Rough Cut Cinema

Fun, thought-provoking film analysis — deep-dives, lists, criticism, and everything in between.


Rough Cut Cinema's 2022 Sight and Sound Ballots

It's here: The once-per-decade Sight and Sound poll of the greatest films of all time has released its latest iteration, with surprises aplenty throughout the list. Though the Rough Cut team were — shockingly! — not among the critics asked to contribute their opinions to the poll, that didn't stop us from putting together our 10-film ballots anyway. Below you'll find our choices, each in chronological order. While we all used different criteria to make our selections, we all recognize…

The Best Scenes of 2021

The cinema of 2021 was filled with a lot of empty formalism – as every year should be. Because to attempt true visual storytelling is to risk falling flat on one’s face. With streamers expanding and the pandemic accelerating the great elision of film and television, that there remain so many cinematic moments made to be seen on a big screen – made so that they can be felt and understood without dialogue – is a minor miracle in itself…

2021 Wrap-Up: The Year in Theater-Going

For me, the year in movies was defined primarily by one thing: the fact that for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, theater-going once again felt (depending on one’s own risk and comfort level) like a regular part of the movie-watching routine. Just as Nicole Kidman points out in her relentless AMC advertisements, the movie theater feels like home to me — somewhere I go to cry, to laugh, to be thrilled, and to relieve stress…

Recent reviews

“Some things, there’s no moving on from. I think that’s a good thing.”

So it goes in Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin, a return home and a return to form for the British-Irish writer-director. Set amidst the sprawling bucolic countryside of a barely fictional island off the coast of Ireland, Banshees seems to tell the tale of a crumbling friendship between Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson). But as the pair’s tiff reflects the ongoing Irish Civil War…

Like many first-time feature filmmakers, Charlotte Wells mines her own history for dramatic effect in the charming and understated Aftersun, which has played to critical acclaim across the festival circuit. Unfolding with the patience of a slowly developing photograph, Aftersun recounts a young girl's (Frankie Corio) summer holiday with her father (Paul Mescal) at a Turkish resort town. Far from a paint-by-numbers tale of teenage awakening, Wells uses Aftersun to revisit her childhood through the prism of memory, with faded, fragmented images piecing together a child's-eye view of her past that lingers long after the credits have rolled.

Keep reading at Rough Cut Cinema.

Much of the buzz around Tár, the third film from writer-director Todd Field (and his first in over a decade), has been about two elements: one, that Cate Blanchett gives an all-timer of a performance, and two, that the film is one of the first great works about “cancel culture” (and, to a slightly lesser extent, the Me Too movement). On the first statement, you’ll hear no disagreement from me — Blanchett is as dazzling as you’ve heard — but…

Athena necessarily draws comparisons to Z, the landmark act of cinematic and political rebellion from Costa-Gavras. That film was effective because of its specificity; this one works due to its allegoric approach. Z found its power in an innovative, chaotic editing style; Athena finds its strength in immersive long-takes. But Romain Gavras followed in his father’s footsteps in one crucial way: like Z, Athena is a document that transmits the urgency of its time in a uniquely cinematic package.

Read full review at Rough Cut Cinema.

Liked reviews




The greatest opening scene of all time?????

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

Man, this was a bit of a bummer.

Listing them out to see if they still bug me when I inevitably watch again at home in 2 months:

- Taking badass Niobe and making her a crotchety nerd - lame.

- Not inviting Larry Fish back to stay true to the canon of… *checks notes* The Matrix Online is one thing… but then to totally waste a rad Yahya is another

- any real meaningful stakes? Forget about it!


Scream 4

Scream 4


Over here yelling "are they pulling a star trek vi?!" during the hospital scene while my fiancée looks at me in a real "welp, this is my life" kind of way

Cary Grant does not look good in aviator goggles, ergo nobody looks good in aviator goggles