Movie reviews

The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist (1973) – Review by James Baldwin

The mindless and hysterical banality of the evil presented in The Exorcist is the most terrifying thing about the film. The Americans should cer­tainly know more about evil than that; if they pre­tend otherwise, they are lying.

Intolerance (1916)

Intolerance (1916) – Review by Pauline Kael

“Intolerance” is one of the two or three most influential movies ever made, and I think it is also the greatest. Yet many of those who are interested in movies have never seen it.

A Clockwork Orange – Review by Paul D. Zimmerman

A Clockwork Orange is a characteristically frosty piece of film-making, shorn completely of sentiment, working through brilliant ironies and dazzling dramatic ideas that please us, provoke our laughter, galvanize our intellects, win our admiration—but never touch our hearts.

Trading Places (1983)

Trading Places (1983) – Review by Richard Schickel

Trading Places is one of the most emotionally satisfying and morally gratifying comedies of recent times. Eddie Murphy demonstrates the powers of invention that signal the arrival of a major comic actor, and possibly a great star.

The Last American Hero (1973)

The Last American Hero (1973) – Review by Pauline Kael

“The last American hero” never goes soft, and maybe that’s why the picture felt so realistic to me; it wasn’t until I reread the Wolfe piece that I realized what a turnaround it was. But we believe the worst now — maybe only the worst.

Body Double (1984) Melanie Griffith and Brian De Palma

Body Double (1984) – Review by Pauline Kael

If Brian De Palma were a new young director, Body Double would probably be enough to establish him as a talented fellow. But, coming from De Palma, Body Double is an awful disappointment.

Blade Runner – Review by Stanley Kauffmann

To enjoy Blade Runner, you need only disregard, as far as possible, the actors and dialogue. (And the score) The script is another reworking of a threat to humans by humanoids —one more variation on the Invasion of the Body Snatchers theme.

The King of Comedy – Review by Stanley Kauffmann

The picture is virtually bare of Scorsese style, such touches, heavy or helpful, as the opening manhole shot of Taxi Driver or the opening prize-ring sequence of Raging Bull. I saw nothing in The King of Comedy that couldn’t have been done by any competent director. Cinematically, it’s flavorless.

Raging Bull (1980) De Niro and Scorsese on set

Raging Bull – Review by Stanley Kauffmann

Seeing Martin Scorsese’s new film is like visiting a human zoo. That’s certainly not to say that it’s dull: good zoos are not dull. But the life we watch is stripped to elemental drives, with just enough decor of complexity—especially the heraldry of Catholicism —to underscore how elemental it basically is.