Movies

The Tribes of Palos Verdes

The Mason family moves from Michigan to sunny Southern California to restart their lives. Unfortunately, they bring their troubles with them. Wife Sandy (Jennifer Garner) is an ex-model sinking deeper into depression, foregoing a skimpy green tennis dress for a …Read More

The Death of Stalin

Armando Iannucci’s incredibly droll “The Death of Stalin” is a wry but realistic take on the final demise of one of history’s great mass murderers. Despite many on the Left excusing his crimes and madness in the name of establishing …Read More

Murder on the Orient Express

The biggest star in a cast of well versed actors, including Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer, still lovely with her little girl Southern California voice, Derek Jacobi, and the somewhat wizened Johnny Depp, was Mr. Branagh’s moustache! What can have possessed …Read More

Thor: Ragnarok

I don’t usually post reviews of pictures most of us think of for our grandchildren, but “Thor: Ragnarok” was so good that I felt compelled to share. It has a great cast, including Tony Hopkins as Odin, all the usual …Read More

The Ballad of Lefty Brown

It’s 1889. Montana Territory is on the brink of statehood. But it’s still the Wild West, where a bud guy shoots an innocent for a $2 poker debt and then gets hanged sans trial in the next scene by a …Read More

Frank Serpico

The 1973 production of “Serpico” told the story of one man’s crusade against the corruption then rampant in the NYPD to light. The flick became one of Hollywood’s iconic neo-noir classics and propelled Al Pacino to superstardom. Fourty-four years later, …Read More

Jane

I’ll be surprised if this doesn’t win awards as Best Documentary. The story of 26-year-old Jane Goodall leaving England to study chimpanzees in Tanzania is given fresh dimension by 50-year-old glorious footage by photographer Hugo van Lawick, who became her …Read More

The Divine Order

To the Swiss as late as 1970, the Divine Order meant the total domination of men over women in all matters: family, work, religion, law, even voting. When even Iraq and Afghanistan had women’s sufferage, Switzerland did not. For director …Read More

Blade Runner 2049

The new movie version starring Ryan Gosling and Robin Wright is a film shot through with unconnected threads. I had trouble following the plot, but I think goes like this: Ryan Gosling is a REPLICANT whose boss the LAPD police …Read More

78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene

An entire 90-minute documentary devoted to one scene from one movie? Sounds a bit obsessive, but we’re talking about the “shower scene” from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” It took Alfred Hitchcock 78 camera set-ups and 52 cuts for mad Mr. Bates …Read More

The Battle of The Sexes

Those of us who remember the landmark tennis match of the #1 woman’s player against a former top men’s player (and noted hustler) will have a ball being reminded of the suspense – and the high stakes for women in …Read More

Mother!

Darren Aronofsky’s new film, “Mother!” was nothing like I thought it would be. Sure, I was prepared by all the reports that one would “either love it or hate it” and I knew that the camera was on Jennifer Lawrence’s …Read More

Colossal

This is a film starring Anne Hathaway in a hairpiece that makes her look like a Pulli. Her overly toothy dazzling grin dominates the action. The plot of “Colossal” is punctuated by four letter words and arguments between the characters. …Read More

Baby Driver

When one thinks of car chases in cinema, 1968’s “Bullitt” and 1971’s “The French Connection” unquestionably define the genre. This year’s “Baby Driver” comes very close but has its own additional distinction in the choreography of montage and music above …Read More

Obsession

This film by Visconti has been turned into a play which has been turned into a FILM. A complete “round robin” with a single set – no curtain – and an invisible audience reacting to certain laughable or detestable moments …Read More

Frantz

“Frantz” is ostensibly a movie about World War I — a time far removed from most Americans’ thinking. As a child one heard of it, of returning veterans, of poppy fields far away in Flanders, but it had no resonance. …Read More

A Quiet Passion

The thing about this two-hour biopic on the life and times of Emily Dickinson is that you will get a sense of life in Amherst, Mass., between 1830 and 1890 for a hermit/poet from a substantial family. “A Quiet Passion” …Read More

