Film

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman Infamously, since Warner Bros. decided to create a crossover-heavy “universe” with its superheroes, the studio’s comic book films have been at best wrong-headed and underwhelming (Man of Steel) and at worst incompetently made and pointless (Suicide Squad). The fear that they’d screw up a Wonder…

June 8, 2017 Read more...
Michael Fassbender in Alien: Covenant

Alien: Covenant is the eighth movie in the 38-year-old sci-fi horror Alien franchise. Following 2012’s Prometheus, the financially successful but fan-loathed prequel, Covenant tries to walk a fine line: The film throws enough red meat to ravenous Alien fanboys with stomach-bursting, face-sucking, don’t-go-in-the-basement grotesquery to get away with continuing Prometheus’…

May 25, 2017 Read more...
Rocket Raccoon and Baby Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

Part of why people loved Guardians of the Galaxy so much when it came out in 2014 was how surprised they were: The Guardians are not well-known characters outside of diehard Marvel Comics fans; no (at-the-time) major starred in the movie and few knew of writer-director James Gunn beyond his…

May 25, 2017 Read more...

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in T2 Trainspotting Trainspotting is the great film of the 1990s counterculture, its decade’s Easy Rider or Rebel Without a Cause. The tone poem about heroin addiction, friendship and the idiocy of youth among the Scottish working class arrived in the United States in…

March 30, 2017 Read more...
Emily Skeggs as Roma Guy in When We Rise

  When I heard that ABC was going to do an eight-hour miniseries about the gay rights movement – a sort of Roots for the gays – I was shocked. Dustin Lance Black, who won an Oscar for writing Milk, was shocked, too, when he found out ABC was asking…

March 16, 2017 Read more...
Dafne Keen and Hugh Jackman in Logan

Then comes Logan, the third Wolverine film, ninth appearance of the character on the big screen, and Hugh Jackman’s last time playing the role. Logan is not only one of the best X-Men films – if not the best – but it’s also the best representation of the Wolverine character in all its messy, bloody, thrilling glory.

March 2, 2017 Read more...
Taraneh Alidoosti and Shahab Hosseini in The Salesman

Outside of cinephiles who have seen his Oscar-winning A Separation, Asghar Farhadi is not well known among Americans. But his name was thrust into the news over the last few weeks because of President Trump’s executive order banning travel of most anyone, but particularly Muslims, from seven majority Muslim countries….

February 16, 2017 Read more...

In October, the little watched cable channel Pivot shut down. Few people noticed, and even though this is the sort of thing I do notice, I didn’t find out until one of its shows, the Australian import Please Like Me, debuted its new season on Hulu. At first I was…

February 2, 2017 Read more...

I learned most of my Space Race history from The Right Stuff, Philip Kaufman’s excellent epic about the test pilots and first astronauts who propelled us into space. The movie is classic American hagiography, in which a bunch of brave white men risk life and limb for the glory of…

January 20, 2017 Read more...
Moonlight

I will repeat what everyone else has said over and over again: 2016 was dreadful, and as I write this, it continues to be wretched, with George Michael and Carrie Fisher dying as Donald Trump provokes a new Cold (or World) War. In times like these, with our waking lives…

January 5, 2017 Read more...

I relatively recently became a Los Angeleno, and among the many lessons I have learned since arriving is that the movies that taught me about L.A. are mostly bold, beautiful lies. I have long known that Hollywood is in the business of pablum, artifice and mythmaking; I’m a film critic,…

December 22, 2016 Read more...

A few months ago, an acquaintance dismissed an entire swath of acclaimed American films as “sad white people movies.” In the sense that they are about various Caucasians who aren’t happy, sometimes for existential reasons and often for tragic ones; movies like In the Bedroom, The Savages, or Sideways are,…

December 8, 2016 Read more...

When the final book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series was published, after the initial excitement of reading the final chapter, fans of the boy wizard and Rowling’s magical world created were also a bit distraught: It was the end. The cynic would have said, “Oh, please. There’s way too…

November 23, 2016 Read more...

Originally published in LGBT Weekly Moonlight is a triptych about growing up black, gay and poor. When he is nine or 10 he is called Little, he was just that, smaller than all of the other kids his age. They pick on him mercilessly, and he is terrified enough to lock…

November 10, 2016 Read more...

Continuing his long string of occasionally artful, but mostly exploitative gay roles, James Franco has given us King Cobra, the tawdry and dopey story of the porn star and San Diego gay celebrity Brent Corrigan, his Svengali director at Cobra Video, and the dumb-as-dirt couple who murdered the latter. As…

November 10, 2016 Read more...