Miss Me Deadly

State-like-sleep-movie-review-katherine-waterston
Sabrina Lantos/2018 Tribeca Film Festival

MOVIE REVIEW
State Like Sleep (2019)

Writer-director Meredith Danluck attempts to put a feminine spin on the tired noir genre with “State Like Sleep,” with Katherine Waterston’s character, Katherine, obsessing over the mysterious death of her celebrity ex husband (Michael Huisman) and getting tangled in a dangerous web of secrets.

Continue reading "Miss Me Deadly" »

Moonlite

We-the-animals-movie-reviews-evan-rosado-raúl-castillo
Tayarisha Poe/2018 Tribeca Film Festival

MOVIE REVIEW
We the Animals (2018)

Based on Justin Torres’s eponymous novel, “We the Animals” recounts the coming-of-age of a Puerto Rican child amid his parents’ turbulent relationship and his own budding (homo)sexuality.

Continue reading "Moonlite" »

Residential Evil

The-night-eats-the-world-movie-review-anders-danielsen-lie
Haut et Court

MOVIE REVIEW
The Night Eats the World (2018)

Based on a novel by Martin Page under the nom de plume Pit Agarmen, “The Night Eats the World” imagines a zombiepocalypse as akin to one hundred days of solitude.

Continue reading "Residential Evil" »

The Kids Aren't All Right

Duck-butter-movie-review-alia-shawkat-laia-costa
Hillary Spera/2018 Tribeca Film Festival

MOVIE REVIEW
Duck Butter (2018)

In some ways, “Duck Butter” feels like the lesbian take on “Chuck & Buck.” The fact that Miguel Arteta directed both notwithstanding, each seems to revolve around the warped sense of love and romance and the arrested emotional development shared by some members of the LGBTQ community – perhaps for being sheltered through puberty.

Continue reading "The Kids Aren't All Right" »

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention

Tully-movie-review-charlize-theron
Focus Features

MOVIE REVIEW
Tully (2018)

Screenwriter Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman's third collaboration (and their second with an ostensibly unglamorous Charlize Theron), "Tully" continues charting the messy womanhood for which the duo's heroines are always woefully unprepared. Ms. Theron plays Marlo, who has her hands full tending to the screaming fits of three tykes while her genial husband, Drew (Ron Livingston), occupies himself with work and video games. Marlo's enviably well-to-do brother, Craig (Mark Duplass), offers to hire a night nanny to help lighten her load. Though initially too haughty to accept, Marlo soon surrenders to his goodwill. The eponymous nanny, played by Mackenzie Davis, turns out too good to be true.

Continue reading "Necessity Is the Mother of Invention" »

Stoop to Conquistador

Zama-movie-review-daniel-giménez-cacho
Strand Releasing

MOVIE REVIEW
Zama (2017)

Adapted from Antonio di Benedetto's acclaimed 1956 novel, "Zama" is Lucrecia Martel's first period piece. The film concerns the eponymous 18th-century Spanish officer, played by Daniel Giménez Cacho, stationed in a middle-of-nowhere colony (Paraguay per the novel) away from wife and child, repeatedly kowtowing to successive superiors in a desperate and futile bid for a recall or transfer.

Continue reading "Stoop to Conquistador" »

Whipped Into a Sunshine State

The-florida-project-movie-review-willem-dafoe-brooklynn-prince
Marc Schmidt/A24

MOVIE REVIEW
The Florida Project (2017)

"The Florida Project" depicts the impoverished lives of people who take up seemingly unending residence in a low-rent highway-side motel, tackily wrapped in lavender paint, and seen through the eyes of 6-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince). Moonee's cohort passes the time by getting into such mischief as spitting from the balcony at cars parked below, panhandling in front of an ice cream stand and setting abandoned homes ablaze.

Continue reading "Whipped Into a Sunshine State" »

Eating Disorder

The-dinner-movie-review-richard-gere-laura-linney-steve-coogan-rebecca-hall
The Orchard

MOVIE REVIEW
The Dinner (2017)

The third film adaptation of Herman Koch's eponymous novel (following Menno Meyjes's 2013 "Het Diner" and Ivano De Matteo's 2014 "I nostri ragazzi"), Oren Moverman's "The Dinner" indeed plays out like a European art thriller — perhaps one by Thomas Vinterberg (despite that he's Danish and Mr. Koch is Dutch).

Continue reading "Eating Disorder" »

Estranged Bedfellows

The-lovers-movie-review-debra-winger-tracy-letts
Robb Rosenfeld/A24

MOVIE REVIEW
The Lovers (2017)

In "The Lovers," Debra Winger and Tracy Letts play wife and husband on the brink of divorce, keeping up appearances for the sake of a visit from their son and his girlfriend. Suffering symptoms of midlife crises and ennui, Mary (Ms. Winger) and Michael (Mr. Letts) absent-mindedly drift through their workaday obligations just so they can make excuses to each other to spend time with and pacify their respective long-suffering, ultimatum-giving paramours. As the extramarital affairs grow increasingly tedious, Mary and Michael inexplicably rekindle their passion for each other — which their son, Joel (Tyler Ross), interprets as a façade presaging the marriage's inevitable dissolution.

Continue reading "Estranged Bedfellows" »

Brexit Stage Left

The-trip-to-spain-movie-review-steve-coogan-rob-brydon
Phil Fisk/IFC Films

MOVIE REVIEW
The Trip to Spain (2017)

The third installment of the Steve Coogan-Rob Brydon-Michael Winterbottom BBC Two/Sky Atlantic six-part sitcom and companion abridged big-screen version, “The Trip to Spain” reunites the comedians and filmmaker for more culinary samplings, showbiz inside baseball, celebrity impersonations and narcissistic midlife crises. Their journey encompasses Getaria, Sos del Rey Catolico, Cuenca, La Mancha, Granada and Malaga in the titular country, this time with extra braggadocio from Mr. Coogan boasting his Oscar nod for “Philomena” and extra envy from Mr. Brydon toward James Corden’s newfound success as a talk-show host in America.

Continue reading "Brexit Stage Left" »

© 2008-2019 Critic's Notebook and its respective authors. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use
Subscribe to Critic's Notebook | Follow Us on Twitter | Contact Us | Write for Us | Reprints and Permissions