Apple introduced the iMac computer to the market with one of the most famous marketing slogans of all time: “Think different.” If nothing else, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs embodies that sentiment.
With Bridge of Spies, Steven Spielberg continues the project he started with Lincoln: Using history to illuminate his vision of modern American values. But where Lincoln was about a “great man,” Bridge of Spies is about an ordinary one — an insurance lawyer from Brooklyn named James B. Donovan. In the late 1950s, Donovan was chosen by his peers to represent a captured Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel. But while most of Donovan’s colleagues (and even the presiding judge on the case) want him involved purely to give Abel’s trial the appearance of due process, Donovan actually mounts a rigorous defense of his client, at considerable risk to his reputation and even his personal safety.
Director Ben Wheatley and his screenwriting partner Amy Jump are known for their specific, darkly humorous sensibilities, from the horror thriller Kill List to the black and white psychedelic intensity of A Field in England, and the bleak hilarity of Sightseers. The duo return this year with High-Rise, based on J.G. Ballard’s sophisticated dystopian tale of class warfare in an elegant apartment block. It may be his most inaccessible and tonally ambitious film to date, but it also might be his best.
Everyone wants to believe they’re special. When I was in second grade, I was a multiplication table genius. A gift for rote memorization and an intense competitive streak turned me into the Michael Jordan of Math Class Around the World. Almost 30 years later, I still remember playing and winning, probably because that was the last time in my life I really felt truly superior to everyone around me.
After being dealt some bad luck in the studio system with the underwhelming action flick Aeon Flux and the undervalued horror comedy Jennifer’s Body, director Karyn Kusama emerges with her best film since she made her feature debut with 2000's Girlfight. The Invitation is an exceptionally unnerving thriller, a sharp study in the horrors of platonic indulgence and the over-extension of courtesy.
Seven days before Demon made its U.S. premiere at Fantastic Fest 2015, its director, Marcin Wrona, died in a hotel room in Poland. He was 42 years old. The preliminary autopsy indicates Wrona committed suicide. If Wrona was alive and well, Demon would still be a brilliant film, an impressive and inventive blend of psychological horror and sardonic comedy. But his suicide casts the entire film in a whole new light, and adds even more poignance to the already heart-rending story of a seemingly happy man who succumbs to an inexplicable breakdown at his wedding.
Following a press screening of Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk, the opening film at the New York Film Festival, the director said part of what inspired his movie was that Philippe Petit’s real-life walk was never captured on film. While there are photographs of Petit walking on a high-wire between the Twin Towers on August 7, 1974, as explored in the Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire, video footage of his audacious illegal performance doesn’t exist. In the film, Zemeckis attempts to turn the thrilling walk into an immersive experience with 3D and IMAX, but some moments, especially ones as majestic as Petit’s walk, should remain an unseen mystery.
In 2013, Spike Jonze delivered one of the most poignant and thoughtful meditations on the complexities of relationships and humanity with Her. Two years later and Yorgos Lanthimos has given us what is perhaps the most definitive relationship film in years with The Lobster, a movie that explores the full spectrum of relationships with impeccable wit, delightfully dark humor and insights so sharp they verge on deadly.
The Wave really is just about one single wave that decimates a Norwegian town, and its impact on a small group of characters, primarily a geologist and his family. That’s it — but that’s all it needs to be. This film is a reminder that disaster movies work best when they focus on the characters and their struggles, not the big special effects they’re running from.
It's been six years since director Eli Roth released 'Hostel Part 2,' after which he starred in a Quentin Tarantino movie and a horror movie directed by his pal Nicholas Lopez that he also produced and co-wrote. Saying that 'The Green Inferno' is...