Film Review: First Reformed (2018)

Tranquil masculinity is not part of Paul Schrader's cinematic worldview. For over 40 years, anguished, alienated, fatalistic men have dominated his scripts and been front and center in films that bear his name. Quite often, this has worked out well, producing studies of masculinity, criminality, sexuality, mental illness, faith and violence that are quite shattering…Read more Film Review: First Reformed (2018)

Film Review: You Were Never Really Here (2017)

Considering the Trumpian age in which we live, it's difficult to make the case that we need another film that revolves around the wild exploits of an angry, violent, middle-aged white man. Yet that is just what Lynne Ramsay's incredibly cynical film, You Were Never Really Here, serves up, trading in the brutal, reactionary fantasies…Read more Film Review: You Were Never Really Here (2017)

Film Review: Observe and Report (2009)

The moment most critical for understanding Jody Hill's 2009 black comedy,¬†Observe and Report, is played entirely for laughs. It occurs when the central character of the story, mall security guard Ronnie (played brilliantly by Seth Rogen), has resigned himself to following the antisocial nihilism of his co-worker Dennis (a hilarious Michael Pena). The two guards…Read more Film Review: Observe and Report (2009)