Lost at sea in “Adrift”

What is it that draws us to nature-based survival tales? Is it a weird sort of schadenfreude where we find it thrilling to watch someone we do not know experiences things we probably could not face?

Mom Party

“Life of Party,” like the recently released “Avengers: Infinity War” before it, ends up interrogating the critic who deigns to write about it.

Peak Marvel

encounterOne of the oddest pieces I read this week about “Avengers: Infinity War” was that it was an example of experimental cinema instead of a blockbuster.

Teenage Love Affair

The new romantic comedy “Love, Simon” is all about symmetry. This is a well-ordered world where everyone exists in a state that is not perfect, but rarely uncertain.

Deadly funny affairs

Anyone looking for something diverting to see over the weekend should head to Amazon or iTunes to stream the new digital release “The Death of Stalin.” The film builds itself on paradoxes that are both intratextual and extratextual.

Coming of age in “Green Days By the River”

As much as Michael Anthony’s “Green Days by the River” has turned into a symbolic text of colonial life in Trinidad and Tobago, the story will always depend more on its value as a coming-of-age tale more than anything else.

Smart journalism in “The Post”

Steven Spielberg’s recently released film “The Post” is a very particular kind of “culturally relevant message film.” Any critic who has written anything about it in the last month since its release is aware of it.

Not quite “The Greatest Showman”

There’s something paradoxical about a 21st century film musical and even more so about “The Greatest Showman,” which is not the best or worst representation of what musicals are in 2017.

The lived-in excellence of “Patti Cake$”

“Patti Cake$,” a 2017 film about an overweight white woman’s quest to become a rap star in the slums of New Jersey has garnered immediate comparisons to “Hustle & Flow” and “8 Mile”.

Ghosts that we knew

Who invented the bedsheet ghost? The image of a ghost marked by donning a white sheet with holes for eyes is a classic and familiar concept.

Shadows on the Beach

“Beach Rats,” the winner of the best director award at this year’s Sundance film festival, is a filmic bildungsroman.

A charming but uneven murder mystery

I made the potentially problematic decision, to screen Sidney Lumet’s 1974 adaptation of “Murder on the Orient Express” a few days after watching the recent 2017 Kenneth Branagh directed version.

The discomfiting allure of “Atomic Blonde”

The new film “Atomic Blonde” is a hyperaware, pop-version of the excellent 2011 adaptation of the John le Carré Cold War spy novel “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”  For history and philosophy enthusiasts, the Cold War, with its dependence on subterfuge and paranoia, is a historical key to understanding the dubiousness of modern political affairs.

Ape-ocalypse Now

I kept experiencing a kind of cognitive dissonance while watching War for the Planet of the Apes, the last film in the rebooted trilogy.

There’s something about a war

Sofia Coppola’s new film, The Beguiled, begins like a fairy tale. The intertitle, pink and evocative, announce the time as three years into the American Civil War, we are in Virginia.

Television for an age of uncertainty

Today marks the beginning of the second half of the year. 2017 has been a chaotic year in political and cultural terms but the arts continue to trudge on, offering a wealth of material to examine in these turbulent times.

Adero

Few words are spoken in Adero, the new short film from Guyanese filmmaker Kojo McPherson.