• Brian and Charles

    Brian and Charles

    ★★★

    A sweetly eccentric beardo who lives by himself in a stone cottage on a Snowdonia farm track some 20 miles west of Cardiff, Brian (David Earl) has all but given up on having any sort of human connection. “I was very low,” he confesses to the “Office”-like documentary crew who follow his every move (they’re presumably shooting a project about the weirdest people in Wales, which would at least make a little more sense than a 200-hour film about a…

  • Of Medicine and Miracles

    Of Medicine and Miracles

    ★★★½

    In the first minutes of “Born into Brothels” director Ross Kauffman’s simple but immensely moving “Of Medicine and Miracles,” one of the world’s foremost cellular engineers stares into the camera and shakes his head. “It’s hard to say that you’re trying to cure cancer,” he says. “It sounds foolish coming out of your mouth… may not even ethically sound.” His name is Carl H. June, and he’s been fighting cancer for more than 40 years. Not in himself, but in…

  • Vengeance

    Vengeance

    ★★★½

    At the risk of damning an impressively strong debut with faint praise, B.J. Novak’s “Vengeance” is perhaps the best possible movie someone could make out of a murder-mystery that starts with John Mayer standing on the rooftop bar of a Soho House (where he’s waxing philosophical about the pointlessness of monogamy in a world so fractured that people have been reduced to mere concepts, like “Becky Gym,” “Sarah Airplane Bathroom,” or any of the actual names he’s assigned to the…

  • Lightyear

    Lightyear

    ★★

    “Lightyear” is the first movie that Pixar has released in theaters since the start of the pandemic, a return to normal that would feel more exciting if “Lightyear” wasn’t also the first Pixar movie since the start of the pandemic that feels like it only belongs on Disney Plus. Bursting onto the big screen with huge “this project was announced during a shareholders meeting” energy, “Lightyear” is exactly the kind of gratuitous property-mining that corporate streamers were invented to support.…

  • Spiderhead

    Spiderhead

    ★★

    Imagine if there were a giant, multi-billion-dollar machine fueled by human attention; a massive contraption that could only be sustained by attracting every pair of eyeballs on Earth through the use of an algorithm that mulched art into content, and reduced audiences into data points. Now imagine how ironic it would be if someone took a singular work of sci-fi satire — a mordantly funny nugget of short fiction about a prison where inmates are used as test subjects for…

  • RRR

    RRR

    ★★★★

    lol if you guys thought i was too hard on hollywood blockbusters *before* i saw this…

  • Somewhere in Queens

    Somewhere in Queens

    ★★★

    There’s “staying in your comfort zone,” and then there’s Ray Romano making his directorial debut with a movie in which he plays a beleaguered outer-borough New York father who tries to look on the bright side of life and survive the slings and arrows that bond his large Italian-American family together even as they threaten to tear it apart. On paper, the leap from “Jackass” the TV show to “Jackass: The Movie” might have been a greater creative gamble than…

  • Corner Office

    Corner Office

    ★★½

    Orson (Jon Hamm) is an upwardly mobile corporate drone who suffers from Main Character Syndrome in a Kafkaesque work environment, his arrogance so vigorously rubbing against his anonymity that the friction created between those two forces is almost powerful enough to sustain the ultra-droll office satire that “Corner Office” constructs around it. Adapted from Jonas Karlsson’s lightly surreal (but extremely Scandinavian) novella, “The Room,” Joachim Back’s feature-length debut promotes a typical skewering of corporate drudgery with the hint of a…

  • Lynch / Oz

    Lynch / Oz

    ★★★

    It is famously useless (if also occasionally fun) to ask David Lynch about the meaning behind his art, which is why his interviews tend to offer more color than insight, and his panel appearances often prove to be exercises in frustration. It’s also why “Jennifer’s Body” director Karyn Kusama has such a vivid memory of what happened during the Q&A that followed the NYFF screening of “Mulholland Drive” in 2001, when Lynch’s usual elusiveness was suddenly interrupted by a question…

  • Lost Illusions

    Lost Illusions

    ★★★½

    this cautionary tale about the dangers and temptations of being a critic in 1840s Paris really made me wish I could've been a critic in 1840s Paris.

  • The Phantom of the Open

    The Phantom of the Open

    ★★★

    A light and lyrical feel-good tale about Mancunian golf legend Maurice G. Flitcroft — the shipyard crane operator who improbably managed to enter himself into the 1976 British Open and then, even more improbably, became an international folk hero for his resilience in the face of humiliating scores — “The Phantom of the Open” is exactly what you might expect from an underdog sports film scripted by “Paddington 2” writer Simon Farnaby (and based on the book that he and…

  • Hustle

    Hustle

    ★★★

    Adam Sandler really, really loves basketball, and — in his post-“Meyerowitz Stories” era — he also seems to be interested in making good movies. At the very least, he no longer seems actively opposed to the idea. With “Hustle,” those two passions come together (again) in a grounded, affecting, and immaculately made dramedy that has far more in common with “Jerry Maguire” and “The Way Back” than it does any of the other Happy Madison productions on Netflix.

    If it…