Category C- Reviews

American Hustle (David O. Russell, 2013)

There is a scene in the first act of David O. Russell’s American Hustle in which con-man-turned-informant Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) are in a museum admiring a painting, at which point Rosenfeld declares that it’s a fake. The conversation purportedly lifts directly from Orson Welles’ F For Fake, […]

Omar (Hany Abu-Assad, 2013) (NYFF review)

View this post in full and click on to my review of Omar at The Film Stage if you feel so inclined.

World War Z (Marc Forster, 2013)

Max Brooks’ World War Z is a critique of American Exceptionalism and a look at isolation, survivalism, and paranoia that also happened to reinvent the zombie genre with its compelling, oral history format. Perhaps one day someone will take on the novel’s episodic format and try to bring it to the screen, but that person […]

Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance, 2010)

I like to think that Blue Valentine is not quite as morally reprehensible as it strikes me. To some degree, I know that to be true. This is an earnest attempt to portray two flawed humans with admirable familial intentions and the cold fact that sometimes things do not work out quite so well. We […]

Les Misérables (Tom Hooper, 2012)

Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables is a two hour-forty minute film based on a three hour musical from 1985, itself based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel of over 500,000 words, and I’m afraid that all this trimming is making the story lose its focus. This is an epic, sprawling narrative, but Hooper struggles to tell it […]

Kramer vs. Kramer (Robert Benton, 1979)

Generally liked upon release (but hated by Pauline Kael), Kramer vs. Kramer is probably best known today as the film that beat Apocalypse Now for the Best Picture Oscar. Indeed, Robert Benton’s divorce drama has not aged very well, and behind the structured ambiguity that allows viewers of all beliefs to find something to invest […]

Butterfly Kiss (Michael Winterbottom, 1995)

Picture this: Lesbian lovers drive along the desolate Lancashire roads in England, looking for the good and evil in the other and killing a few people along the way. The image filling your mind is probably a sort of low-budget modernized Bonnie & Clyde without the charm or the fast pace, and it is also […]