Tilda Swinton in Bong Joon-ho 's 'Snowpiercer'

Last chance: ‘Snowpiercer’ – careening allegory on Netflix

Snowpiercer (2013), an international production from Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho and a French graphic novel, is a high-speed allegory speeding down the science fiction tracks of genre cinema. That’s the way I like this brand of filmmaking: with the symbols big, muscular, detailed, and punchy. You either give yourself over to the metaphor, in this […]

Last chance: ‘Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell’ on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Though it wasn’t Hammer Studio’s final film, Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (1974) can be considered its swan song, an intelligent, inventive, stylized reworking of the themes that had sustained the series for almost two decades. Dr. Frankenstein has buried his old identity and reigns over an insane asylum as Dr. Victor (Peter Cushing […]

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ – the trilogy concludes on HBO Max

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) doesn’t want for ambition. The culmination of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of high-minded comic book superhero action spectacles by way of pop-art social commentary, it pits The Batman (a terse Christian Bale) against Bane (Tom Hardy as a musclebound mountain in a creepy mask), a self-appointed horseman of the apocalypse. Bane […]

James Garner and Jack Elam star in Burt Kennedy's comedy western

‘Support Your’ James Garner comedy westerns on Amazon Prime

James Garner established himself as a natural for the comic western with the TV series Maverick, playing the reluctant hero who avoided conflict and gunplay with charm, wit, and a con-man’s knack for keeping his opponents off balance. The brought that sensibility to the big screen with Support Your Local Sheriff (1969), playing a drifter […]

Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington, and Leonardo DiCaprio star in Quentin Tarantino's western

Last chance: ‘Django Unchained’ on Netflix

In Django Unchained (2012), Quentin Tarantino takes on one of his favorite genres: the spaghetti western, with all its extreme violence, operatic drama, eccentric characters, and brutal portrait of frontier existence. But Tarantino being Tarantino, he doesn’t just make a big, violent, sprawling western filled gunfights and clever talk and driven by revenge and Old […]

What to stream: ‘The Nevers’ on HBO Max, ‘Big Shot’ on Disney+, Jamie Foxx on Netflix

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   Superheroes meet the supernatural in “The Nevers: Season 1” (TV-14), a mix of mystery, thriller, period piece, and steampunk action set in Victorian London after a cosmic event gives hundreds of people—mostly […]

Paul Dano is Brian Wilson in 'Love & Mercy'

‘Love & Mercy’ – Brian Wilson’s journey on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Capturing the life of Brian Wilson, the troubled genius who pushed the surf pop sound of The Beach Boys into psychedelic symphonies as he spiraled into depression, in just a few key years is a tricky proposition. Love & Mercy (2014), a biopic that parallels the boyish enthusiasm and free-flowing creative drive of young visionary […]

‘Being John Malkovich’ on Peacock

Being John Malkovich (1999), a devastatingly funny portrait of unhappiness, desperation, desire, and the vicious things we do for love, catapulted Spike Jonze from music video wunderkind to visionary director and Charlie Kaufman from sitcom scribe to brilliant screenwriter. In 1999, when our obsession with celebrity was mainly fed by gossip magazines and entertainment programs, […]

Paul Newman, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott, and Jackie Gleason, directed by Robert Rossen

Paul Newman is ‘The Hustler’ on HBO Max

The Hustler (1961) – Paul Newman is cocky poolroom hustler “Fast” Eddie Felson, a swaggering pool shark punk who works his trade in dingy bars and seedy poolrooms, in Robert Rossen’s atmospheric adaptation of the Walter Tevis novel. Crashing into a pit of self-pity after losing big to king of the poolroom Minnesota Fats (a […]