Ethan Hunt’s second act and Tom Cruise’s third: The unending impossible mission ARTICLE

Ethan Hunt’s second act and Tom Cruise’s third: The unending impossible mission

What the Mission: Impossible series discovers in this moment is this: Imperfect stunts can be more thrilling than perfect ones, and an unflappable superman who always knows exactly what to do and does it perfectly is less exciting than a fallible, vulnerable action hero — one who can be caught by surprise, who hesitates and has misgivings, who is forced to improvise, sometimes miscalculating and even getting hurt.

<em>Indiana Jones</em> movies and <em>Raiders of the Lost Ark</em>: Why the original still stands alone ARTICLE

Indiana Jones movies and Raiders of the Lost Ark: Why the original still stands alone

Eight years earlier, The Exorcist offered a gut-wrenching morality tale about, among other things, the spiritual dangers of messing around with Ouija boards and demons. The climax of Raiders offers a complementary warning about trifling with the no less terrible power of the holy.

The Lourdes Effect: <em>The Miracle Club</em> director Thaddeus O&rsquo;Sullivan on Irish trauma and miracles ARTICLE

The Lourdes Effect: The Miracle Club director Thaddeus O’Sullivan on Irish trauma and miracles

Laura Linney stars in an Irish comedy set in 1967 about a group of women confronting their past on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. The director talks about the trauma that Irish movies set in this timeframe tend deal with, and what he calls the “Lourdes Effect.”

An <em>Elemental</em> misstep: Does Pixar still need &mdash; or benefit from &mdash; anthropomorphic fantasy? ARTICLE

An Elemental misstep: Does Pixar still need — or benefit from — anthropomorphic fantasy?

What if the four elements had feelings? Pixar filmmaker Peter Sohn’s gentle, compassionate storytelling may have something to offer family audiences … if he can break away from what has become a rut in Pixar thinking.

<em>Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse</em> is an incomplete triumph ARTICLE

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is an incomplete triumph

What I can tell you at this point about Across the Spider-Verse is that I want to see it about ten more times.

A deep dive: <em>The Little Mermaid</em> then and now ARTICLE

A deep dive: The Little Mermaid then and now

There’s something profoundly melancholy about Disney returning, in its present state of creative exhaustion and corporate decadence, to The Little Mermaid — the nucleus from which the entire Disney renaissance exploded, in a way along with everything that has followed.

Science fiction and transcendence: <em>2001: A Space Odyssey</em> and the elusiveness of awe ARTICLE

Science fiction and transcendence: 2001: A Space Odyssey and the elusiveness of awe

Released 55 years ago, Stanley Kubrick’s iconic masterpiece — honored on the 1995 Vatican film list — has often been likened to “a religious experience.” Why do some of its successors capture this better than others?

The spirit of <em>Rocky</em> lives on in the <em>Creed</em> trilogy ARTICLE

The spirit of Rocky lives on in the Creed trilogy

Sports movies are among the most durable of genres, and nostalgia sequels and long-running franchises have become almost the norm for popular movies from the past half-century, but the legacy of Rocky is unique.

<em>Groundhog Day</em> at 30 and the riddle&nbsp;of Bill Murray ARTICLE

Groundhog Day at 30 and the riddle of Bill Murray

Thirty years on, the spiritually evocative, time-bending comedy is as beloved as ever, but its legendary star has been subjected to new scrutiny over reports of inappropriate behavior.

2022: The year in reviews ARTICLE

2022: The year in reviews

The movie year 2022 was a year of memory and identity, with one film after another exploring how memory both gives us access to our past, to our roots, and also distorts and obscures the past.