MOST RECENT ARTICLES BY:

Alison Willmore

  1. movie review
    On the Rocks Is a Light Comedy About Some Heavy FeelingsRashida Jones and Bill Murray are a daughter and dad who turn up some repressed familial pain playing amateur detectives in Sofia Coppola’s new film.
  2. movie review
    Aaron Sorkin’s Annoying Tics Are Actually Good in The Trial of the Chicago 7The speeches, the grandstanding, the quips — they totally work in the context of this Netflix courtroom drama.
  3. movie review
    Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan Have a Sexy, Empty Romance in AmmoniteThe pair’s period courtship doesn’t have to be Portrait of a Lady on Fire — but it doesn’t have to feel so hollow, either.
  4. movie review
    Jude Law and Carrie Coon Are Gorgeously Dysfunctional in The NestIn the new film from the director of Martha Marcy May Marlene, a family slowly implodes after moving into a crumbling house in the U.K. countryside.
  5. movies
    The Movies That Don’t Actually Speak to ‘the Moment’Antebellum is cinema’s latest desperate attempt at relevancy.
  6. movie review
    Frances McDormand Has Gone To Look For America In NomadlandThe devastating new film from Chloé Zhao could be the feature of the year — an uncertain prize in 2020.
  7. best of 2020
    The Best Movies of the Year (So Far)From a Netflix superhero movie to a time-loop rom-com to a horror film that will make you cry.
  8. movie review
    Mulan Is a Dour Drag of a Movie (But a Fascinating Cultural Object)In trying to square Disney girl-power tendencies with perceived Chinese values, the new remake ends up in a baffling limbo of motivations.
  9. movie review
    Hell Is Our Own Neuroses in I’m Thinking of Ending ThingsCharlie Kaufman’s new Netflix movie is wry, surreal, and an artistic dead end.
  10. fall preview
    39 Movies We’re Excited to See This FallWest Side Story, Dune, Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in a seaside Romance. Will the movies come through?
  11. movie review
    Bill & Ted Face the Music Feels As Unstuck in Time As Its CharactersThat’s not a bad thing!
  12. movie review
    Dev Patel Does Dickens Well in The Personal History of David CopperfieldVeep creator Armando Iannucci has a light touch with the Victorian classic.
  13. movie review
    Russell Crowe’s Road-Rage Thriller Unhinged Isn’t Worth Getting COVID-19 ForCrowe gets good and glowering as a driver on a killing spree, but this thriller isn’t nearly clever enough to merit any sense of moviegoing urgency.
  14. movie review
    Project Power Is a Depressingly Uninspired Off-Brand Superhero StoryJoseph Gordon-Levitt, Dominique Fishback, and Jamie Foxx star in a would-be Netflix blockbuster with a clever premise and crummy follow through.
  15. movie review
    Boys State Is an Enthralling Doc About How the Kids Are (and Aren’t) All RightA mock state election among Texas teens ends up being an entertaining reflection of the American political id in this Apple TV+ documentary.
  16. movie review
    The Burnt Orange Heresy Is Light on Thrills, Heavy on Beautiful ThingsClaes Bang and Elizabeth Debicki star in a suspenseless noir that’s worth watching mainly for how luxurious everyone and everything in it is.
  17. our streaming future
    Will a Comedy Ever Play at a Movie Theater Again?Three writers wonder: Is 2020 the end of the end of laughing out loud at the cinema?
  18. friday night movie club
    The Movie of This Quarantine Summer Is Jurassic ParkRunning from dinosaurs, stress-eating ice cream, filing into a theme park even though it means putting lives at risk — who can’t relate?
  19. movie review
    An American Pickle Is a Two-Man Show, and Both Men Are Seth RogenSeth Rogen stars opposite himself in this HBO Max original movie about a Brooklyn man united with his pickled great-grandfather.
  20. acting
    The Brutal Pleasure of Watching Charlize Theron Turn to ActionWhat makes her truly great in Mad Max: Fury Road, Atomic Blonde, and The Old Guard is her focus on the human capacity for wear and tear.
  21. america's anti-dad
    Steve Carell’s Bizarrely Unfunny Return to ComedyAfter years drifting toward drama, Steve Carell made a movie with Jon Stewart and a show with the Office creator. So why aren’t we talking about them?
  22. deep dives
    The Women of Relic Will Bring You to TearsPersonal pain is woven into the year’s most despairing and disturbing horror movie yet.
  23. endings
    The Epilogue of Palm Springs, ExplainedThe Andy Samberg–Cristin Milioti rom-com may be an homage to Groundhog Day, but J.K. Simmons’s character is the true successor to Phil Connors.
  24. movie review
    Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets Is the Next-Best Thing to Going Out to a BarRemember bars? The Ross brothers’ boozy hybrid of a movie is a sensational elegy to a local one that never really existed.
  25. movie review
    Palm Springs Is Thoroughly Charming and Unexpectedly TimelyThe time-loop rom-com skims past many of the genre’s obligatory beats in order to get to less explored territory.
