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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    Cannes Review: With 'Nebraska,' Has Alexander Payne Gone Soft?

    Alexander Payne's movies walk a fine line between cruel satire and emotional truth, but in "Nebraska," it's particularly hard to discern which is which. The black-and-white road trip dramedy might be his least essential work, but it's also notably distinct from the rest of it. The first project that...

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  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Review: Alexander Payne’s ‘Nebraska’ An Overfamiliar Tale Of Connections Broken & Remade

    There’ve been great masses of critical laurels laid at Alexander Payne’s door over the years, some, in our eyes, more earned than others. When it really hits home, the director’s quiet humanism and wry humor can yield perceptive insights, especially into certain trademark areas of expertise: family ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: While Darker, ‘The Hangover Part III’ Ends Series In Forgettable, Unremarkable Fashion

    Director/writer Todd Phillips' filmmaking career has been fairly inconsistent so far, but the peaks and positive results have always been hilariously effective. "Road Trip" was unexpectedly funny and "Old School," a comedy touchstone of sorts, practically invented the fratty, bromantic, arrested dev...

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  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Review: Cannibal Tale ‘We Are What We Are’ Threatens To Give Horror Remakes A Good Name

    “When I saw his movie,” said director Jim Mickle in his opening thank you to Jorge Michel Grau, the director of “Somos Lo Que Hay,” “I was jealous of everything: the idea, the plot, the style, and jealous that it was playing at Cannes in Director’s Week.” And so Mickle went about securing the rights...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Winding Refn Talks 'Only God Forgives': Cannes Press Conference, Review Roundup

    "Only God Forgives" was unveiled Wednesday morning to the most divisive response at the Cannes festival thus far, and even with the smattering of boos and walkouts we’d hazard a guess that Nicolas Winding Refn couldn’t be more delighted by the reception. As empty, soulless, frenziedly art-directed v...

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  • Indiewire
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    Cannes: How 'Only God Forgives' Suggests Ryan Gosling's Schtick Has Worn Thin

    Ryan Gosling is a talented actor who has faced the same challenge most distinctive performers inevitably must confront: the danger of turning into a walking cliché. To that end, the decision to avoid traditional blockbuster vehicles in favor of Nicolas Winding Refn's ultra-violent B-movie-turned-art...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Cannes Review Roundup: Robert Redford Keeps Things Afloat in Chandor's Dire Existential Adventure 'All Is Lost'

    Reviews are coming in from Cannes for J.C. Chandor's ("Margin Call") second feature, "All Is Lost," a virtually dialogue-free adventure starring Robert Redford as a man battling the ocean elements solo on his boat. Reactions are largely positive, praising Redford's "tour de force" performance and Ch...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Provocative Doc 'We Steal Secrets: The Story Of WikiLeaks' Is Essential Immediate Viewing

    Titles can be sticky, none moreso than “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.” The “we” mentioned could be speaking in first-person perspective in regards to the muckracking online collective, which helped power the biggest security breach in government history. Then again, is the story of WikiL...

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  • Indiewire
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    Cannes: Robert Redford's Strangest Role of His Career Is In J.C. Chandor's 'All Is Lost'

    J.C. Chandor's flashy directorial debut "Margin Call" contained a complicated plot involving financial turmoil, an ensemble of name actors and numerous locations. His followup, "All Is Lost," takes place at the complete opposite end of the production scale: Robert Redford spends its entire duration ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Review: 'Only God Forgives' Stretches Refn's Neon-Noir Style Over Too Little Oedipal, Amoral Substance

    With the weight of expectation behind it, Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Only God Forgives” was never going to be able to deliver the same neon blue jolt of surprise that thrilled through the 2011 Cannes crowd at the first screening of “Drive.” But the audience in attendance today was prepped and primed, a...

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