Though Robert Altman claimed he wasn’t trying to make a grand statement, McCabe & Mrs. Miller says as much about American capitalism as any film in the second half of the twentieth century.
Like so many good Westerns, Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo feels like a novel I want to forever have a bookmark in: ready to pick up and enjoy, with a few passages left for next time.
At the core of every version of 3:10 to Yuma is a demand for payment for services rendered. America’s westward expansion—the dream of untouched and verdant plains—couldn’t outpace capitalism.
Memento is not an exact mirror of Leonard’s lived experience, but its structure forces the viewer to confront the ephemerality of memory on a loop, just as he does. The constant losing battle of trying to hold on to distinct moments, even as they slip beyond our reach.
Terence Davies's Of Time and the City is about the most desperate and profound longing, that impossible desire to return to something intangible—to have known then what we know now, and in the process save something of ourselves.
Tenet is the ultimate expression of Christopher Nolan’s decades-spanning project of capturing subjectivity on screen, conjuring a twilight world where the nature of reality, God, time, right and wrong, and free will, are left in the trenches of ambiguity.
Sneakers is a film about a lot of things: ever-advancing modern technology, personal privacy in the earliest days of the digital age, still-frosty international relations of the post-Cold War era, guys being dudes, and the ways in which the American government—to put it broadly—sucks.
John Boorman's Point Blank is inexplicably intricate and enigmatic, cool and cryptic, a relentlessly modern film about a relentlessly brutal man with single-minded ambitions—actually, "ambitions'' feels too fancy a word for that body-sized fist known as Lee Marvin.
Michael Mann’s Thief, like its protagonist, elides the romance in favor of efficiency. Frank’s me-against-the-world attitude is both armor and weapon in a one-man crusade to fund his American dream.
Where Asteroid City shines, where it is made masterpiece, is in its brief flashes of joy: a good picture, a milkshake, a song and dance, one more martini. Here is a life not perfect—soldiers wielding guns, no personal space, endless boredom—made enviable by one thing only: each other.
What Yentl is about—more than it is about Judaism, gender roles, sensitive short kings, the fabric of love, or the Mulan paradox (that is, whether a straight man’s gay desires are redeemed as hetero by the revelation of his love object as a woman)—is Babs’s face.
Part fairy tale, part ghost story, Phantom Thread starkly pushes the genre of Gothic Romance into the positively morbid. Yet the fundamental ambiguity in its human relationships casts the longest shadow in this story, filling every corner of the stately rooms in which two unabashedly English souls organize their lives to deny their own fragility.