Film Comment Magazine

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
() Christina Newland With its narrative double bluffs and knowingly byzantine plot twists, Knives Out nimbly swerves around the pitfalls of murder mysteries past. Full of rhythmic verve and pithy humor, this is uproariously entertaining filmmaking. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Waves (2019) Nicolas Rapold What probably could or should have taken up the bulk of the 135-minute film is its second act. But by this point, Shults has already run a marathon in circles, exhausting his own film. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Mister America (2019) Nicolas Rapold If Heidecker's not holding a mirror up to our idiocy Borat-style, there's no mistaking the echoes in a thin-skinned, name-calling brute elbowing his way onto political center stage for the ugliest reasons. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Mark Asch Motherless Brooklyn is not just nostalgic for the New York City it recreates, but fixated on the moment of its loss. Notes from Chinatown swirl like a saxophone solo as the birth of the city of the future and ponders the mystery of its parentage. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Joker (2019) Violet Lucca Joker doesn't understand its representation of violence because it doesn't know what to do with its politics, opting instead for a confused aestheticization of anarchy, all incendiary chants and masked malcontents thronging the streets. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Atlantics (2019) Jonathan Romney Mati Diop's debut feature is undeniably one of the boldest films of the year, crackling with invention, beauty, and anger. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
Honey Boy (2019) Michael Sragow Har'el and Braier bring a gnarly shimmer to poolside dreams and roadside pipe-dreams. Along with LaBeouf, they bequeath the roughest characters with the tenderest mercies. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2019
() Jonathan Romney The Irishman is an act of rejuvenation for Scorsese too-it's his most thoroughly alive film in years. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
4/10 Gemini Man (2019) Michael Sragow The real mystery here: How did Lee and such a gifted cast and crew end up with such a vacuum? The plot bumps along from one ludicrous turn or gaping hole to the next. EDIT
Posted Oct 28, 2019
Burning Cane (2019) Jonathan Romney It's the blurriness of "Burning Cane-"alongside its confident sharpness-that makes it so distinctive. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
The Kill Team (2019) Michael Sragow "The movie aims for eloquence...and it hits the mark. In its finest moments, performance, writing, and direction come together with chilling limpidity." EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
5/10 Jojo Rabbit (2019) Jonathan Romney Waititi has been interested in likeable, sheepish misfits, and the hero of "Jojo Rabbit" is absolutely cut from this cloth. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2019
8/10 First Love (2019) Phoebe Chen "The tone of Takashi Miike's latest film is best encapsulated by a single image: a close-up of a freshly severed head, its features wreathed in a goofy, blissed-out grin." EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
5/10 Joker (2019) Phoebe Chen In aping the ambition and prestige of its motley influences, Joker winds up with a bungled understanding of its own relation to violence. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
7/10 Rose Plays Julie (2019) Jonathan Romney Rose, wonders about the other life she might have lived under her birth name Julie, then effectively finds herself playing the role of Julie-effectively impersonating herself. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
The King (2019) Michael Sragow "The King"'s attempt to de-mythify patriarchal aristocracy and medieval war is so blunt and single-minded that it revises the underlying history and legend out of existence. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
First Love (2019) Jonathan Romney You'll find yourself grinning, whether or not your head is still attached to your body. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
The Sound of Silence (2019) Jonathan Romney ..."The Sound of Silence" is a modest, contemplative study of ideas that itself exemplifies those ideas in its design, not least its sound design; it embodies a conceptual rumination. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
The Lair of the White Worm (1988) April Wolfe What's so wonderful about Russell's quintessential female villain is that she embodies a sense that evil has no gender. It has no feelings. It simply is, and it's quite fun to get to know it. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
Downton Abbey (2019) Michael Sragow "In "Downton Abbey", series creator Julian Fellowes, as sole writer and co-producer, gracefully recreates the sweet and savory, upstairs-downstairs charms." EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
Ad Astra (2019) Jonathan Romney ..."Ad Astra" uses science fiction for very intimate, personal purposes-and what's distinctive about this gripping, sometimes preposterous film is the way that Gray sticks his neck out to balance the demands of intimacy and wham-bam spectacle. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
The Laundromat (2019) Nicolas Rapold It's a star-powered, experimental wake-up call, which chutes-and-ladders its way to distraction but keeps its eyes on the prize. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
Marriage Story (2019) Nicolas Rapold In case it's not apparent, "Marriage Story" is both funny and painful, often at the same time. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
