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Alison Willmore

Movie Critic

Alison Willmore is a film critic for New York magazine and Vulture. Formerly, she was the only critic at BuzzFeed News, the first TV editor at IndieWire, and the host of Filmspotting: SVU.

  1. movie review
    Savoring Flux Gourmet’s Satire of Celebrity Performance ArtPeter Strickland’s art-world satire is funny, opulent, and filled with infinite sympathy when it comes to gastrointestinal distress.
  2. movie review
    Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Might Be a Hazard to Your CorneasElvis is bloated, hectic, ridiculous, and utterly shameless in presenting Presley as a talent too beautiful for this earth. I liked it.
  3. movie review
    Good Luck to You, Leo Grande Makes a Joyous Case on Behalf of Sex WorkEmma Thompson stars as a middle-aged widow trying to figure out whether sexual pleasure has passed her by in this generous drama debuting on Hulu.
  4. movie review
    The Problem With Lightyear Is Not the “Origin Story” It TellsHow do you make a good version of a movie that, in the context of the animated universe Pixar has created, sounds pretty bad?
  5. movie review
    David Cronenberg Makes an Indifferent Return to Body HorrorViggo Mortensen and Léa Seydoux are game, but the director’s heart (and his other body parts) just isn’t in Crimes of the Future.
  6. movie review
    Fire Island Is a Curiously Reluctant Romantic ComedyAll the best parts of Joel Kim Booster’s gay rom-com unfold outside its genre framing.
  7. hear me out
    Theory: Top Gun: Maverick Is Mostly a Death DreamLook, the only way to really make sense of Tom Cruise’s latest is as an Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge sitch.
  8. summer preview
    What Will Be the Biggest Movie of the Summer?Vulture bets on five films that will break through the hottest months of 2022, in whatever ways they can.
  9. 2022 summer preview
    A Guide to This Summer’s Indies (Based on Genres Familiar and Not)Is “ethically dubious podcaster” a genre? Maybe it should be!
  10. ‘and it’s all true…’
    Where Does the Abortion Thriller Go From Here?Movies like Happening turn the terrible consequences of restricted access into the stuff of dramatic tension. Are they trying to do the impossible?
  11. movie review
    I Regret to Inform You the Chip ’n Dale: Rescue Rangers Movie Is Pretty GoodJohn Mulaney and Andy Samberg voice the animated chipmunks in a half-subversive riff on Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
  12. movie review
    Jerrod Carmichael Has Already Outgrown On the Count of ThreeHis feature directorial debut is a dark comedy about suicide that works more than it doesn’t, but still feels like a blip in a career that’s moved on.
  13. movie review
    Pleasure Can’t Get Out of Its Own HeadNinja Thyberg’s feature debut offers a judgment-free journey through the adult-film industry but never really gets going as a character study.
  14. let’s do it again
    Hollywood Can’t Leave Romancing the Stone AloneThe deceptively effortless-seeming Kathleen Turner–Michael Douglas romantic adventure never spawned a franchise, but not for any lack of trying.
  15. let’s do it again
    An Emergency Discussion of Blade Runner 2049 in 2022What a five-year-old movie can tell us about the future of franchises and whether movies are moving backward.
  16. let’s do it again
    The 101 Best Movie Sequels of All TimeWhether they come after, before, or between their predecessors, these films have created their own indelible legacies.
  17. movie review
    The Perfection in Miniature of Céline Sciamma’s Petite MamanThe Portrait of a Lady on Fire director’s latest is about a simple but devastating child’s fantasy.
  18. movie review
    In Praise of The Northman’s Ruthless UnrelatabilityThe Alexander Skarsgård Viking saga makes no effort to bend its characters toward modern sensibilities, and you know what? It’s great.
  19. movie review
    The Dour Secrets of Dumbledore Doesn’t Know Why It’s Here EitherIt’s the product of a lucrative fictional universe that no one seems to know how to build on but keeps going anyway, a franchise in search of a story.
  20. it’s coming
    Erotic Thrillers Owe Everything to Home ViewersThey famously brought sex and death to the multiplex, but their survival depended on late-night cable, down-market sequels, and direct-to-video films.
  21. movie review
    The Kamikaze Wish Fulfillment of AlineIn playing a fictionalized version of the Quebecois singer, writer-director-actor Valérie Lemercier gets at the absurd heart of the biopic genre.
  22. vulture lists
    The Best Movies of 2022 (So Far)From Petite Maman to Jackass Forever, here are the best movies we’ve seen so far this year.
  23. movie review
    Richard Linklater Overdoses on Nostalgia in Apollo 10½The Netflix animated ode to a ’60s childhood, as voiced by Jack Black, is too cozy for its own good.
  24. the movies
    The Oscars Are Just a Work EventWith grudges, professional pretenses, and a lot of big talk about how important a flawed industry is.
  25. movie review
