In the film, the way forward is backward, on a path that stumbles into misplaced nostalgia and dicey humanism.
Overall, the film’s educational prerogatives tend to overwhelm its more interesting formal properties.
It relays a story of police corruption that’s transparently designed as a pitch for a feature-film adaptation.
It rejects a fawning (or even particularly detailed) account of mental illness in favor of a plunge into the deep end of a bottomless ego.
Ironically, the mildness of writer-director Victor Levin’s film turns out to be its most engaging quality.
Baumbach lobs jokes a Sturgesian velocity, but much of this cross-generational comedy is frantic and wearisomely superficial.
The filmmakers demonstrate a mastery at conveying the character of a setting with minimal exposition.
It bores into the mourning process and its piquant combination of emotional numbness and sensory vulnerability.
Lawrence Wright’s presence in Going Clear is a persistent reminder of what the film could have been.
Set almost entirely in a French employment-recruitment firm, Rules of the Game is a documentary David Foster Wallace would have loved.
We develop an investment in the health of these subjects, but remain aware that we’re unable to reach out to them.
It doesn’t go far enough in explaining how a culture of rape pervades in different institutions, but it’s ruthless about holding them accountable.
Approaching the Elephant’s 90 minutes are a disorienting cyclone of destructive incidents and propulsive energy.
The title of the film pretty much sums up its shallow and exploitative take on mental illness.
It’s choreographed with a Felliniesque social grandeur, but tethered to a neorealist’s eye for detail and quotidian matters of social justice.
Julius Avery’s Son of a Sun has the requisite iconography of a crime thriller, but no investment in any of it.
J.C. Chandor’s fondness for situational irony is empowered by the spartan efficiency of his method, and that of most of his performers.
Once the media caravan departs, the doc meanders, torn between its obligation to reportage and its interest in a town riven by America’s thirst for justice.
If there’s any ambiguity to be found in the film’s prolonged last gasps, which reach for tragedy, but only sow more epistemic confusion, it’s of a mawkish and unpalatable variety.