★

    “Lightyear” is the first movie that Pixar has released in theaters since the start of the pandemic, a return to normal that would feel more exciting if “Lightyear” wasn’t also the first Pixar movie since the start of the pandemic that feels like it only belongs on Disney Plus. Bursting onto the big screen with huge “this project was announced during a shareholders meeting” energy, “Lightyear” is exactly the kind of gratuitous property-mining that corporate streamers were invented to support.…

  • Spiderhead

    Spiderhead

    ★★

    Imagine if there were a giant, multi-billion-dollar machine fueled by human attention; a massive contraption that could only be sustained by attracting every pair of eyeballs on Earth through the use of an algorithm that mulched art into content, and reduced audiences into data points. Now imagine how ironic it would be if someone took a singular work of sci-fi satire — a mordantly funny nugget of short fiction about a prison where inmates are used as test subjects for…

  • RRR

    RRR

    ★★★★

    lol if you guys thought i was too hard on hollywood blockbusters *before* i saw this…

  • Somewhere in Queens

    Somewhere in Queens

    ★★★

    There’s “staying in your comfort zone,” and then there’s Ray Romano making his directorial debut with a movie in which he plays a beleaguered outer-borough New York father who tries to look on the bright side of life and survive the slings and arrows that bond his large Italian-American family together even as they threaten to tear it apart. On paper, the leap from “Jackass” the TV show to “Jackass: The Movie” might have been a greater creative gamble than…

  • Corner Office

    Corner Office

    ★★½

    Orson (Jon Hamm) is an upwardly mobile corporate drone who suffers from Main Character Syndrome in a Kafkaesque work environment, his arrogance so vigorously rubbing against his anonymity that the friction created between those two forces is almost powerful enough to sustain the ultra-droll office satire that “Corner Office” constructs around it. Adapted from Jonas Karlsson’s lightly surreal (but extremely Scandinavian) novella, “The Room,” Joachim Back’s feature-length debut promotes a typical skewering of corporate drudgery with the hint of a…

  • Lynch / Oz

    Lynch / Oz

    ★★★

    It is famously useless (if also occasionally fun) to ask David Lynch about the meaning behind his art, which is why his interviews tend to offer more color than insight, and his panel appearances often prove to be exercises in frustration. It’s also why “Jennifer’s Body” director Karyn Kusama has such a vivid memory of what happened during the Q&A that followed the NYFF screening of “Mulholland Drive” in 2001, when Lynch’s usual elusiveness was suddenly interrupted by a question…