Browsing Tag


#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Midsommar | Ari Aster

July 2, 2019

Not quite the swing-for-the-fences sophomore audacity you might expect from the guy who made Hereditary — but certainly a film that never would have made it into the marketplace, as-is, without being anticipated as such — Ari Aster’s Midsommar is nonetheless very much in character: a gorgeous, tightly controlled, and deeply self-satisfied jerk-off poster child for a new wave of arthouse-inflected genre films that see deliberation as dread, and formal precision as a replacement for crafting actual narrative suspense. Florence…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Daniel Gorman Film

Gloria Bell | Sebastian Lelio

Sometimes the determination between an actor’s successful and unsuccessful work comes down to context, like the ensemble of actors surrounding them, and sometimes it’s about the writing. But some movie stars simply ‘are,’ and one responds to their presence. We tend to value physical manifestations of…

April 8, 2019
#BlockbusterBeat by Daniel Gorman

Hereditary | Ari Aster

No other company right now is playing the is-it-or-isn’t-is-a-horror-film game quite like A24. Blumhouse has their straightforward genre thrills down pat, with the occasional Purge film to expand their scope and dabble in some totally unsubtle social messaging. But A24, whether working in horror with sci-fi elements or…

June 15, 2018
by Matt Lynch Film

American Honey | Andrea Arnold

At the start of American Honey, Jake and Star, its two lead characters (played by Shia LeBeouf and newcomer Sasha Lane, respectively) meet and somehow immediately fall for each other as Rihanna’s “We Found Love” blares over a Wal-Mart PA. “We found love in…

October 6, 2016
by Ty Landis Film

The Witch | Robert Eggers

Robert Eggers’s debut film arrives prepackaged with the usual hype garnered by a Sundance homerun. Now a year removed from that successful premiere, however, assessments of The Witch have somewhat shifted into a less relevant realm concerning whether horror movies have to be really scary to be effective, or…

February 29, 2016
by Matt Lynch Film

Room | Lenny Abrahamson

Ma (Brie Larson) and her five-year-old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) live in Room, the backyard shed of a man who has kept Ma (real name Joy) as a sexual prisoner for seven years. Jack was born in captivity and has no understanding of the…

November 1, 2015
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Ex Machina | Alex Garland

Partway through Ex Machina, Caleb (Domnhall Gleeson), a mousy coder at a giant tech company, and Nathan, his supergenius employer (Oscar Isaac), discuss whether or not an alleged artificially intelligent android Nathan has created is sexually interested in Caleb. Nathan single-mindedly insists that the machine,…

April 16, 2015
by Matt Lynch Film

While We’re Young | Noah Baumbach

Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg opened with Greta Gerwig’s character, a young woman working as a wealthy man’s personal assistant, trying to merge into traffic, saying “Are you gonna let me in?” Baumbach’s latest, While We’re Young, begins with a quote from Ibsen’s The Master Builder in which a young woman suggests…

April 9, 2015
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

A Most Violent Year | J.C. Chandor

Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) is an ambitious immigrant who has secured a modest toe-hold distributing heating oil. Though he’s just taken a major risk in obtaining a piece of property that will allow him to expand and thrive, his competitors are robbing his trucks…

December 30, 2014
by Calum Reed Film

The Captive | Atom Egoyan

No stranger to treating lurid and uninviting subjects in a chilly fashion, Atom Egoyan’s glacial style of filmmaking has always been both a blessing and a curse. While his distant rendering of melancholy in The Sweet Hereafter— regarded by many as his masterpiece — allowed for a…

December 12, 2014
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