‘Take Shelter’ – Madness and the end of the world on Amazon Prime and Hulu

You could describe Take Shelter (2011), the second feature from the talented Jeff Nichols, as an apocalyptic thriller, but this is a different kind of horror. Working class husband and father Curtis LaForche, played with sincere compassion and palpable anxiety by Michael Shannon, has visions of an Armageddon of Biblical proportions: black rain, Earth-scorching storms, […]

Mia Wasikowska is an American heiress in a British haunted manor in Guillermo Del Toro's 'Crimson Peak'

‘Crimson Peak’ – Guillermo Del Toro’s Gothic ghost story on Netflix

Crimson Peak (2015) revives a kind of filmmaking and storytelling that isn’t made anymore. It’s been described, incorrectly, as a Gothic horror. This is Gothic romance with notes of horror, bathed in the unreal and magical colors of a baroque Italian horror and brought to life by Guillermo Del Toro’s beating heart of compassion in the […]

‘A Most Violent Year’ on Showtime and free on Kanopy and Hoopla

A Most Violent Year (2014) should have been an Oscar contender. Written and directed by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) and set in the crime-ridden culture of early 1980s New York City (which was the most violent year on record in the city’s history), smart, shadowy tribute to the crime dramas of the seventies and early eighties, […]

Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain in Liv Ullman's 'Miss Julie'

Jessica Chastain is ‘Miss Julie’ on Amazon Prime Video

You can imagine Miss Julie (2014), Liv Ullman’s screen adaptation of the August Strindberg play, as a call back to the classic 1951 Swedish screen adaptation by Alf Sjöberg, who was a mentor to Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish master who directed Ullman to some of her greatest performances. Ullman directed Bergman’s screenplay in Faithless and […]

Matt Damon is 'The Martian' in the science fiction drama directed by Ridley Scott

‘The Martian’ on Blu-ray and DVD

The Martian (2015), winner of two Golden Globe Awards and nominated for seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Actor for Matt Damon), is the rare science fiction drama that is actually built on applied physics and engineering and organic chemistry and where survival depends on creative problem solving and teamwork across millions of miles. […]

Interstellar Christopher Nolan

‘Interstellar’ on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Christopher Nolan used his clout as the director of the hugely successful Dark Knight trilogy and cerebral caper film Inception to makes his big-budget science fiction epic Interstellar on a scale that otherwise would be out of reach. It’s set in a near future where overpopulation and global climate change has been catastrophic for the food supply and […]