Cinderella

“Cinderella” and the New (Old) Economics

By almost all accounts, Disney’s shiny new adaptation of Cinderella is a successful movie. Director Kenneth Branagh brings a sense of old-world classicism and genuine optimism to a fairy tale genre that has largely skewed towards dark and subversive adaptations in recent years. Financially, those gritty remakes have been a mixed bag: Snow White and…

FILE: Neil Patrick Harris To Host 2015 Academy Awards

The Oscars are Terrible, But We Should Still Celebrate Them

The Oscars are dead, right? Criticizing the ceremony has been national sport for years, but the vitriol seemed particularly fierce this time around. It seems that everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Critics hated the telecast and Neil Patrick Harris’s stale hosting job; pundits railed against the winners who introduced politics into their…

selma_american_sniper_a_l

Cinema in the Age of Stupidity

Although cinema holds many useful purposes in modern society, perhaps its most important function is its ability to generate empathy, and ultimately, to foster social change. In the last century, film has played a vital role in shaping important social movements, from In the Heat of the Night to Philadelphia and beyond. Now, film’s utility…

Johnny-Depp-as-Charlie-Mortdecai-570x294

Note to Hollywood: Johnny Depp is Not a Movie Star

So Mortdecai had a predictably god-awful opening weekend. We could have seen that coming, as the marketing campaign seemed to be predicated entirely on people wanting to see a Johnny Depp movie. Is there any evidence that people do in fact want that? Or to put it another way: In the wake of Johnny Depp’s…

Guy Pearce

8 Great Movies You Probably Didn’t See in 2014

At this time of year, the critical community is all about forming a consensus. As critics’ groups and guilds start to give out their awards, the field of essential films for 2014 winnows down to a precious few: This year, it’s looking like Boyhood, Birdman, and Selma will dominate discussion from now until Oscar night…