Frantz

Inexplicably, the excellent “Frantz” has had an all too short shelf-life on the art house circuit since its March launch. Yet this compelling tale (inspired by Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 “Broken Lullaby”) about the ravages of war, guilt, redemption, forgiveness, devotion …Read More

The Lost City of Z

This haunting film about destiny is both beautiful and poignant. Charlie Hunnam is the British Major Percy Fawcett who “has chosen his ancestors badly” as one wag puts it, and he is determined to put his own reputation to rights. …Read More

The Promise

We saw “The Promise” last night alone in a West Palm Beach movie theater. It was a pleasure having our own screening room. Set in Turkey between 1914–1916, this is an epic tale about the Armenian genocide and their struggle …Read More

NOLA French Film Festival and “Things to Come”

A great event every year in NOLA is the French Film Festival. This year has been no exception. I did not see all the films, but went to about half and all were wonderful. My favorite was “Things to Come” …Read More

Spoiler Alert: “Norman” and “Their Finest”

Two emotional film dramas opened last week, but neither of them has the usual happy ending that such stories are wont to do. Rather than reveal their conclusions, however, I will say that, given the respective journeys of their main …Read More

The Lost City of Z

Having recently read “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus,” I developed a greater understanding of the scope of devastation done to those living here by those who came from Western Europe. It was then even more interesting to …Read More

The Zookeeper’s Wife

For the same reason “Woman in Gold” was an important film, “The Zookeeper’s Wife” revisits the horror that was Nazi Germany through the lens of a zoo in Warsaw during the five-year period starting in 1939. In the words of …Read More

Beauty and The Beast

We are currently in Palm Beach with almost no decent movie choices, but will be returning to New York for a week of theater. When Dale suggested that we see “Beauty and the Beast,” I protested. My protestations were confirmed …Read More

Viceroy House

For the British the “special relationship” has always been India. Starting in 1600, under Elisabeth I, the East India Trading Company was granted a charter. Thus assumed an incredibly complex interplay between a very old civilisation and a newer mercantilist …Read More

Song to Song

I’ve always been fond of the word “stultifying,” but have seldom had the perfect opportunity to use it. Now I have… although in its adverbial form: “Song to Song” is the most stultifyingly boring movie I’ve ever seen. Imagine sitting …Read More

Get Out

“Get Out,” the new movie written and directed by Jordan Peele, of “Key & Peele” fame, is stylish, fun, scary and…a jolting commentary on race relations in America. A young woman takes her boyfriend home to meet her well-to-do white …Read More

Lion

A more popular film for the global set is hard to find right now, as “Lion” at the Paris Theater fills night and day with eager film lovers looking forward to a poignant story. And so it is… We hear …Read More

Fifty Shades Darker

As always, it depends where you are and what your alternatives are. Last night, Dale suggested that we see “Fifty Shades Darker.” Before buying tickets, I checked Rotten Tomatoes and was horrified to see that the professional reviews averaged 10%… …Read More

Jackie

“Jackie” has opened to good reviews. Natalie Portman is to be congratulated for her costuming and ability to look gorgeous in 20-foot across misty close ups. She has a soft and vulnerable face and can cry effectively without disturbing its …Read More

Jackie

Natalie Portman does a memorable job of reproducing the multiple facets of Jackie Kennedy — the wide-eyed, breathless, artificial naïveté during her famous White House tour with CBS’s Charles Collingwood, the grief-stricken widow and mother, and the calculating myth-creator with …Read More

20th Century Women

I’ve been sitting with this movie for a few days, and while there is something that appeals, there’s also something that repels — the combination that draws me to most works of art. Mike Mills has written and directed a …Read More

13th

“13th” is a great documentary by Ava DuVernay about the criminal justice system. The Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery “except as a punishment for crime.” DuVernay makes the point that in the US, mass incarceration is a continuation of slavery and …Read More

Vince Giordano — There’s a Future in the Past

“La La Land” isn’t the only feel-good movie playing these days. Less well known, but just as entertaining, is “Vince Giordano — There’s a Future in the Past,” playing at the Cinema Village on E. 12th St. It will not …Read More