Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman in Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom,' starring Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, and more

‘Moonrise Kingdom’ – Wes Anderson’s endless summer on Amazon Prime

Wes Anderson has made a career exploring the childhood neuroses that keep adult characters in an arrested state of adolescence and stasis. It’s been a lively career with creatively energetic high points like Rushmore and The Royal Tennenbaums but an approach with diminishing returns. Until Fantastic Mr. Fox, a film that refracted his portraits of dysfunctional families […]

‘Ocean’s Eleven’ – the art of the modern heist on HBO Max

Steven Soderbergh and his cool cast accomplish what Lewis Milestone couldn’t with the original Vegas playboy Rat Pack back in the 1960s: they swing to the beat of the heist. Ostensibly a remake / reworking of the fun but often flat heist classic with Frank Sinatra and friends, Ocean’s Eleven (2001) is the most shamelessly […]

‘Sideways’ – a road trip through wine country on Hulu

“A bottle of wine is actually alive; it’s constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks – like your ’61 – and begins its stead, inevitable decline. And it tastes so f***ing good.” Sideways (2004), Alexander Payne’s road movie about best friends taking a bachelor party on the road through California vineyard country, […]

Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch star in the film by David Gordon Green

‘Prince Avalanche’ – A summer buddy comedy on Amazon Prime

Before David Gordon Green directed the stoner hit Pineapple Express (2008) and took a turn into comedy, he was an indie filmmaker whose intimate dramas were seeped in his southern origins. Prince Avalanche (2013) brought him back to his origins with a modest, warm-hearted tale of two guys on a rural road crew, painting traffic […]

Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine , and James Franco star in Harmony Korine's 'Spring Breakers'

‘Spring Breakers’ free on Kanopy and Hoopla

Spring Breakers (2012) is not your traditional fun in the sun spring break movie. But then you wouldn’t expect that from Harmony Korine, the self-appointed agent provocateur of American indie cinema confrontation, even with a cast that includes Disney Channel sweethearts Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. They play two of the four college girls (Ashley […]

‘My Neighbor Totoro’ on HBO Max

Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan’s living treasures, a beloved filmmaker whose animated films number among the most beautiful and most enchanting productions ever drawn by hand. In this day of CGI productions, the aging artist still personally draws his key frames and defining characters, with a love and craft that comes through every frame. […]

‘Fast & Furious’ – the rubber hits the road on Peacock

The fast cars and daring heists franchise fishtailed all over the place with in-name-only sequels to the 2001 hit The Fast and the Furious until the original cast—outlaw racer Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), maverick FBI agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), Dominic’s partner-in crime girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), and good girl Mia (Jordana Brewster)—finally reunited for […]

Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman

‘Wonder Woman’ on HBO Max

Wonder Woman (2017) is, if you’ll pardon such an obvious comment, a wonder of a superhero movie, a film that doesn’t transcend the genre but most certainly sets a high bar, especially next to the ponderous, humorless films of the new big screen universe of interconnected DC Comics heroes. Gal Gadot debuted as Amazon princess […]

Daniel Craig is James Bond in ‘Casino Royale’ on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Peacock

For its 21st entry, the producers of the most resilient movie series in American cinema reintroduce British agent James Bond with a faithful adaptation of Ian Fleming’s first novel. In Casino Royale (2006), Daniel Craig—the sixth actor to play Bond in the official series—has a streetwise scrappiness and a ruthless, reckless, cold-blooded intensity missing since […]