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  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch

    Hedwig and the Angry Inch


    Writer/director/star John Cameron Mitchell’s 2001 rock musical extravaganza (adapted from his stage play) joins the Criterion Collection, and with each passing year, it seems like more of a miracle: a hip, funny, edgy work that’s sassy and smart-edged, but whose considerable power comes from its unapologetic earnestness and melancholy. Mitchell is an openhearted performer and innovative filmmaker, the songs burn as brightly as ever, and the supporting performances (especially Michael Pitt’s dopey rocker and Andrea Martin’s wry manager) are all gems.

  • The Life of Jesus

    The Life of Jesus


    A snapshot of teenage discontent and romance, adroitly capturing the end-of-the-world intensity and immediacy of both. Dumont's approach is so matter-of-fact and naturalistic that when the story culminates in violence, it feels sadly inevitable.

  • Shaft


    There’s one word to describe Tim Story’s new riff (sort of a sequel, sort of a reboot, sort of a spoof) on 'Shaft,' and that word is "baffling." It’s hard to conjure up, even with the liveliest of imaginations, why anyone thought it would be a good idea to put the character of John Shaft, the badass private eye at the center of a trio of ‘70s “blaxpoitation” classics and a 2000 hard-action follow-up, into a broad, wacky, generation-gap big-screen…

  • Starfish



    “Starfish” is a snug fit into the niche occupied by films like “Primer” and “Timecrimes”: low-budget, egg-headed science-fiction, crafted by filmmakers who are keenly aware that while special effects require a small fortune, compelling ideas don’t cost a dime.


  • Men in Black: International

    Men in Black: International


    What they shoulda thought about doing was something like this, but with some jokes in it.

  • Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

    Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese


    “I don’t remember a thing about Rolling Thunder!” Bob Dylan insists, early in this gleefully subversive documentary account of the 1975-1976 tour he mounted with friends and collaborators, before and after the release of Desire – “a con man, carny medicine show of old,” according to Allen Ginsberg, one of the participants. And it’s perhaps in that spirit of snake oil and flim-flammery (and of Dylan’s own lifelong station as an unreliable narrator) that Scorsese cheerfully intertwines fact and fiction,…

  • The Girl Most Likely to...

    The Girl Most Likely to...


    KL Studio Classics give the Blu-ray bump to this 1973 ABC TV movie, a fact betrayed by the 74-minute running time and the “special guest stars” (including Ed Asner and Jim Backus). But it’s one with a following, thanks in no small part to the contributions of co-writer Joan Rivers and star Stockard Channing, who crafts a delicious, two-part performance as an awkward, ugly virgin who undergoes reconstructive surgery after a car wreck, comes out a total babe, and determines…

  • They Might Be Giants

    They Might Be Giants


    This unsung 1971 gem from director Anthony Harvey has an ingenious central concept: George C. Scott stars as a (then) contemporary man who believes he’s Sherlock Holmes, gets committed, and enlists his conveniently-named doctor, Watson (Joanne Woodward) to help him solve his latest cast. James Goldman’s screenplay (based on his stage play) gets its deserved laughs from the notion of a deerstalker-clad Holmes skulking through ‘70s Manhattan; they visit the New York Public Library and a Times Square grindhouse, and…

  • Batman Returns

    Batman Returns


    Miles better than its predecessor. Burton is at full capacity, the performances (particularly by Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, and Danny DeVito) are appropriately insane, and the dual relationships between Michael Keaton’s Batman (and Bruce Wayne) and Pfeiffer’s Catwoman (and Selina Kyle) are laudably complex.

  • Batman



    It is, and always was, a mess – less a movie than a filmed deal, as evidenced by the two (two!) full sequences of Jack Nicholson just dancin’ to a new Prince song – but remains a triumph of design, properly set the darker mood for the series, and is certainly noteworthy in modern film history.


  • Always Be My Maybe

    Always Be My Maybe


    Netflix’s latest hit original feels, to be frank, like it was created by the platform’s famous algorithms: it’s a frothy romantic comedy, starring Ali Wong as a celebrity chef. (I count three Netflix standbys there.) And the script – co-written by Wong, co-star Randall Park, and Michael Golamco – feels like a first draft, full of soft jokes and prescribed beats and conflicts, carried out like a homework assignment. The leads are left to carry a lot of weight –…

  • Climax



    ou wouldn’t think notorious provocateur Gaspar Noé would make much of a movie musical director, but you’d be wrong; the opening dance sequence of his dark dance flick is absolutely electrifying, energetic and enthralling and sexy, and the long takes and wide overheads he deploys for subsequent dance breaks are inventive and often breathtaking. He tells the one-long-night story of a dance company’s post-rehearsal after-party, a “well, that escalated quickly” situation in which drugs, violence, and paranoia turn the banging…