George Clooney stars in 'Burn After Reading' from Joel and Ethan Coen

‘Burn After Reading’ – unclassified CIA laughs on Amazon Prime

Burn After Reading (2008) – After the darkness of No Country for Old Men, the Coen Bros. eased up with a deadpan espionage farce played out by small fish convinced that they are in deep waters, a film much lighter and significantly slighter but put together with such perfection that you can’t help but be […]

‘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 […]

‘Ocean’s Thirteen’ – third time’s the charm on HBO Max

George Cooney and Brad Pitt reunite to old gang for one more romp in Ocean’s Thirteen (2007), third film in Steven Soderberg’s jaunty heist franchise. This time they’re out to avenge group mentor Reuben (Elliott Gould), who has been cheated by international casino kingpin (Al Pacino, playing the financial shark with teeth bared). While Reuben […]

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’

Is there another American filmmaker who takes such joy in telling stories and spinning cinematic spells as Quentin Tarantino? I don’t mean tackling big issues or making epic statements. I’m talking about the sheer pleasure of telling audiences a tale that takes them places they don’t expect and ways they haven’t quite experienced before. The […]

What to stream: ‘War Machine’ on Netflix, ‘Moonlight’ on Amazon, ‘Becoming Bond’ on Hulu

Brad Pitt is an American career officer charged with winding down the war in Afghanistan in the satirical War Machine, a fictionalized version of the non-fiction book by Michael Hastings reworked by Australian director/screenwriter David Michod (Animal Kingdom) as a black comedy of bureaucratic dysfunction and military arrogance. “At its best, War Machine crackles with […]