With Green Book, a Farrelly brother is here to make you laugh, cry, and feel better about racism

C+

In the damnably nice middlebrow race dramedy Green Book, two unlikely travel companions—one black and urbane, the other white and uncouth—pile into a gleaming turquoise Cadillac and venture off into the Deep South, bickering and bonding and gradually closing the gaping cultural chasm between them. It’s a time warp of…

Willem Dafoe plays Van Gogh, a man 25 years his junior, in the reductive biopic At Eternity’s Gate

C+

For the first time since he turned to filmmaking with 1996’s Basquiat, celebrated painter Julian Schnabel (whose other movies include Before Night Falls and The Diving Bell And The Butterfly) has paid tribute to a fellow artist. Unlike Jean-Michel Basquiat, however, Schnabel’s latest subject isn’t exactly someone…

Shoah: Four Sisters extends the legacy of Claude Lanzmann’s essential Holocaust film

B-

Near the seven-hour mark of Claude Lanzmann’s 550-minute magnum opus Shoah (1985), widely considered the greatest cinematic document of the Jewish Holocaust, a woman credited only as a “survivor of Auschwitz” tells of her harrowing transport to the Nazi death camp. Her name is Ruth Elias, and her story constitutes the…

You’re a dull one, Mr. Grinch—at least in this latest retelling of the classic Seuss tale

C

If Walt Disney Animation built its reputation on fairy tales and princesses, is upstart animation house Illumination founded on supervillains? Four of its first eight cartoons are part of the Despicable Me family, detailing the adventures of a bad guy (reformed by his adoption of three girls) and his chattering minions

The Girl In The Spider’s Web pits Lisbeth Salander against multiple foes—and the franchise machine

B-

For a few minutes early on, The Girl In The Spider’s Web seems to promise a kind of feminist Batman movie—specifically, Christopher Nolan’s modern breed of Batman movie, with all the edgy nihilism and slick, rain-soaked cinematography that comes with it. That’s thanks to a scene that was heavily excerpted in the…

There’s a touch of Nathan For You absurdity to the droll sports documentary Infinite Football

B-

The ostensible subject of Corneliu Porumboiu’s Infinite Football is the Romanian writer-director’s childhood friend, Laurentiu Ginghină—by day a middle-aged, paper-pushing bureaucrat, but in his off time, a self-described revolutionary of football. When the film opens, Ginghină tells of how, in 1986, he fractured his…

Opening on Election Day, The Front Runner is the absolute worst movie for the political moment

C

A little over a month ago, Brett Kavanaugh sat in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and delivered an angry, disqualifyingly partisan diatribe in which he not only denied the sexual assault accusations against him but also expressed outrage that he’d even been obligated to respond. “This is a circus,” Kavanaugh…

One week after releasing his epic, indie director Patrick Wang offers the thinner Grief Of Others

B-

Patrick Wang doesn’t just write, direct, produce, and sometimes star in his own films. He self-distributes them, too—a choice made out of a desire for control, perhaps, but also maybe out of an understanding that his work doesn’t fit any boutique “brand,” any Fox Searchlight yellow or moody A24 blue. Born and raised…

Tiffany Haddish goes broader than ever for Tyler Perry in the sporadically funny Nobody's Fool

C

In some ways, Tyler Perry movies take place in their own specific world that merges stereotypes, romance-novel melodrama, and upwardly-mobile fantasies. But when his zany cast of characters (many but not all played by Perry himself) takes leave of his material, as in Nobody’s Fool, his movie’s faults start to look…

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