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Reviews

  1. movie review
    Five Feet Apart Is the Logical, Heightened Conclusion of the Sick Lit GenreCole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson manage to sell an operatically romantic and sadistic cystic fibrosis love story.
  2. movie review
    Piercing Is Designed to Get Under Your SkinNicolas Pesce’s latest, starring Mia Wasikowska and Christopher Abbott, is alternately alluring and repellent.
  3. album review
    James Blake, Future, and the Power of VoiceThe impactful vocalists of this decade are increasingly the least traditional ones.
  4. movie review
    The Standoff at Sparrow Creek Is a Memorable Feature Directing DebutIt’s an effective little thriller whose occasional flaws come mostly as a result of its considerable virtues, so you roll with it.
  5. clones
    Replicas Can’t Even Succeed at Being Fun TrashKeanu Reeves’s latest would be the stuff of future cult screenings if it wasn’t so boring and muddled.
  6. movie review
    The Upside Is an Odd-Couple Cliché With a More Interesting Movie Hiding InsideStarring Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, and Nicole Kidman, The Upside is the kind of movie whose greatest virtue is that it’s not as bad as it could be.
  7. podcasts
    Conan O’Brien Is the Perfect Podcast HostThe late-night host is a really good fit for the medium, as it turns out.
  8. theater review
    Theater Reviews: Northeast Prep and Southern Gothic in Choir Boy and Blue RidgeNew plays from Tarell Alvin McCraney and Abby Rosebrock.
  9. movie review
    American Hangman Is a Cheap, Dumb, Off-Brand Black Mirror EpisodeIt’s college-level death penalty discourse, appropriately armed with what appears to be a college-level production budget.
  10. movie review
    Escape Room Is a Tight, Thoroughly Fun ThrillerA smart script and clever art direction elevate the puzzle-obsessed not-quite-horror movie.
  11. movie review
    Welcome to Marwen Is a Totally Confounding MovieRobert Zemeckis’s film fails to capture what’s interesting about Mark Hogancamp’s art.
  12. movie review
    Bumblebee Is a Surprisingly Restrained, Modest Transformers MovieBut in the end, I found myself missing the gonzo, go-for-broke bravado of the earlier movies — we’re all still here for the exploding robots.
  13. movie review
    Cold War Is a Stunning Love StoryPawel Pawlikowski’s follow up to the Oscar-winning Ida is a passionate heartbreaker told through music and across decades.
  14. movie review
    Is Once Upon a Deadpool Even a Movie?The conceit — Ryan Reynolds kidnapping Fred Savage, then recounting the plot of Deadpool 2 — barely hangs together.
  15. movie review
    Mortal Engines Is a Breath of Fresh AirIt’s a pretty admirably engineered work of escapism, made all the more astonishing by its ability to stand independent of a cinematic universe.
  16. movie review
    See Aquaman for Its Trippy Undersea Visuals and You Won’t Be DisappointedThere are two kinds of people: those who break out into a stupid grin upon hearing the words “Ocean Master,” and those whose hearts are made of stone.
  17. movie review
    Clara’s Ghost Is One of the Strangest Films of the YearBridey Elliott’s film strikes veins both horrific and comedic, without ever quite settling down to any genre.
  18. movie review
    Tyrel Is a Subtle — Then Brutally Effective — Portrait of Racial AlienationIt’s a chamber orchestra of unconscious prejudice and passive-aggression, with Jason Mitchell’s performance as the violin solo at the center of it.
  19. movie review
    Vox Lux Is a Fascinating FailureNatalie Portman’s pop-star drama feels like it has a lot to say, but never gets around to it.
  20. movie review
    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Is Infectiously FunMiles Morales’s Spider-Man gets his big-screen debut, and it’s one of the most enjoyable superhero films — and computer-animated films — of our era.
  21. movie review
    Mary Queen of Scots Turns Its Queen Into a Generic Underdog FigureIt’s painfully old-fashioned, yet another type of movie that we may no longer have much use for — the awards-season, low-concept costume drama.
  22. movie review
    Dumplin’ Is a Breath of Fresh AirIts world feels so lived-in, its characters so engaging, that you often find yourself wondering about what they’ll do once the cameras stop rolling.
  23. movie review
    The Party’s Just Beginning Is Karen Gillan’s Pitch-black Directorial DebutThere’s very little upside in this tale of depression and suicide in a quaint little Scottish town.
  24. movie review
    The Mercy Is Both Moving and ConfusingIt’s got Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz in top form, and The Mercy nails the emotion, but comes up somewhat short as a narrative.
  25. movie review
    Robin Hood Is a Cinematically and Politically Incoherent Movie SaladRobin Hood is Antifa now, or something?
