Author: Matt McKillop

Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York

If it weren't for Charlie Kaufman, the phrase "famous screenwriter" would be an oxymoron. Kaufman has never won an Oscar, and most people, even true movie geeks, probably couldn't pick him out of a police...

Movie Review posted on 24th October 2008

Redbelt

Redbelt

David Mamet is a difficult guy to figure. His latest film, Redbelt, which he wrote and directed, is perhaps his most confounding project yet. That's not to say it's not enjoyable -- at its best,...

Movie Review posted on 2nd May 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Who would have thought that Ben Stein, the game show host and famously drab economics teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, would one day become the leading apologist for the theory of intelligent design? Not...

Movie Review posted on 23rd April 2008

Married Life

Married Life

Married Life, a new film from director Ira Sachs, feels very much like a film from a different era -- a fact that's mostly enjoyable, with a few minor exceptions. Set in the late 1940s,...

Movie Review posted on 7th March 2008

PU-239

PU-239

Plutonium 239 (or Pu-239) is one of the fissile isotopes used to make nuclear weapons; it's also the title of a thoughtful and frightening new movie from writer-director Scott Z. Burns.Countless films made in the...

Movie Review posted on 2nd January 2008

Youth Without Youth

Youth Without Youth

I try to be tolerant when people insist on telling me about their dreams. You know what I'm talking about: a well-meaning friend, in the throes of self-discovery, tries to explain this revelatory dream he...

Movie Review posted on 14th December 2007

Interview

Interview

On November 2, 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered on a bustling street in Amsterdam as he rode his bike to work. Van Gogh's murderer, a radical Islamist, shot him eight times, slashed...

Movie Review posted on 13th July 2007

The Last Time

The Last Time

For the most part, the bad movies of today are bad for a common, if somewhat broad, reason. They exist merely as products. They neither entertain nor enlighten. They simply fuel the engine of commerce....

Movie Review posted on 24th May 2007

Dead Silence

Dead Silence

Dead Silence sucks. It's as simple as that. I like schlocky horror films as much as the next guy, but there's nothing to like about this one. Not one thing. Warming your hands over a...

Movie Review posted on 29th March 2007

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

For a film with all the stylistic panache of a BBC period yawner and all the moral ambiguity of an after-school special, Amazing Grace is a surprisingly entertaining political drama. It tells the story of...

Movie Review posted on 23rd February 2007

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Tommy Lee Jones made his big-screen acting debut in the 1970 classic Love Story, yet it took him over 20 years and impressive performances in movies like JFK and The Fugitive to become a household...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

The White Countess

The White Countess

Audiences can expect one thing from the filmmaking team of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory: a Merchant Ivory film isn't meant to be watched, like other movies; it's meant to be visited, like a museum....

Movie Review posted on 4th January 2007

Don't Come Knocking

Don't Come Knocking

In 1984 indie director Wim Wenders and acclaimed writer and actor Sam Shepard collaborated on the film Paris, Texas, a moderately enjoyable character study about a damaged man trying to come to terms with his...

Movie Review posted on 4th January 2007

Christmas In The Clouds

Christmas In The Clouds

The success of independent films like March of the Penguins, Whale Rider, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding makes you wonder why Hollywood bigshots don't greenlight more projects like them -- modestly budgeted, impassioned movies...

Movie Review posted on 4th January 2007

The Wire: Season Two

The Wire: Season Two

During its run on HBO, The Wire has established itself as nothing less than an epic television show. It tackles a monstrous issue -- the illegal drug trade, with its manifold social, economic, criminal, and...

Movie Review posted on 31st December 2006

The Lives of Others

The Lives of Others

The Lives of Others is a rare film. It's a solemn work of art, a thrilling piece of entertainment, and a heart-wrenching portrait of both compassion and oppression. Set in East Berlin in 1984, the...

Movie Review posted on 30th December 2006

Point Break

Point Break

It's hard to decide whether Point Break is a really bad good movie or a really good bad movie. On one hand, it boasts thrilling, original action sequences, a tightly woven caper plot, and a...

Movie Review posted on 23rd November 2006

School for Scoundrels

School for Scoundrels

In School for Scoundrels, director Todd Phillips (Road Trip) proves that his truest virtue is also his greatest vice. Most comedies made in Hollywood today are stuffed to the gills with joke after joke after...

Movie Review posted on 1st October 2006

Art School Confidential

Art School Confidential

Few things are more mystifying to outsiders than the world of modern art. Which of course makes it the perfect backdrop for a Terry Zwigoff film. Where else is eccentricity, flamboyance, and pretension considered normal?...

Movie Review posted on 5th July 2006

Wassup Rockers

Wassup Rockers

It's tempting to imagine director Larry Clark (Kids, Bully) as a stranger crouched in the bushes outside the local high school with his hand pumping underneath his trench coat, but that picture isn't entirely truthful....

Movie Review posted on 28th June 2006

Bukowski: Born Into This

Bukowski: Born Into This

Poet and novelist Charles Bukowski was a howling drunk, an unapologetic womanizer, and a smoking, gambling foul-mouthed literary sensation. He haunted barrooms and horse tracks. He brawled and hired prostitutes. He hung out with celebrities...

Movie Review posted on 15th April 2006

Darwin's Nightmare

Darwin's Nightmare

At first blush, the title of Hubert Sauper's documentary Darwin's Nightmare seems to refer to the Nile Perch, a species of fish that was introduced to Tanzania's Lake Victoria decades ago. In the following years,...

Movie Review posted on 4th February 2006

Christmas In The Clouds

Christmas In The Clouds

The success of independent films like March of the Penguins, Whale Rider, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding makes you wonder why Hollywood bigshots don't greenlight more projects like them -- modestly budgeted, impassioned movies...

Movie Review posted on 21st December 2005

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Tommy Lee Jones made his big-screen acting debut in the 1970 classic Love Story, yet it took him over 20 years and impressive performances in movies like JFK and The Fugitive to become a household...

Movie Review posted on 21st December 2005

The Family Stone

The Family Stone

The Family Stone wants to be many things. It wants to be funny and touching and warm-hearted, like any good holiday film, but aspiration is not achievement and The Family Stone proves it.Written and directed...

Movie Review posted on 21st December 2005

The White Countess

The White Countess

Audiences can expect one thing from the filmmaking team of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory: a Merchant Ivory film isn't meant to be watched, like other movies; it's meant to be visited, like a museum....

Movie Review posted on 21st December 2005

Boyz N The Hood

Boyz N The Hood

Boyz n the Hood is a movie so fraught with cultural significance that it's hard to remember if it's any good. Upon its release, it was immediately hailed for its startling depiction of gang violence...

Movie Review posted on 20th December 2005

The Transporter 2

The Transporter 2

Michael Bay, the reigning champ of crappy action films, once said, "I make movies for teenage boys. Oh, dear, what a crime." So it is with The Transporter 2, an inoffensive, over-the-top action flick composed...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Papillon

Papillon

There's a lot to like about Papillon. Compared to the witless blockbusters of today, with their explosions and CGI trickery, Papillon is the type of outsized escapist adventure tale that Hollywood once had down pat....

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Modigliani

Modigliani

Despite great talent, fame and fortune eluded the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani during his brief life. A drunkard and a drug addict, Modigliani lived in squalor and died a relatively obscure figure of the Paris...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

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