The Son movie
Featured

The Son Review: Hugh Jackman’s Misbegotten Family Drama Spawns Only Contrived Emotion

In 2021, during the COVID Oscars, Sir Anthony Hopkins surprised awards handicappers by winning his second Best Actor statuette for his bravura turn in the family melodrama The Father. Written and directed by Florian Zeller, who adapted his own play, The Father saw Hopkins bring a quiet power to his tender portrayal of an aging man struggling with memory loss, and it boasted clever editing that complemented its powerful script. […]

Women Talking
Awards

Women Talking Costume Designer Quita Alfred on Creating Costumes From Authentic Mennonite Community Garbs for Sarah Polley’s Powerful Film

It was clear to Below the Line when we reviewed Women Talking at the Telluride Film Festival that Sarah Polley‘s adaptation of Miriam Toews’ novel was destined to be one of the year’s best films, as we praised both its ensemble as well as its exquisite below-the-line aesthetic, which includes a spectacular score from Oscar winner Hildur Guðnadóttir and powerful cinematography from Polley’s longtime collaborator Luc Montpellier. We also noted the […]

Plane movie
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Plane Review: Gerald Butler’s Latest Action Film Fails to Distinguish Itself From All His Others

The frustrating thing about a movie like New Gerald Butler Film is that it provides undeniable entertainment while laying to waste all fundamental rules of creative, interesting, and surprising filmmaking. The movie — actually called Plane and coming to theaters this Friday via Lionsgate — is Gerald Butler’s latest salvo in his (and Liam Neeson‘s) fusillade of action movies starring aging male superheroes that double as shots across the bow […]

Avatar: The Way of Water
Awards

Avatar: The Way of Water Costume Designer Deborah L. Scott on Dressing James Cameron’s Unique Vision, and What Avatar 3 May Look Like

James Cameron‘s Avatar: The Way of Water features astounding motion capture effects that illuminate the fascinating and ever-expanding world of Pandora. Cameron’s unique cinematic vision is boldly on display, creating an epic moviegoing experience for all ages that reminds us why we go to the movies in the first place. To be able to capture the imaginations of millions of people across the globe and hold their attention for more […]

Top 10 Movies of 2022
Awards

J. Don Birnam’s Top 10 Favorite Films of 2022

The end of the year means it’s time to reflect on those failed resolutions, plan new futile ones for 2023, and think back on the best moments of the previous 12 months. This includes sifting through some of our favorites in the world of entertainment to find the Top Ten “Best” (or, as I like to call them, my “Favorite”) films of the year, which has become something of a […]

A Man Called Otto
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A Man Called Otto Review: Tom Hanks’ Familiar Remake of Hit Swedish Film Has Lost Something in Translation

Over the last few decades, American remakes of successful international films have a decidedly mixed track record. On the one hand, we have brilliant, refreshing second looks like The Ring (based on the Japanese film Ringu) or The Departed (based on the Hong Kong crime film Infernal Affairs), while on the other, there are spectacular duds ranging from Secret in Their Eyes (based on Argentina’s stunning The Secret in Their […]

Babylon movie
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Babylon Review: Decadence Spells the Downfall for Damien Chazelle’s Star-Studded Epic About Old Hollywood 

At 37 years old, writer-director Damien Chazelle is quite young to be a Hollywood veteran — he’s still the youngest person to have ever won the Oscar for Best Director — but like a grizzled filmmaker twice his age, he sure does have a lot to say about showbiz and its difficult relationship with the City of Los Angeles. Chazelle named La La Land after the city itself and examined […]

Avatar: The Way of Water
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Avatar: The Way of Water Review: James Cameron Makes a Big Visual Splash Again 

Ever since the unparalleled success of Titanic made writer/director James Cameron the King of the World, the cinematic world has wondered whether he would ever go back to the water. In Avatar: The Way of Water, the much-anticipated sequel to the astonishingly successful 2009 film, Avatar, Cameron has done so. His return trip is mostly a welcome marriage of the two narrative themes and styles that propelled his last two […]

The Whale
Featured

The Whale Review: Brendan Fraser Gives a Larger-Than-Life Performance in Darren Aronofsky’s A24 Drama

Director Darren Aronofsky’s new film, The Whale, stars Brendan Fraser as a dying man, who weighs north of 500 pounds and whose troubled life is embodied by his enlarged form and the self-destructive behavior that led him to look that way. The film immediately raises questions about the presumably unintentional shaming of the obesity it portrays, whether the filmmakers broached this difficult subject with sufficient thoughtfulness, and why this story […]

Spoiler Alert
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Spoiler Alert Review: The Hero Dies in the End, and It’s Very, Very Sad

Michael Ausiello‘s 2017 memoir, Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies in the End, gets the cinematic treatment at the hands of The Big Sick director Michael Showalter, who’s working from a script adapted by David Marshall Grant and noted sex and relationship columnist Dan Savage. The brutally sad story chronicles the 14-year relationship between the author (played by Jim Parsons) and his boyfriend-turned-husband, photographer Kit Cowan (Ben Aldridge), culminating with the […]