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  • Fitzcarraldo




    Dragging the ship over the mountain occupies a much smaller percentage of the film's running time than I'd remembered—an hour and a half elapses before Fitz even announces/explains the plan. Nor does Herzog make this remarkable feat of engineering as visually spectacular as it might have been in the hands of a stronger formalist. Doesn't really matter, though, as there's plenty of awe to be mined from ordinary, everyday laboriousness. It's easy to forget, but utterly crucial, that nothing…

  • The Wound

    The Wound



    Toxic masculinity, South African style. With the irrelevant exception of some extras seen in the final minutes, not a single woman appears in the course of this power struggle, which unfolds during the rite of passage traditionally undergone by young Xhosa males—an extended group camping trip, more or less, that begins with circumcision (performed sans anesthetic or even much prelude, just a quick and dirty snip) and continues until the boyz ii men have fully healed. For most Western…

Popular reviews

  • Moonlight



    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.


    Okay, here we go: Why I think the year's most universally acclaimed film is sorta kinda not really very good. Took a second look to be sure, both because I'm always open to the possibility that I'm wrong and because I served on a festival jury with Jenkins a couple of years ago and liked him enormously, so take no pleasure in being a contrarian here. Had exactly the same reaction, alas. In descending order of importance:

    • I'm…

  • Sicario



    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.


    Second viewing, no change. Having now professionally reviewed this film four times (for The Dissolve from Cannes, and then for the A.V. Club, the Nashville Scene, and the Las Vegas Weekly), I thought I had nothing left to say, especially since I made a point of addressing the most common criticisms. But since a bunch of folks are praising Adam Nayman's takedown for Reverse Shot, let me quickly address a few of his points.

    “I have to know,” Kate…