  26. movie review
    The Palme D’Or-Winning Shoplifters Is a Subtle Tale of a Family on the MarginsHirokazu Kore-Eda delivers another layered, intimate story, this time about a poor Japanese family that lovingly kidnaps an abused girl.
  27. movie review
    Creed II Is More of a Rocky Sequel, But It Still Lands Some Solid PunchesCreed II is pretty rough around the edges, in a way that the blisteringly confident and unexpectedly stylized Creed was not.
  28. movie review
    The Clovehitch Killer Is a Smartly Underplayed Domestic NightmareA nearly unrecognizable Dylan McDermott plays a suburban dad from hell.
  29. movie review
    Jinn Is a Radically Empathetic Tale of a Teen’s Religious ConversionWriter-director Nijla Mu’min tells the story of a mother’s and daughter’s search for faith.
  30. movie review
    Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Is a Tedious Slog, But It Ends WellAmid all the exposition and setup, nobody really seems to do anything.
  31. movie review
     Instant Family Is Both Utterly Heartfelt and Utterly ShamelessDon’t be surprised if the Mark Wahlberg–Rose Byrne foster-care epic makes a trillion dollars.
  32. movies
    Ansel Elgort Shows Real Range in the Otherwise Mediocre JonathanJonathan is good enough for us to want it to be better.
  33. movie review
    Ralph Breaks the Internet — But Really, the Internet Breaks RalphThe Wreck-It Ralph sequel throws its unstable protagonist into the internet — and late capitalism.
  34. album review
    The Triumph and Tragedy of Lil Peep’s Come Over When You’re SoberPosthumous albums are a gift and a curse.
  35. movie review
    Jason Mantzoukas Steals The Long Dumb RoadWhere we might expect escalating lunacy, Mantzoukas and director Hannah Fidell bring … something else.
  36. movie review
    The Girl in the Spider’s Web Loses the ThreadLisbeth Salander graduates from aristocratic rapists to nukes in Fede Álvarez’s new take on the franchise.
  37. movie review
    They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead Is IntoxicatingMorgan Neville gives us a sense of just how much Orson Welles transformed over the years, both intentionally and unintentionally.
  38. movie review
    Bodied Is Dazzling, Aggravating, and FascinatingJoseph Kahn’s battle rap comedy-drama is uneven, but it has the fire where it counts.
  39. movie review
    Steven Yeun Makes His Leading-Man Korean Film Debut in BurningLee Chang-dong’s moody mystery is based on a Haruki Murakami short story.
  40. retrospectives
    The Enduring Appeal of Nine Inch NailsSome bands stay alive by rehashing the hits. Others stay adjacent to whatever’s new and popping. Nine Inch Nails is too cool to play that game.
  41. movies
    Wildlife Is Superb — and a Major Moment for Carey MulliganZoe Kazan co-wrote the adaptation of Richard Ford’s novel with Paul Dano, and it’s brilliant.
  42. album review
    Quavo Could Stand to Learn a Few Things From UsherOne artist released a good album disguised as a nonevent, the other released an event album that’s sort of inessential.
  43. movie review
    The Oath Is Mad As Hell and Has No Idea What to Do About ItThe Oath lands in an unpleasant middle ground that is too close to reality to feel like escapism, and too antic to feel anything like incisiveness.
  44. movie review
    Apostle Is So Batshit It Makes The Wicker Man Look Like GoosebumpsApostle is ultimately an absorbing, horrifying movie that’s maybe not as smart as it wants to be. But it’s more disturbing than you’d expect.
  45. album review
    The Lasting Gift of the Star Is Born SoundtrackThese songs are destined to dominate karaoke nights.
  46. movie review
    Liza, Cher, Warhol: Studio 54 and the Greatest Party You Weren’t Invited ToMatt Tyrnauer’s documentary is swift and entertaining — but later veers into odd, branded-content territory.
  47. movie review
    Her Smell Is a Bracing, Unnerving Depiction of Addiction, Narcissism, and GrowthAlex Ross Perry’s latest, starring Elisabeth Moss, is incredibly, teeth-grindingly effective.
  48. album review
    Tha Carter V Is Lil Wayne’s Best Album in YearsIt is almost surgically all-inclusive. There are nods to every region of American rap music and nearly every era of Wayne.
  49. movie review
    Amid a Wave of Police-Shooting Films, Monsters and Men Is Respectable EnoughBut it feels half-baked.
  50. movie review
    The House With a Clock in Its Walls Never Really Gets TickingEli Roth’s witchy kid adventure prioritizes the machinations of the adult characters, and throws in some left-field darkness.
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