Movie reviews

Barry Lyndon

Barry Lyndon | Review by Michael Dempsey

Barry Lyndon is utterly the opposite of the loose, improvised movies which are so popular with many critics these days. Every detail of it is calculated; the film is as formal as a minuet.

Bringing Out the Dead

Bringing Out the Dead (1999) | Review by Stanley Kauffmann

A chief trouble with Martin Scorsese’s new film is that it has to strain to be a Scorsese film. Certain graphic qualities have marked most of his work, and as with any director of personality and style, those qualities had become as natural to him as breathing. But in Bringing Out the Dead, the formerly natural seems forced, redemptive, almost salvaging.

The Straight Story (1999)

The Straight Story (1999) | Review by Stanley Kauffmann

Anyone ignorant of Lynch who sees The Straight Story will need an extra mite of patience to allow its beauty to unfold; others will be curious from the start about why this unconventional filmmaker chose this material, and that curiosity will speed up the unfolding.

Tom Cruise and Stanley Kubrick on the set of Eyes Wide Shut

In Memoriam: Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) | by Stanley Kauffmann

Eyes Wide Shut is a catastrophe—in both the popular sense and the classical sense of the end of a tragedy. Everything in Kubrick that had been worming through his career, through his ego, and through his extraordinary talent swells and devours this last film.

Top Gun (1986)

Top Gun (1986) | Review by Stanley Kauffmann

Films like Top Gun bring out the pharisee in many of us. We deplore the ethos that these films promote at the same time that, somewhere deep in us, we’re glad that at least some people live by that ethos.

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.