Category C+ Reviews

Locke (Steven Knight, 2014)

It’s the late evening, and Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) should be getting ready for one of the largest concrete pours in European history, but instead, he is in his car on the expressway to London to be with a woman he hardly knows as she gives birth to his child. Locke is happily married with […]

Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)

Spike Jonze’s Her takes place in an unrecognizable Los Angeles (shot both in L.A. and Shanghai) in which Siri has been replaced with an operating system, OS1, that is basically sentient, able not just to talk like a human but to pick up on tone and body language like one, too. That means that people […]

Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2013)

Is it bad on purpose, or is it just bad? If it is bad on purpose, what does that tell us? After the initial shock, the reliving of various James Franco monologues—most of all an off-the-rails, materialistic “look at all my shit!” moment that is funny on multiple levels—these are the questions that will determine […]

Side Effects (Steven Soderbergh, 2013)

For almost 25 years, Steven Soderbergh has been one of the most versatile and intelligent filmmakers in America. It took him one film, the Palme d’Or winning Sex, Lies, and Videotape, to revolutionize independent film. Then he did a handful of less successful, experimental films before turning George Clooney into a respectable, marketable movie star […]

The Squid And The Whale (Noah Baumbach, 2005)

First and foremost a portrait of the effect divorce has on family relationships, The Squid and the Whale strikes an interesting line between honesty and pretentiousness, and it walks that line so delicately that I could not decide which it was before realizing the obvious: It’s both. How is it honest? It is honest in […]

Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell, 2012)

Imagine you are working on a painting. You know that it will not be a great painting; it is not going to break new ground or be looked back upon as a masterpiece, but you are putting a new spin on a familiar style in a pretty irresistible way. Now imagine you drop your bucket […]

Lolita (Stanley Kubrick, 1962)

It is an oft-quoted fact that “if Stanley Kubrick had realized how severe censorship limitations would be, he probably never would have made Lolita.” The sexual tension in Lolita is certainly muffled, reduced mostly to suggestive double entendres, and on these grounds there is a large portion of Kubrick’s fanbase willing to give him a […]