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  • Murder on the Orient Express

    Murder on the Orient Express


    There’s so much to like about the picture in theory: a sophisticated literary adaptation with a distinguished cast, geared toward grown-ups, only gently suggesting itself as a tentpole. But Branagh just can’t find a tone that works, veering unsteadily between high melodrama and unconvincing sincerity, a dual-track approach that derails by the time he arrives at his earnest final voice-over and speech.


  • The Philadelphia Story

    The Philadelphia Story


    George Cukor’s screwball romantic comedy gets the Criterion treatment, and now the image sparkles as brightly as the movie. A brassy, snazzy, tart love triangle between Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and James Stewart, it’s a picture that talks fast and moves faster, its breezy romantic entanglements adroitly manipulated by its director, the great George Cukor. In a movie full of memorable scenes, my favorite is probably Hepburn and Stewart’s drunken revelry at a fancy party, but there are plenty to…

Popular reviews

  • Mistress America

    Mistress America


    “In one instant, her behaviors turned from charming to borderline psychotic.” So notes Tracy (Kirke) of Brooke (Gerwig), the title character of Noah Baumbach’s latest chronicle of the bohemian facades and generational navigation in New York City. Free of much of the cynicism but none of the bite of last spring’s 'While We’re Young,' Baumbach and co-writer Gerwig’s screwball treat beautifully captures the way a slightly older, seemingly together mentor-type figure can first seem to be everything you hope to…

  • Under the Skin

    Under the Skin


    A beautiful, bizarre, and occasionally troubling bit of abstract art-house sci-fi in the Beyond the Black Rainbow vein from director Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth). Scarlett Johansson (who appears in just about every frame) plays a well-disguised alien creature who picks up men and devours them; some have dismissed the picture as an indie riff on Species, but if the narrative is derivative and a tad monotonous, there’s something intoxicating about the fluidity of Glazer’s striking images and the mood he manages to sustain throughout the peculiar tale.

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