Movies

A Good Gatsby

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

Misdirection

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...

Pillheads

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,...

Class Photo

Most Americans forty or older will recall the 1989 case of the young woman brutalized by a rampaging mob of teenagers while jogging in Central Park. Coming amid...

Hide & Seek

If you knew only the plots of Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, you might conclude that they are sibling movies. Both are based on actual events—respectively, the rescue...

Devices & Desires

Leo Tolstoy hated theater, or at least the more stylized varieties of it. The author of some well-received plays as well as his much more famous novels, the Count...
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