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Film

Everyone is Awful

 

Worst. Children’s Book. Ever.

 

Happy, Little Clouded

 

Cinéma Very Tame

 

No Big Bang

 

Bro-man Holiday

 

Leni Riefen-stalling

 

Oopsie Genius

 

The Burden of Actual Christianity

 

Awful, Not Full of Awe

 

Retro Review: Life Before Test Screenings

“And then the big Native American smothers him to death with a pillow after he sees that he’s been lobotomized! Wait, Mr. Producer! Where are you going?”

Pitching One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in an era of careful demographic selection and test audience input on filmmaking would ensure somebody would be going to an asylum. There’s no arguing that the ending, if not the whole film, would be softened today....


Pew! Pew! Pew! ‘Merica!!

GI Joe: Retaliation’s script is so horrible, it should be in MoMA. Just like some people can’t stop staring at the world’s ugliest dog, this screenplay is fascinatingly hideous blather. It’s entirely possible the whole script was verbs: “shoot, explode, stab, scream.” Nobody expects Sorkin-esque dialogue from a franchise whose most popular character is a mute ninja, but it would be nice if it wasn’t total drooling...


Cookies Tossed, Paradise Lost

Until now, writer/director Harmony Korine’s brand of artistic weirdness has been completely useless. Intentionally obtuse to the point of sloppy goofiness, his work has differed from student films solely because he wasn’t enrolled.

So how the H-E-double-hockey-sticks is Spring Breakers the most compelling, disorienting and sublime film of this young year?

If Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive got some of its...


Sex Bomb

To come of age when the modern world was doing the same had to feel profound. Children of the 1960s could turn teenage rage against causes of substance, like blossoming nuclear culture. The teenagers of today celebrate their sexual and intellectual emergence with angry tweets about Instagrammed food. But hey, it’s not like there’s some unjust war or nebulous ongoing foreign conflict to channel their hormonal...


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Blackhat

Can cybercrime fighting be sexy? Probably not.

GRADE
C

Inherent Vice

An "art-house stoner comedy" based on a Thomas Pynchon novel.

GRADE
B-

On DVD: Lucy

A girl ingests a drug that makes her God. For real.

GRADE
C+

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The epic conclusion to the most epic of epics.

GRADE
A-

On DVD: Gone Girl

This thriller has many twists, the biggest of which is that it's kind of a satire.

GRADE
A

Reader Recommends

The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.

GRADE
A

On DVD: Boyhood

The only coming-of-age story anyone ever needs to make. 

GRADE
A+

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