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  • The Head

    The Head

    ★★½

    A medieval warrior battles a series of beasts out of Beowulf, each of which is left off-screen, until his quest for revenge leaves him facing off against a creature that could have been borrowed from the sci-fi cult classic Fiend Without a Face. This final battle is depicted in gory detail, but it might be a tad too little, too late for what feels mostly like an accomplished display of what kind of production design one can manage on a small budget.

  • The Dead Center

    The Dead Center

    ★★★½

    This would-be missing cadaver mystery is very clever in the ways that it juggles its procedural elements to build interest that its otherwise straightforward plot might not. Director Senese manages to both convey a sense of delgammed realism and to infuse the film with a palpable sense of style. The cast, led by director Shane Carruth, is uniformly strong in an unshowy manner, grounding the supernatural premise convincingly.

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  • Vertigo

    Vertigo

    ★★★★★

    Hitchcock’s masterwork, better than any other, reminds us of two truisms of cinema: to look is to remember and to remember is to impose. The hypnotic spirals that haunt every facet of the visual design and even the trademark dolly zoom effect take us deeper into the image, to the point that it threatens to swallow us, much as the past threatens to engulf Scottie. Of course these geometrical chasms are metaphorically vaginal, making Vertigo the great masterpiece about sexual…

  • Interstellar

    Interstellar

    ★★★★

    2014: The Year We Remake Contact

    75/100