Fearsome Correctives

John Ponsoldt avoids triteness and makes you care; Cate Blanchett's operatic and annihilating performance makes Woody Allen's newest film a keeper.

Recording Angel with a Camera

Among the virtues of Ryan Coogler's film "Fruitvale Station" is the way he shows how numerous definitions of the word "tragedy" may apply.

Words & Deeds

'Hannah Arendt' offers an immersion in the world of postwar New York intellectuals; 'A Hijacking' portrays the travails of a cargo ship set upon by Somali pirates.

A Good Gatsby

In many important senses, Baz Luhrmann has quite literally restored 'The Great Gatsby' to a Catholic setting.


A documentary on Ricky Jay, one of the great living magicians, and a feature in which four practitioners of the craft use their special skills to stage a heist.

Roaring Mad

Baz Luhrmann’s 'The Great Gatsby' proves to be a triumph of both faithfulness and daring. It conveys some of the novel’s glories and possesses virtues all its own.

A Natural

When historical events fall into line with Hollywood’s eternal quest for easy thrills and easy tears, the result can be a movie like 42. The story of how...

Girls Gone Gangsta

Spring Breakers has attracted a fair amount of buzz, but it’s an uneasy buzz. The initial scenes—with the camera fixed on the boobs and butts of adolescent girls...

Walled In

Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency, oversees counterterrorism and intelligence gathering in Israel and the Palestinian territories. It also bears...

A Nation of Two

 As part of my annual catching up with Oscar, I overcame my reluctance and saw Michael Haneke’s Amour. Haneke’s preoccupation with cruelty, both physical and...


About fifteen minutes into Silver Linings Playbook, its hero, Pat Solitano—played by Bradley Cooper—is out jogging near his Philadelphia neighborhood when a young...

Raw Spaghetti

The director Quentin Tarantino loves genre, the grungier the better. His first three films, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Jackie Brown, are gangster movies—or,...
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