Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck in David Lowery's 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'

‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ on Netflix and Hulu

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013), second feature from director / writer David Lowery, plays like the cinematic answer to an outlaw folk song. Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck play lovers Ruth and Bob, young adults who grew up fast under the watch of dubious father figure Skerrit (Keith Carradine) and ended up as small-time hold-up […]

Sarah Gadon and Logan Lerman in James Schamus's adaptation of Philip Roth's novel 'Indignation'

‘Indignation’ – Philip Roth’s America on HBO Now

Indignation (2016) – Could you have found a more challenging project upon which to build a directorial debut? James Schamus, the longtime maverick film producer who co-wrote many of Ang Lee’s films, adapts the 2008 Philip Roth novel and directs this measured, serious, heavily introspective coming-of-age drama. Logan Lerman stars as Marcus, a serious, studious, […]

James Caviezel is Jesus in Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ'

‘The Passion of the Christ’ on Amazon Prime

The Passion of the Christ (2004), Mel Gibson’s passionate, personal, and visceral take on the final 12 hours of Christ’s life on Earth is, in its own way, as controversial as Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation of Christ. Taking the Gospels as his source, Gibson creates his own cinematic version of […]

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, and Jai Courtney star in the DC comics movie

‘Suicide Squad’ – Worst. Heroes. Ever. on HBO

“Worst. Heroes. Ever.” reads the tagline of Suicide Squad (2016), DC’s attempt to get a little scruffier and offer audiences a comic book movie more fun than the stuffy “Superman” reboots. It stirred dark humor and dark doings into the superhero movie, flirting with cynicism while bonding under fire, and it worked, at least if […]

Essie Kent and Noah Wiseman in Jennifer Kent's horror film.

‘The Babadook’ on Netflix and Showtime Anytime

The Babadook, one of the best and most original horror films in years, raises goosebumps with old-fashioned scares, relatable characters, and a provocative psychological foundation. Amelia (Essie Kent) is a single mother who is still in mourning for her dead husband—she barely seems to be able to rouse herself to face the world—and is unable […]

Kim Tae-ri, Kim Min-hee, and Ha Jung-woo star in the film by Park Chan-wook

Park Chan-wook’s ‘The Handmaiden’ on Amazon Prime

Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden (Sony, DVD) leaves behind the austerity and cool tone of his superb but unheralded American debut Stoker to return to the intense imagery, twisting narratives, perverse subcultures, and elevated emotions of his Sympathy trilogy. The story of con artists in 1930s Korea, adapted from the British novel “Fingersmith” by Sarah Waters […]