  26. the view from home
    How Protesting Helped Tayarisha Poe Feel Normal AgainThe Selah and the Spades director isn’t expecting a “yes, the revolution has arrived” moment — but she is feeling a lot of hope.
  27. movie review
    Jon Stewart’s New Comedy Irresistible Feels Shockingly Out of StepThe former Daily Show host enlists Steve Carell and Rose Byrne for a political farce that suggests he’s not up for satirizing our moment.
  28. movie review
    Babyteeth Is Not Your Standard Cancer RomanceA terminally ill teenage girl falls in love with a junkie in Shannon Murphy’s sweet but unsentimental directorial debut, now available on VOD.
  29. the undersung
    What We Lost When Euzhan Palcy Left HollywoodA Dry White Season is evidence of what the industry missed out on because it wasn’t ready for her fiercely decolonized perspective.
  30. friday night movie club
    Why The Social Network Feels Sharper Now Than It Did When It First Came OutDavid Fincher’s masterpiece, now streaming on Netflix, isn’t really about the internet — it’s about power.
  31. movie review
    Artemis Fowl and the Death of the Fantasy YA FranchiseThe long-delayed adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s hit series, now streaming on Disney+, is more baffling relic of the past than movie.
  32. movie review
    The King of Staten Island Returns Pete Davidson to AnonymityJudd Apatow’s dramedy is loosely based on the SNL star — a kind of thought experiment about what his life would be like if he never found comedy.
  33. movie review
    Shirley Is a Woozy Portrait of an Underappreciated WriterElisabeth Moss is terrific, as usual, in this dizzying film about The Haunting of Hill House author Shirley Jackson — now available on Hulu and VOD.
  34. movie review
    The Vast of Night Makes Retro Sci-Fi Feel Startlingly FreshOne of the year’s great movie discoveries — a 1950s-set directorial debut about a possible alien encounter — is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
  35. chat room
    On the Record Directors Discuss Allegations, Oprah and What Me Too Didn’t ChangeKirby Dick and Amy Ziering talk Russell Simmons and their unexpected split with their powerful producer: “We had no idea how this would turn out.”
  36. movie review
    The Painter and the Thief Is a Sexy, Strange Not-Quite-Love StoryAn artist finds a muse in the man who stole her work in this arresting documentary, now on Hulu, VOD, and in theaters.
  37. summer 2020
    19 Horror Movies We’re Excited to See This SummerFrom Prime Video’s The Vast of Night to the Janelle Monáe–starring Antebellum to A Quiet Place sequel.
  38. summer 2020
    60 Movies We’re Excited to See This SummerIf movies still exist then.
  39. summer 2020
    What Is a Summer Movie Anyway?As a summer without movie theaters looks more and more likely, two critics discuss an outdated way of viewing films.
  40. movie review
    Scoob! Is the Kind of Kids Movie That Features Jokes About TinderThe Scooby-Doo reboot, bumped from theaters to on demand, attempts to update the mystery-solving franchise with superheroes and internet jokes.
  41. movie review
    Capone Features Tom Hardy at His Most MaximalistThe Al Capone biopic may not be the comeback story that director Josh Trank needed, but it has a truly batshit performance from Tom Hardy.
  42. movie review
    Michelle Obama Doc Becoming Is a Guarded Look at Life After the White HouseThe new film, part of the Obamas’ deal with Netflix, shows the former First Lady reveling in the freedom to not engage.
  43. profile
    Alice Wu Is (Finally) Ready to Break Your HeartThe Saving Face director left Hollywood after making her lesbian rom-com. 10 years later, she’s back with a queer Cyrano for Gen Z on Netflix.
  44. friday night movie club
    Let’s Torture Ourselves With The Talented Mr. RipleyThe Matt Damon thriller assures us that we don’t actually want a lavish, endless vacation after all.
  45. movie review
    Bad Education Gives Hugh Jackman One of His Greatest Dramatic RolesCory Finley’s sly dissection of a Long Island embezzlement scandal — premiering on HBO — plays to its leading man’s theatrical strengths.
  46. movie review
    You Could Watch Beastie Boys Story, But Really, Why Not Just Read Their Book?Spike Jonze’s Apple TV+ documentary, featuring Mike D and Ad-Rock, is a surprisingly staid act of fan service.
  47. movie review
    Selah and the Spades Is a Mesmerizing Portrait of a Prep School Queen BeeLovie Simone plays a high school senior reluctant to relinquish her position of power in Tayarisha Poe’s new movie, now streaming on Amazon.
  48. movie review
    The Lighthouse Is About the Horror of Roommates in IsolationMermaids, hallucinations, bodily fluids — in Robert Eggers’s movie, the most frightening thing of all is having to share your space with someone.
  49. backstories
    The Writer of Demolition Man on the Predictive Power of His 1993 MovieNo-contact high fives? No more toilet paper? Screenwriter Daniel Waters talks about the accidental COVID-era relevance of his action comedy.
  50. life after parasite
    A Guide to Director Bong Joon Ho’s Deeper CutsParasite is now streaming on Hulu, but so is Mother, The Host, and Barking Dogs Never Bite.
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