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Jordan Peele doubles the horror and doubles the fun in the expertly crafted Us Jordan Peele doubles the horror and doubles the fun in the expertly crafted Us

You know you’re in the hands of a natural born filmmaker when you can feel yourself being tugged, as if by invisible forces, from one shot to the next, into a movie’s diabolical design. That’s the sensation provoked by Jordan Peele’s Us, which begins with a sequence so expertly shot, cut, and orchestrated that you can…

Mel Gibson is a cop on the edge in the equally queasy and thrilling Dragged Across Concrete Mel Gibson is a cop on the edge in the equally queasy and thrilling Dragged Across Concrete

In more ways than one, and true to its title, Dragged Across Concrete is abrasive. It comes from the mind of S. Craig Zahler, whose last grisly, leisurely, and evocatively named genre experiment, Brawl In Cell Block 99, climaxed with some rather literal abrasion: a face being loudly scraped against the hard floor of a…

Watch Sofia Boutella trip her ass off in this exclusive scene from Climax

The ensemble cast of Gaspar Noé’s deranged new movie, Climax, is made up mostly of nonprofessional actors—of dancers playing dancers, pretending to have the world’s worst collective drug experience. The one exception is the film’s star ringer, Sofia Boutella, who got her start in dance but has transitioned into a…

There are few signs of life in the curiously dour alien-occupation drama Captive State There are few signs of life in the curiously dour alien-occupation drama Captive State

It’s really rather impressive, the extent to which Captive State sucks everything even potentially fun out of the alien-invasion genre. That includes, for the most part, the aliens themselves, who are spoken of much more often than they’re seen, words being free and all. Set in the aftermath of a worldwide…

With Ash Is Purest White, one of the world’s greatest filmmakers cuts together his greatest hits With Ash Is Purest White, one of the world’s greatest filmmakers cuts together his greatest hits

Just shy of an hour into his new movie, Ash Is Purest White, the great Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke offers up a truly ingenious, discombobulating callback. The setting, momentarily, is 2006. On the deck of a ferry approaching the banks of the Yangtze River, Jia’s longtime muse and spouse, Zhao Tao, surveys the…

A mystery is solved and a late master eulogized in the playful and humanistic 3 Faces A mystery is solved and a late master eulogized in the playful and humanistic 3 Faces

“What if it’s a prank?” So asks Behnaz Jafari, the famous Iranian actress, in the opening minutes of 3 Faces. Jafari, who’s playing herself, is in the passenger seat of a car, hunched over a cell phone, her face illuminated by its glow. She’s watching what appears to be the video equivalent of a suicide letter that’s…

AOC, Nathan Fielder, and Neil Armstrong were the stars of a typically eclectic True/False Film Festival AOC, Nathan Fielder, and Neil Armstrong were the stars of a typically eclectic True/False Film Festival

There are no talking heads in Apollo 11, the remarkable new documentary about the first manned mission to the moon. Including hindsight recollections would have spoiled the manufactured present tense—the way director Todd Douglas Miller, working with a trove of stunningly preserved archival footage, creates the…

Yesterday is today is always in Christian Petzold's brilliantly baffling refugee thriller Transit Yesterday is today is always in Christian Petzold's brilliantly baffling refugee thriller Transit

The cognitive dissonance sets in early, maybe at the first sight of a car. We’re in Paris, that much is clear. Armed stormtroopers patrol the streets, setting up checkpoints, issuing a familiar demand: “Your papers, please.” A German man, Georg (Franz Rogowski), haunted and desperate, is fleeing a wave of fascism…

If the Step Up series took a drug trip to hell, it’d look a lot like the superb lunacy of Climax If the Step Up series took a drug trip to hell, it’d look a lot like the superb lunacy of Climax

How does one classify a film as brilliantly deranged as Climax, Gaspar Noé’s latest all-out assault on the senses? It’s a profanely funny hangout movie that morphs, with scary speed, into a claustrophobic freak-out, a better Suspiria than the Suspiria remake. It’s an unholy club-banger musical, like a Step Up sequel…

Green Book’s big Oscar victory proves that the Academy, like America, still has a long way to go Green Book’s big Oscar victory proves that the Academy, like America, still has a long way to go

The 91st Academy Awards ended not with a bang but a groan. At least that’s the sound I heard—and made, and inferred from the Twitter reactions—when America’s eternal sweetheart, Julia Roberts, tore open the final envelope and announced the big winner. It was a disheartening end to what had been, all things considered,…

We're liveblogging the 91st Academy Awards We're liveblogging the 91st Academy Awards

It’s Hollywood’s biggest night. The awards show to end all awards shows. The cinephile Super Bowl. The last one of these ceremonies we’ll be covering for a while. All reasons to celebrate as the 91st Annual Academy Awards kick off in Los Angeles—without a host, but with cinematographers’ and editors’ annual moment of…

What will win, and what should win, at the Oscars this Sunday What will win, and what should win, at the Oscars this Sunday

On Sunday, for the first time in 30 years, there will be no host for the Academy Awards. It makes sense. Who in their right mind would want that job this year? Playing master of ceremonies on Hollywood’s biggest night can be a fairly thankless task even at the best of times. In 2019, it’s a minefield, with enough…

Guillermo del Toro built his own blockbuster around the steely cool of a black Marvel superhero Guillermo del Toro built his own blockbuster around the steely cool of a black Marvel superhero

Watch This offers movie recommendations inspired by new releases or premieres, or occasionally our own inscrutable whims. With the Academy Awards right around the corner, we’re suggesting the perfect pairings for this year’s Best Picture nominees—movies to watch with, or instead of, each of them.

The Hidden World brings the How To Train Your Dragon trilogy to a teary but inessential end The Hidden World brings the How To Train Your Dragon trilogy to a teary but inessential end

Most big-studio, big-budget animated movies are, if nothing else, dazzling technical achievements. What’s frustrating is how indifferently written so many of them are, to the point where you end up feeling bad for the animators, painstakingly rendering every strand of hair and blade of grass, all in service of some…

Fighting With My Family can be pretty stirring, for a glorified WWE commercial Fighting With My Family can be pretty stirring, for a glorified WWE commercial

Fighting With My Family is a shamelessly formulaic sponsored post of a crowd-pleaser that’s also, in its best moments, a genuinely stirring celebration of chase-your-dreams moxie. It presents the Cinderella (origin) story of professional wrestler Paige with just enough scrappy naturalism—enough English working-class…

Jessica Rothe makes dying and comedy look easy with the convoluted fun of Happy Death Day 2U Jessica Rothe makes dying and comedy look easy with the convoluted fun of Happy Death Day 2U

Most sequels are time warps: It’s the audience that gets stuck in a loop, experiencing the same premise all over again. So it should come as no shock that Happy Death Day 2U finds a way to zap sorority girl Tree (Jessica Rothe) right back into the live-die-repeat cycle she escaped at the end of 2017’s horror-comedy…

We’ll never see Steven Soderbergh’s Moneyball, but his High Flying Bird is in the same ballpark We’ll never see Steven Soderbergh’s Moneyball, but his High Flying Bird is in the same ballpark

It takes guts, making a basketball movie with no basketball. Is there irony, too, in keeping players on the sideline of a story about returning power to the players? Steven Soderbergh has done both with his new low-fi Netflix drama High Flying Bird, which is interested in juking of a different sort—in backroom…

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