Limited Releases

Review: “Cell”

Review: “Cell”

In the years since George Romero singlehandedly created the zombie genre with 1968’s “Night of the Living Dead,” he befriended and partnered with horror fiction magnate Stephen King for 1982’s “Creepshow,” a delightfully cheesy and colorful chiller anthology. And though King has gone on to write and even direct more movies, he never tried his hand […]

Review: “Knight of Cups”

Review: “Knight of Cups”

At what point does an auteur’s “signature style” cross over into becoming a game of directorial Mad Libs? That’s the question I wrestled with for most of Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups,” a typically gorgeous effort from the reclusive filmmaker that nonetheless employs his trademarks—shots following characters from behind and hushed voiceover the most recognizable […]

Review: “Embrace of the Serpent”

Review: “Embrace of the Serpent”

To be declared a “daring” film in the year of Gaspar Noé’s 3-D ejaculation and Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Planet Hoth-inspired horse carcass sleeping bag is a difficult feat. By these standards, Ciro Guerra’s “Embrace of the Serpent” is not particularly flashy: its most shocking moment involves a temporary switch out of black-and-white. Even Dorothy would […]

Review: “A War”

Curious name, “A War.” The setting of Tobias Lindholm’s miniature combat film is very specific—Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, where a group of Danish soldiers try to keep the peace—and yet that title, with its assertive indefinite article, suggests a deliberate distancing, presenting instead a military operation that might stand in for many battles and maybe all […]

Review: “Inherent Vice”

Review: “Inherent Vice”

One wonders if there was something more than tobacco in the cigarettes used to burn the cue marks into the celluloid prints that filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson specially requested for the release of “Inherent Vice,” as it often seems that marijuana is part of the movie’s physical DNA. Protagonist Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix), a questionably-licensed […]

Review: “Citizenfour”

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the new documentary “Citizenfour” is that it does not require that the viewer have a positive opinion of its subject, the highly controversial NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, in order to be effective and vital. Make no mistake, the film hardly criticizes or even questions the ethics of Snowden’s extensively […]

Review: “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”

Just when all film animation was starting to look the same—one endless barrage of carefully focused-grouped CGI, designed to attract hoards of young American families—one finds renewed hope for the form in Laika’s latest elaborate stop-motion effort, “The Boxtrolls,” and Isao Takata’s “The Tale of Princess Kaguya,” which may be the most visually striking movie […]

Review: “Whiplash”

“Is perfection worth any price?” is the primary question posed by Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash,” the rare Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner that fully lives up to the mountain air hype. Set at the fictional Shaffer Conservatory, a Juiliard-esque Manhattan breeding ground for instrumental wunderkinds, the film follows drummer Andrew (Miles Teller) as he is berated […]

Review: “Rage”

Review: “Rage”

No contemporary actor has been able to foster as singular a screen persona within as diverse a filmography as Nicolas Cage. Consider the variety of motion pictures that could all be labeled “Nicolas Cage movies” (as opposed to simply “movies starring Nicolas Cage”): the sobering “Leaving Las Vegas,” for which Cage won an Academy Award; […]

Review: “Visitors”

Review: “Visitors”

It should go without saying by now that when you enter a film by Godfrey Reggio, you should not expect any semblance of a traditional narrative. Like his noted “Qatsi” trilogy—that’s 1982’s “Koyaanisqatsi,” 1988’s “Powaqqatsi,” and 2002’s “Naquoyqatsi”—Reggio’s latest effort, “Visitors,” is but a collection of 74 shots manipulated by various effects, set to an […]