Articles

<em>Furiosa</em> tells the story of a world (almost) without hope ARTICLE

Furiosa tells the story of a world (almost) without hope

Is there no hope? This desperate question hangs over the previous film in the saga, Miller’s 2015 extravaganza Mad Max: Fury Road. Now, the same question haunts Furiosa, an epic origin-story prequel for Fury Road’s stealth protagonist, Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa.

<em>Wildcat</em> lacks O’Connor’s oddness, but brims with passion ARTICLE

Wildcat lacks O’Connor’s oddness, but brims with passion

Wildcat bills itself as “based on short stories by Flannery O’Connor,” though it could equally be said to be based on O’Connor’s letters (the source for much of Flannery’s dialogue) and her prayer journal (used to depict her prayer life in earnest voiceovers).

The face of God in <em>Cabrini</em> ARTICLE

The face of God in Cabrini

Does the movie “secularize a saint”? Reckoning with the curious dearth of God talk and overt religiosity in this faith-based biopic about the founder of a religious community

<em>Cabrini</em> celebrates human dignity and solidarity; the saint remains an enigma ARTICLE

Cabrini celebrates human dignity and solidarity; the saint remains an enigma

What kind of world do we want, and what will we do to achieve it? Those are the questions with which Alejandro Monteverdi’s Cabrini leaves us at the end of its 140 minutes. The questions land harder after the story we’ve seen.

<em>Dune: Part Two</em> exceeds expectations in every way &mdash; except humanity ARTICLE

Dune: Part Two exceeds expectations in every way — except humanity

There’s something bracing about a blockbuster epic in 2024 that doesn’t care what you think of it, that is primarily concerned with being the best possible version of itself.

Ethan Hunt&rsquo;s second act and Tom Cruise&rsquo;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.

<em>Avatar: The Way of Water</em> is everything James Cameron wants movies to be ARTICLE

Avatar: The Way of Water is everything James Cameron wants movies to be

“A glorified South America” was one of the odder dismissive takes on Pandora, the alien world of the Na’vi in James Cameron’s Avatar, that I heard when the movie was in theaters. After all, who in their right mind wouldn’t want to see a glorified South America?

The Gospel According to the McDonaghs: <em>The Banshees of Inisherin</em>, <em>Calvary</em>, and <nobr><em>In Bruges</em></nobr> ARTICLE

The Gospel According to the McDonaghs: The Banshees of Inisherin, Calvary, and In Bruges

It’s tempting to view Calvary alongside Banshees and Bruges as a sort of unintentional McDonagh brothers trilogy: a “lapsed Catholic” trilogy, or, a bit more accurately, a “bad Catholics” trilogy, since most or all of the characters in Banshees and many of the characters in Calvary are at least minimally practicing.

Asghar Farhadi&rsquo;s masterful <em>A Hero</em>: A decent man does the right thing, more or less ARTICLE

Asghar Farhadi’s masterful A Hero: A decent man does the right thing, more or less

One of the things that makes Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) such a riveting storyteller is how persuasively he imagines sympathetic characters who are more or less trying to do the right thing finding the consequences of that “more or less,” that small bit of wiggle room, compounding and spiraling out of control in unforeseen directions.

<em>The Rings of Power</em> at the end of season 1 ARTICLE

The Rings of Power at the end of season 1

Season 1 ended for me closer to the quiet end of the whimper-bang spectrum than I had hoped. Yet the highs of the season’s second half offer ongoing reason for sustained interest.

<em>The Rings of Power</em>: Season 1 at the halfway mark ARTICLE

The Rings of Power: Season 1 at the halfway mark

Four episodes in, the lavish Amazon Prime series is delivering on at least some of its promise, but there’s room for improvement.