    Everything Everywhere All at Once Dizzies Itself Into TranscendenceMichelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan star in a maximalist almost-masterpiece that’s as much a family drama as it is about saving the multiverse.
  26. oscar villains
    Against Every 2022 Oscars MovieIf you’re still not sure what to root for this year, at least you can come up with something to root against.
  27. pretty statues
    Cheese: An Annotated History of the Oscar Class PhotoThere was no group portrait of the nominees taken this year, so we looked back at 36 years of … classics?
  28. close read
    Atlanta Returns, Singular As EverThe long-awaited third season kicks off with yet another stand-alone episode that suggests Donald Glover’s comedy is, at heart, an anthology series.
  29. movie review
    Sex Gets You Killed in Horror Movies, But the Slasher X Wants to Reexamine WhyTi West’s clever new film pits a porn shoot against the conservative clichés of the genre.
  30. movie review
    Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas Torment Each Other, Sexily, in Deep WaterSee, this is why communication is key to an open relationship.
  31. movie review
    Turning Red Has No ObligationsThe new Pixar movie avoids the impossible expectations of its disparate viewers to speak only on behalf of the unabashed dork at its center.
  32. movie review
    Fresh Is a Cannibal Horror Comedy That Lacks BiteSebastian Stan is a lot of fun in this Hulu movie that otherwise is neither quite gross or satirical enough.
  33. movie review
    After Yang Is a Gorgeous Movie About the Life and Death of a RobotColin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith star in this unconventional science-fiction film about the nature of self.
  34. movie review
    Channing Tatum Makes a Wobbly Directorial Debut With the Road-Trip Movie DogMen will literally agree to drive a traumatized military canine down the Pacific Coast instead of going to therapy.
  35. movie review
    Marry Me Is a Gently Charming Movie With a Perfectly Outrageous PremiseJennifer Lopez stars in a romantic comedy that isn’t a return to form so much as it is an attempt to tweak the genre for the better.
  36. movie review
    Zoë Kravitz Is an Agoraphobic Tech Worker in the Nimble Thriller KimiSteven Soderbergh’s new film for HBO Max is about social isolation, start-ups, and a tech worker who hears a crime on someone’s smart-home device.
  37. predictions
    Don’t Get Mad at Me When Don’t Look Up Wins Best PictureLike an asteroid destined to obliterate Earth, Adam McKay’s climate-change satire feels increasingly likely to win at the Oscars.
  38. movie review
    Moonfall Is Gloriously, Splendidly StupidThe moon is coming to destroy us all, and frankly, bring it on.
  39. sundance 2022
    Sundance’s Cautious Reclaiming of Sexual Pleasure Alongside Stories of TraumaThe 2022 festival felt caught somewhere between keeping its focus on sexual exploitation and finding a way to advance the #MeToo conversation.
  40. movie review
    Sharp Stick Is a Strange, Sometimes Sexy Return to Filmmaking for Lena DunhamThe Girls creator’s first film in over a decade follows a 26-year-old virgin’s affair with a stay-at-home dad played by Jon Bernthal.
  41. sundance 2022
    18 Sundance Movies We Can’t Wait to Watch (from Home)From horror stories to news-breaking documentaries, here’s what’s we’re watching this year.
  42. movie review
    Belle Is a Spectacular Retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Way of the MetaverseMamoru Hosoda’s new film deftly blends teen angst, fairy-tale fantasy, and a virtual online world.
  43. together again
    Is Week-to-Week TV Winning After All?In an era when shows and movies must fight to break through, Yellowjackets has sustained a conversation while airing weekly on Showtime.
  44. movie review
    The 355 Is Proof That Women Can Make Middling Action Movies, TooJessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger, and Fan Bingbing star in a spy movie felled by the Strong Female Character.
  45. movie review
    The Pitiless Excellence of The Lost DaughterMaggie Gyllenhaal’s Elena Ferrante adaptation for Netflix is the best movie of the year.
  46. movie review
    Don’t Look Up Hates Its Own AudienceAdam Mckay believes that people need laughs and famous faces to be lured into thinking about pressing matters, and he loathes them for it.
  47. movie review
    The King’s Man Is Here to Tell an Origin Story No One Asked ForRalph Fiennes stars in a prequel to the Kingsman movies that guesses what fans really want is less humor and more brooding.
  48. movie review
    Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley Is the Noir Equivalent of a Fake Dive BarOn the plus side, the Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett thriller looks incredible.
  49. the vulture transcript
    Red Rocket Wants to Take You for a RideDirector Sean Baker and Simon Rex unpack the queasy charms of fast-talking narcissists and why they bet big on ’N Sync.
  50. best of 2021
    The Best Movies of 2021Snapshots of moviegoing in the year in-person cinema returned with a vengeance.
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