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  • Working Girl

    Working Girl

    ★★★½

    [pro/B/B-]
    An ancestor of The Devil Wears Prada, with equally juicy acting, (mostly rewardingly) thorny gender dynamics / satire, and of-its-time NYC street & workplace looks (Weaver's closet! Ford's tie/jacket combos! Cusack's everything!). Thankfully not as didactic as Prada, and its procedural redemption narrative is more engaging. It's convincingly wrought by Nichols.

  • The Silence of the Lambs

    The Silence of the Lambs

    ★★★½

    [pro/B/B-]
    The culmination of JD's genre/exploitation efforts. Unfortunately more limiting than progressive, sex politics-wise. But many great moments; "can't you feel the eyes on your body, Clarice?" Close-ups, fixed stares singeing through horror fabric.
    [Tweet] [con't]

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  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★½

    [CON/D]
    An ugly-in-spirit, clumsily styled (ed. the swivel reaction pans to Teller's face are atrocious) faux Social Network. Upsettingly celebrates antagonism and verbal violence as reported. J.K. Simmons's performance is terrible and Teller is too smothered by Damien Chazelle's pop psychologizing to be able to make an impression.
    [Tweet] [II]

    Chazelle's amateurish world is so limited in its artificial scope, beginning and ending within the unexplored confines of his pat human experience ambitions; he is prone to arrive at an…

  • Birdman

    Birdman

    ★★

    [con/C-]
    It's not as if some comedy was the last thing Iñárritu's work needed—I disliked Birdman a good bit less than I thought I would.
    [Tweet]

    I liked it better when it was called Venus in Fur (and even then I didn't like it that much, but Polanski’s film's similarities and divergence from Iñárritu's work are instructive). Pretty middling on it overall, and though it exceeded my expectations, its thinness becomes glaring in hindsight. The tone and performances annoyed me…