By Vikram Murthi | December 10, 2019

The goal doesn’t seem to be to sincerely interrogate the ways people move through the world following a devastating loss, let alone maintain baseline fidelity to the actual contours of human emotion, but rather to poke at an audience in just the right places so they can experience catharsis via fictional suffering.

By Courtney Duckworth | December 3, 2019

Portrait does not feel burdened with historical detail or shackled to period fidelity; the film operates more like a luminous reimagining of what could have happened behind closed doors, when geographical loneliness lent the unexpected pleasure of freedom from automatic social patterning.

By Susannah Gruder | November 20, 2019

Throughout, in the manner of The Beaches of Agnès (2008), Varda looks back at her work, attempting to connect the dots both for herself, and for her audience. Knowing she can no longer be with us, the ever benevolent Varda has left us with the next best thing.

By Nick Pinkerton | November 14, 2019

The haunting of Dakar in Atlantics extends beyond the film’s supernatural storyline, encompassing something more comprehensive and more unsettling in the strangeness of the 21st-century cityscape like that springing up in the suburbs, the tension between an imposed (and imposing) environment and human needs.

By Demi Kampakis | November 6, 2019

Marriage Story confronts the nature of divorce as a dehumanizing, lucrative institution: probing not just its emotional dynamics but also its social, structural, and economic ones.

By Michael Koresky | November 1, 2019

Seeking historical and temporal specificity ultimately proves fruitless, and provocatively so: The Irishman is, after all, based on an account of a subjective reality, an exactingly detailed version of one man’s perception of history, and of himself.

By Susannah Gruder | November 1, 2019

In attempting to say something meaningful about race and politics in the city’s biggest borough, Norton has fallen into the same pattern as many real-life real-estate developers and city planners, getting rid of what made the source material so compelling in the first place, and adding his own personally convenient plotlines in the process.

By Lawrence Garcia | October 23, 2019

Though an adroit orchestrator of discrete scenes, Lapid has thus far struggled to construct wholly satisfying narrative containers for them. So if Synonyms stands as his most accomplished work to date, that is because it commits fully to an elliptical, disjunctive method.

By Beatrice Loayza | October 14, 2019

In this nonlinear narrative, which abruptly, frequently jumps back eight years in time to glean moments from Sibyl’s former life and love, choppy scenes have the effect of disorienting, painful memories resurfaced, like picking up the disordered pieces of diary pages torn to bits.

By Matthew Eng | October 12, 2019

The distracting, uniform beauty of the ensemble lends Assayas’s film an almost classical glamour that threatens to redirect our focus away from narrative events and the infrequent feint at political insight.

By Chris Wisniewski | October 11, 2019

Bong makes it clear from the film’s opening minutes that this is a movie about class. But what that means—and how that plays out through the Kims’ efforts to achieve a higher station—is never settled, perhaps, until the last shot.

By Lawrence Garcia | October 11, 2019

No heroic Siegfried figure, Humberto is a feckless opportunist. And so his voiceover, which persists throughout the runtime, inevitably recalls the mobsters of Martin Scorsese, whose The Wolf of Wall Street Veiroj has cited as a conscious model.

By Chloe Lizotte | October 10, 2019

She structures her films around dramatic temporal and spatial jumps, but without the backbone of conventional pacing they seem especially jarring; it often takes a minute to realize that Schanelec has shifted gears to a different world.

By Lindsay Brayton | October 10, 2019

It’s best to keep your wits about you while watching Lou Ye’s gorgeous and surprisingly playful latest film Saturday Fiction, set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai.