Everything isn’t awesome: How rules ruin the Oscars’ Best Song category

Even casual students of the Oscars probably develop pet distastes among the Academy’s many awards categories. There’s the tendency in the Best Cinematography category to award the prettiest shots of mountains, rather than more evocative work; the propensity to equate Best Visual Effects with Most Special Effects; or…

Four of 2014’s music films finally brought the genre into the 21st century

After a long hiatus for much of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, cinematic musicals have returned to occupy a regular spot on the movie calendar. For the past decade, most years have seen the release of a big, splashy Broadway adaptation or a retelling of a famous musician’s life featuring an uncanny impersonation. These…

The best of film 2014: The ballots

We voted, we tallied, we made a list: The A.V. Club’s tribute to the best films of 2014 was democratically assembled, with each of its six contributors submitting a ranked inventory of their favorites. The individual ballots are below, each affixed with six superlatives, including an outlier (a film that made one list…

The best films of 2014 (so far): A halftime report in superlatives

Hollywood rebooted Godzilla. Tom Cruise rebooted his charisma. Scarlett Johansson played double duty on a Friday in April. And Richard Linklater filmed some kid for a dozen years. (That last one isn’t as creepy as it sounds.) Just six months into 2014, and a lot has happened in the world of cinema. In the interest of…

Swedish teen girls go punk, circa 1982, in the irresistible We Are The Best!

B+

Swedish filmmaker Lukas Moodysson has built much of his career on the tension between belligerence and sweetness. His 1998 debut feature, released in the U.S. as Show Me Love, is a gentle teen-romance, but the film’s original title, Fucking Åmål (Åmål being the name of the town where it unfolds), sets a more…