Movie reviews

Fellini’s Roma (1972)

Fellini’s Roma | Review by Paul D. Zimmerman

Fellini discards the twin staples of character development and continuous narrative in favor of a series of set pieces organized around the tension between Rome’s mythic past and uncertain future.

Fellini’s Roma

Fellini’s Roma | Review by David Denby

In Fellini’s Roma, the director has totally liberated his obsessions from the discipline of telling a story or developing a character or even maintaining a comprehensible point of view.

The Candidate (1972) Robert Redford

The Candidate | Review by Richard Schickel

We have never been overburdened with movies about electoral politics, probably because the process of running for office in this country is in itself such a highly entertaining pastime, at least for spectators.

The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)

The Sorrow and the Pity (1969) – Review by David Denby

One of the greatest films ever made, “The Sorrow and The Pity” is a contribution to history, to social psychology, to anthropology, and to art. If there’s any justice in the world, Marcel Ophüls’ monumental labor will be studied and debated for years.

Anjelica Huston and Martin Landau in Crimes and Misdemeanors

Crimes and Misdemeanors | Review by David Denby

Woody Allen, to our relief, has decided to embrace the movies—a story, dramatic tension, complications—rather than “art,” with the result that he’s more of a moviemaker and perhaps more of an artist than before.

Kagemusha

Kagemusha | Review by David Denby

Spectacular yet severe, violent yet gravely formal, Kagemusha is marked by an overall nobility of style that extends to every gesture, stance, or movement.

Pulp Fiction | Review by David Denby

Tarantino serves up low-life characters and situations from old novels and movies, and he revels in every manner of pulp flagrancy—murder and betrayal, drugs, sex, and episodes of sardonically distanced sadomasochism.

Night and the City

Night and the City | Review by David Denby

Night and the City is based on a Jules Dassin B-movie from 1950 (same title), but its true spiritual antecedent, I suspect, is Sweet Smell of Success, the wonderfully ambivalent melodrama about the pleasures and corruptions of New York night-life in the late fifties, starring Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster.

Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist (1982) – Review by Pauline Kael

Poltergeist, which is about a family besieged by nasty, prankish ghosts, is no more than an entertaining hash designed to spook you. It’s The Exorcist without morbidity, or, more exactly, it’s The Amityville Horror done with insouciance and high-toned special effects.

Shoot the Moon (1982) – Review by Pauline Kael

There wasn’t a single scene in the English director Alan Parker’s first three feature films (Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express, Fame) that I thought rang true; there isn’t a scene in his new picture Shoot the Moon, that I think rings false.

Heaven's Gate (1980) Isabelle Huppert and Kris Kristofferson

Heaven’s Gate – Review by Pauline Kael

Heaven’s Gate” is a numbing shambles. It’s a movie you want to deface; you want to draw mustaches on it, because there’s no observation in it, no hint of anything resembling direct knowledge—or even intuition—of what people are about. It’s the work of a poseur who got caught out.