() Jonathan Romney "Babyteeth is deliciously astute on the sometimes bizarre everyday arcana of domestic life." EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
3/5 Monos (2019) Devika Girish It is in these moments, when Monos inspires questions instead of simply withholding answers, that the film feels genuinely provocative. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
The Goldfinch (2019) Michael Sragow "Unfortunately, in "The Goldfinch", a barrelful of cinematic filigree adorns an empty antique memory box." EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
7/10 Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017) Chloe Lizotte Unsentimental resilience makes storytelling both a weapon and a shield for the orphaned children in Issa López's blend of horror and magical realism EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
7/10 Genèse (2018) Abby Sun The actual effect of watching Genesis is a bit like whiplash, as the film switches between three different storylines EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
5/10 Ready or Not (2019) Michael Sragow "-the makers of the killingly clumsy horror comedy "Ready or Not" aim to take all those games from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, swap sexual for homicidal content." EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic (2013) Amy Taubin The movie is packed with articulate people who knew Pryor well, but the clips of the Man himself will leave you weeping for more. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Byzantium (2012) Amy Taubin Arterton and Ronan's characters have the determination and brio of true heroines. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
S#x Acts (2013) Amy Taubin It sounds like a cautionary tale from the Fifties, but Gurfinkel deftly demonstrates how institutionalized misogyny is as virulent as it ever was. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Hide Your Smiling Faces (2013) Amy Taubin Hide Your Smiling Faces is remarkable for the dread it keeps at a slow simmer from the first shot to the last. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
The Rocket (2013) Amy Taubin Over-produced and shamelessly manipulative, The Rocket employs a cringe-inducing score that cues every desired audience response, including unalloyed uplift at the end. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors (2013) Amy Taubin A New York movie as surprising and inventive in showing us the city through the eyes of a runaway boy as Morris Engel's Little Fugitive must have seemed to audiences in 1953. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
The Square (2013) Amy Taubin Brilliantly shot by Muhammad Hamdy, filled with passionate, articulate young activists. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer (2013) Amy Taubin A rousing portrait of courage and re-silience. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013) Amy Taubin [A] most compelling documentaries focused directly on the issues of intellectual property rights and definitions of privacy and secrecy in the digital age. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Google and the World Brain (2013) Amy Taubin Brainy, hilarious, and very scary... EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Jobs (2013) Amy Taubin A Steve Jobs biopic steeped in the mediocrity its subject despised. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
The Way, Way Back (2013) Amy Taubin Sundance would not be Sundance without a few unbelievably stupid, clichéd, graceless movies in the mix. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Blue Caprice (2013) Amy Taubin Blue Caprice is an elegy, perhaps even a tragedy. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Kill Your Darlings (2013) Amy Taubin Krokidas's romantic sense of the characters and the moment corresponds precisely to the way those young men saw themselves-at once closeted and defiant, making up the rules of art and sexuality as they went along. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Upstream Color (2013) Amy Taubin Upstream Color is a gorgeous movie-the play of sunlight in the visuals is exquisite-but its images of intestinal parasites are, well, off-putting. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Computer Chess (2013) Amy Taubin Andrew Bujalski's Computer Chess is bracingly idiosyncratic-and close to perfect. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Mother of George (2013) Amy Taubin Mother of George's unique visuals are not only ravishing, they are the keys to the movie's meaning. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Before Midnight (2013) Amy Taubin Unleashing a stream of feminist consciousness that is both outraged and outrageous-and cathartic because we are laughing with her, not at her-Céline emerges as a 21st-century hero and Delpy as the Carole Lombard of our time. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Interior. Leather Bar. (2013) Amy Taubin Mathews and Franco's collaboration is notable for an almost complete absence of the homophobia in which Cruising is saturated. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
20 Feet From Stardom (2013) Amy Taubin The movie pays a long-overdue tribute to their glorious pipes, but also engages with the disconnection between talent and stardom, and while it isn't exactly an exposé of the music industry, infuriating details emerge. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Democrats (2014) Amy Taubin As tense as a well-wrought political thriller, Democrats gives us intimate access to the three-year negotiations... EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019