Affliction

.. One of the very best films of 1997 was The Sweet Hereafter, Atom Egoyan's adaptation of the brilliant novel by Russell Banks. Now we have another fine Banks novel, Affliction, brought to the screen by another first rate director, Paul Schrader. Affliction is a very dark exploration  ...

After Life

Afterlife, the new feature by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda (Maborosi, Without Memory) is set in a kind of halfway house between life on Earth and the mystery of eternity. The film presents a challenge to each character, as well as to all of us in the audience: If  ...

Alice and Martin

Andre Techine's Alice and Martin is Greek tragedy in modern dress. Rather than restage Sophocles as turgid, angst-ridden melodrama (as in Volker Schlondorff's Voyager) or insert a masked chorus into standard issue romantic comedy (like Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite), it instead takes the primal subject matter of these plays  ...

All the Pretty Horses

There have been few as eagerly (and nervously) awaited adaptations in recent years as that of Cormac McCarthy’s 1992 novel All the Pretty Horses. McCarthy’s tactile, intensely visual prose always seems ready to erupt into cinema inside the mind; the master of the imaginary landscape, his tales are filled  ...

All About My Mother

Rembrandt Dazzling White Tooth Bleaching Value Kit There is nothing like an Almodovar film. Triumphs of excess, they are nothing if not too much: too much color (reds so vibrant they pulsate), too much plot (if it wasn't for the  ...

Almost Famous

Cameron Crowe is a frustrating filmmaker. Though possessed of enormous gifts, he's yet to make a film that's as good as its best moments. He has elicited deeply felt performances from the most unlikely actors. He can write dialogue so unforced that it sounds like overheard conversation even while  ...

Along Came a Spider

From the opening teaser sequence to the casting of Morgan Freeman as a detective tracking a criminal mastermind to the gratuitous twists at the end, Along Came a Spider spins its formulaic web like a black widow on automatic pilot. A moribund pall hangs over the whole painfully generic  ...

America, America

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American Psycho

American Psycho tips its hand very early on when the camera pans across a table that’s laden with posh dinnerware and exotic dishes. It doesn’t matter what the setting is, the meaning of this shot is always the same, and the point couldn’t be hammered home any harder if  ...

American Pimp

The Hughes Brothers are fascinated with bad guys. Their startling debut, Menace II Society, depicted inner city thug life with a visceral intensity that made Boyz N The Hood look like The Little Rascals. The follow-up, Dead Presidents, less successfully chronicled a young man's transformation from Vietnam War hero  ...