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Movie Reviews

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    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.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 3 Different Opinions On The Good & The Bad Of Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained'

    Films by Quentin Tarantino aren't exactly Halley's Comet, but for a while there, they didn't come as often as some filmgoers would have liked. And while the filmmaker seems to be back at his pace of delivering a film every two or three years, the arrival of a new Tarantino picture generally makes th...

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    Review: Quentin Tarantino's Wild Western Pastiche 'Django Unchained' Is Messy As Hell, But We Love Him For It

    Quentin Tarantino's characters are often astonished to find themselves in his intricate universe of references. That's certainly true of Django (Jamie Foxx), a black slave in the antebellum South freed from bondage by German dentist-turned-bounty hunter Dr. King Schulz (Christoph Waltz) in the openi...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: The Rachel Weisz Argument, or the Best Performers of the Year

    Last week, the NYFCC awarded Rachel Weisz its Best Actress prize for her sumptuous period turn in "The Deep Blue Sea," and well-deserved it was. But it reminded me of what I'm calling the Rachel Weisz Argument: an actor's entire body of work in a given year is a better measure of "best."

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    Review: Czech Oscar Entry 'In the Shadow,' Sleek Neo-Noir and Gorgeously Old-Fashioned Policier

    “In the Shadow,” the Czech Republic’s official Oscar entry, takes place in 1953 Prague, during the currency reform. World War II has been over for the better part of a decade, but the stench of anti-Semitism is still thick in the air, and a tightly controlled police state looms. Detective Jarda Hakl...

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  • Indiewire
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    Critic's Picks: The Best Film Performances of 2012

    We no longer live in the age of the method. The performances that stand out in current cinema radiate a self-reflexive intensity less impressive for how much they convince us of their authenticity -- although they do that -- and pertain instead to addressing viewers aware of the artifice.

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  • Indiewire
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    Critic's Picks: The Best Movies Released in 2012

    Another year, another list. While the industry is in the midst of pricey marketing campaigns for awards contenders -- dominated this time by studios with the wherewithal to position their smart fall season product as the definitive movies of the year -- critics get to play a different game. Despite ...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    2012 Heroine Worship in Movies, from Katniss Everdeen and Hushpuppy to 'Bridesmaids' and 'Girls'

    The New York Times' A. O. Scott recaps the year in Heroine Worship, when it was still news when women actually carry a movie that scores at the box office. He writes: "There is a smattering of evidence to support the impression that [things have changed], because 2012 was, all in all, a pretty good ...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: Head for Indie Doc 'Tchoupitoulas' & Neo-Noir 'Deadfall'; Skip 'Playing for Keeps' on the 'Hudson'

    If you live in a "limited release" city, it might be best to stick with documentaries this weekend. Standouts are "Tchoupitoulas," following three young brothers discovering the magic of New Orleans, and "Only the Young," a portrait of a trio of charismatic teens.

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