Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master"

At War with “The Master”

Five weeks and two repeat viewings later, I am still having new thoughts about The Master. Upon its initial release, many critics had trouble grasping its meaning. Lisa Kennedy of the Denver Post called it “confounding.” Roger Ebert at least put it eloquently: “When I reach for it, my hand closes on air.” Many other…

Tom Hanks and Halle Berry

“Cloud Atlas” is Why I Go to the Movies

Thirteen years ago, The Matrix was released, and its themes of oppression and revolution connected deeply with critics and audiences alike. The filmmakers – siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski – were similarly oppressed by its success and have spent the last decade failing to live up to it. But now their time has come. In…

Matthew McConaughey in "Magic Mike"

How “Magic Mike” Could Save Obama

From Obama: 2016 to Argo, the movies of 2012 have been particularly heavy on political content, and naturally some pundits have wondered if a film can influence an election. It seems clear that many in Hollywood think it could – and they want nothing to do with it. Three political films originally scheduled to hit…

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The Magnificent Andersons

Despite their common last names and the similar trajectories of their careers, filmmakers Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson are rarely mentioned in the same sentence. At first glance, this may seem logical. Their films do not on the surface have much in common. Wes makes nostalgia-drenched hipster fairytales; Paul’s movies are viscerally emotional and…

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Reel Change in The Atlantic

This morning The Atlantic published an article of mine as part of their online content. The subject is one of grave importance to every concerned citizen of this nation: the potential political careers of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. I had a great time analyzing their political statements and, more importantly, the subtextual political elements…

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“Argo” is More Fun Than it Should Be

“Argo” comes along at the perfect time – depending on what your interests are. The film, which opens with a tense sequence recreating the storming of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by Iranian militants, is timely due to the similarities between the events it depicts and similar events on our actual world stage. Both the…

Sam Rockwell and Bonny the Shih Tzu

“Seven Psychopaths” is Bloody Smart

Considering how deeply “Seven Psychopaths” embraces its meta-ness, it only makes sense to begin this review by comparing it to other movies. Of course, it follows a trend begun by “Pulp Fiction” of violent, funny movies that comment on their own bloodshed. Specifically, it addresses the cyclical nature of violence and consequences – much like…