Movie reviews

The Dead (1987) Anjelica Huston


The movie is a demonstration of what, in Huston’s terms, movies can give you that print can’t: primarily, the glory of performers—performers with faces that have been written on by time and skill, performers with voices.

The Deer Hunter - Confontation between Mike and Stan


After the early acclaim, The Deer Hunter has been subjected in recent months to an extraordinarily coarse and brutal hazing. Everywhere one encounters people convinced that the movie is racist or fascist, while in the press indignant critics compete with one another in manic overstatement.

Prince of Darkness (1987) by John Carpenter


John Carpenter’s ‘Prince of Darkness’ is an often strange, sometimes terrific but in the end flawed movie that defies broad categorization in a genre known for occasionally creating rigid protective boundaries between what constitutes a horror film and what is science fiction, despite obvious crossover between these forms.

Elisha Cook Jr. and Marie Windsor in The Killing (1956)


Now that its title has been changed from Bed of Fear (as it was called when I wrote about Stanley Kubrick’s last picture in Sight and Sound) to The Killing, one need really have no reservations at all. This shrewd, engrossing, complete-in-itself melodrama is the kind of film one had begun to think was no longer possible to make in Hollywood.

Killer's Kiss


The young writer-director-photographer-editor of this un­promisingly titled film has a good deal of talent. He made Killer’s Kiss a year or so ago in New York—on location and in a small studio—and later sold it to United Artists for distribution. He has now directed his first Hollywood film, a melodrama called (also unpromisingly) Bed of Fear.

Fanny and Alexander (1982)


Fanny and Alexander may be Bergman’s farewell to film, but it is neither a work of pure nostalgia nor of self- pity and lamentation. It is a loving testament to and celebration of the continuity, infinite possibility, and power of art and the imagination.

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – by James Verniere

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) remains Kubrick’s crowning, confounding achievement. Homeric sci-fi film, conceptual artwork, and dopeheads’ intergalactic joyride, 2001 pushed the envelope of film at a time when Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music ruled the box office.

Das Boot (1981)

Das Boot (1981) – Review by Kenneth Turan [California Magazine]

This story of men at war under the sea has hardly a newly minted plot device or character trait to its name, yet rarely has familiar material been put together with such verve and dash. A very traditional war movie done with the most rigorous attention to both physical and psychological realism, Das Boot is the submarine movie to end all submarine movies.

Pretty Poison (1968) – Review by Pauline Kael

When I discovered that Pretty Poison had opened without advance publicity or screenings, I rushed to see it, because a movie that makes the movie companies so nervous they’re afraid to show it to the critics stands an awfully good chance of being an interesting movie. Mediocrity and stupidity certainly don’t scare them; talent does.

Weekend (1967) – Review by Pauline Kael

Only the title of Jean-Luc Godard’s new film is casual and innocent; Weekend is the most powerful mystical movie since The Seventh Seal and Fires on the Plain and passages of Kurosawa. We are hardly aware of the magnitude of the author-director’s conception until after we are caught up in the comedy of horror, which keeps going further and becoming more nearly inescapable, like Journey to the End of the Night.

The Shining (1980) – Review by Richard Schickel

By taking a book by an author who is at the center of the craze for the supernatural, and turning it into a refusal of and subtle comment on that loopy cultural phenomenon, Kubrick has made a movie that will have to be reckoned with on the highest level

La Chinoise: A Minority Movie – Review by Pauline Kael

Jean-Luc Godard’s “La Chinoise” is a satire of new political youth, but a satire from within, based on observation, and a satire that loves its targets more than it loves anything else — that, perhaps, can see beauty and hope only in its targets.

Apocalypse Now - Dennis Hopper

Apocalypse Now (1979) – Review by Stanley Kauffmann

When I read three years ago that Vittorio Storaro had been chosen as the cinematographer for Apocalypse Now, I was shocked. Storaro, the lush Vogue-style photographer of Last Tango in Paris and The Conformist, for a picture that was being billed as the definitive epic about Viet­nam!

Onibaba (Onibaba – Le assassine) – Recensione di Guido Cincotti [Bianco e Nero]

Siamo nel tormentato medioevo giapponese: la guerra civile infuria seminando lutti e miseria. In una capanna nascosta da un fitto canneto, tra la palude e il fiume, una donna anziana e una giovane, suocera e nuora, aspettano che torni il loro uomo. Per sopravvivere, tendono agguati a sperduti «samurai», li uccidono, li depredano, li gettano in un pozzo, vendono le spoglie a un mercante.

Uccellacci e Uccellini (1966) – Recensione di G. B. Cavallaro [Bianco e Nero]

Il film di Pier Paolo Pasolini, Uccellacci e uccellini ha un impianto allegorico, o per meglio dire da parabola. Il regista stesso parla di una «operetta poetica nella lingua della prosa» (come intenzione) dalla struttura magica e malinconica di favola. In altri momenti definisce il suo racconto «ideo-comico»