“Logan” is a Spaghetti Western for our Time

In the 1960s and 1970s, Americans flocked to spaghetti westerns like The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly and The Outlaw Josey Wales . These films subverted the morality of classical westerns by depicting vicious worlds that went without heroes. Compared to their predecessors in the genre, they were far more violent, with an amorality…

“Prisoners” Captures our Moral Complexity

The opening hour or so of Prisoners, a tense and gripping new thriller, touches on our collective nerves so perfectly that it’s almost hard to believe. The subject is vengeance, which is not a new topic in American film but one worthy of revision. Revenge films have been around since 1974 when Death Wish exploded…

“The Wolverine” is an Admirable Attempt at Originality

If you like nothing else about it, you should at least be impressed with The Wolverine’s release date. At this point in the summer, most of us are flat-out sick of cookie-cutter summer blockbusters with the same resume: immeasurably high body counts, indestructible heroes, and half-hearted political commentary. If you feel this way, consider The…

“Les Miserables” Offers Lessons for Movie Musicals

The producers of Les Miserables have owned the film rights for decades, and they have stated in recent interviews that they were waiting for the right time and the right director. They got the time right – the film’s themes of economic oppression, income inequality, and a rigged criminal justice system seem tailor-made for our…