Ben Travers

TV Critic at IndieWire 

"Because 'livin's' a verb."

Favorite films

  • The Godfather
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Moulin Rouge!
  • Babe

Recent activity

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  • Spider-Man: No Way Home

    ★½

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home

    ★★★

  • Elvis

    ★★★½

  • Fire Island

    ★★★½

Recent reviews

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  • Elvis

    Elvis

    ★★★½

    To say a movie titled “Elvis” that runs an exorbitant 2.5 hours with a million dollar-per-minute budget doesn’t need to be the defining pop document of the popular singer’s well-documented life is, perhaps, a cop-out. So is acknowledging that telling his story through the eyes of a thinly defined yet otherwise enormous villain allows for convenient fast-forwarding over nuanced and unflattering aspects of a rock-n-roll icon already elevated to godlike heights. These are both choices made by the film’s creators,…

  • Spiderhead

    Spiderhead

    ★½

    I appreciate that the character reading George Saunders’ “Tenth of December” is too dumb to grasp its message, so he just keeps doing what the book plainly warns against. 

    …but I don’t think this movie is meant to emulate Rogan’s crippling illiteracy. Oof. So dumb. So, so dumb. 

    (It is weird that he’s *in* the book, so you’d think he’d give that story an extra think, but maybe he just hasn’t reached “Escape from Spiderhead” yet? Or maybe he’s so

Popular reviews

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  • The Nest

    The Nest

    ★★★★½

    Both a gorgeous study of marriage at a crisis point and an enlivening evisceration of the institution's sexist standards in society, "The Nest" is meticulously made, brilliantly acted, and rich with subtext. Jude Law's ferocious ego is hysterical. Carrie Coon inhales cigarettes and coffee, often in the same breath, then exhales a perfect "fuck you" to the patriarchy. What a gem. I would watch 10 hours of this.

  • Boyhood

    Boyhood

    ★★★

    A unique experience in two areas, one technically remarkable while the other frustratingly plain, "Boyhood" is a marvel in its innovative shoot. Richard Linklater's patient deliberation on time is something to ponder and discuss long after the film (finally) ends, but the proxy characters he creates are so maddeningly plain and predictable an emotional attachment can only be found when reflecting on oneself. The boy and his family don't bring the film to life -- you do (the viewer). Does that make it worth watching? Yes. But does it make "Boyhood" superior to films with more personality, and thus true originality ? No, it does not.