Blog Profile / Slate: Movies

Filed Under:Entertainment / Film
Posts on Regator:308
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Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Emmanuel Lubezki Is on Instagram

Do I live on the same planet? The thought often runs through my mind when I’m confronted with the latest work of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, whose otherworldly collaborations with directors like Terrence Malick and Alfonso Cuarón have yielded six Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography—including his most recent, for Gravity. Show More Summary

The Wind Rises

Forgive me if I get verklempt about Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement from filmmaking before I even start reviewing his self-declared final film, The Wind Rises. The great Japanese animator, now 73, is one of those artists I feel lucky to have shared an overlapping lifetime with. Show More Summary

Meryl Streep Gets Thanked More Than God

Slate has updated this article and interactive feature in anticipation of the 2014 Oscars.

I Can’t “Let It Go”

I first encountered the Disney musical Frozen not as a critic—(it was Dan Kois who reviewed it, somewhat lukewarmly, for Slate)—but as the parent of a fan. As a result, my love for the movie—and I do love it—is by now hopelessly bound up with my daughter’s love for it, and mine for her. Show More Summary


One doesn’t envy José Padilha the task of remaking RoboCop, the 1987 schlock-art sensation that introduced the Dutch director Paul Verhoeven to American audiences. For one thing, the basic premise—a Detroit cop is saved from the brink...Show More Summary

The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie had so much going against it. First off, it’s a movie inspired by a system of interlocking plastic blocks. Second, it’s a branded entertainment—an ominous category if ever there was one, all but guaranteeing a clamorous action infomercial shoddily intercut with a formulaic “human” story. Show More Summary


I just saw Philip Seymour Hoffman last week, at a Q&A after the Sundance premiere of John Slattery’s feature directing debut God’s Pocket, in which Hoffman plays a low-level Philadelphia mobster trying to raise money for his son’s funeral. Show More Summary

Labor Day

When you’re harboring an escaped murderer in your home because he accosted you in a grocery store and implicitly threatened your child, it’s so nice when he can help out with the chores. Such seems to be the moral of Jason Reitman’sShow More Summary

Tomorrow Night

Louis C.K.’s decision to make Tomorrow Night, his never-released, independently financed first feature from 1998, available for $5 on his website, is the kind of offhandedly iconoclastic gesture that has endeared the comedian to his fans (a group to whose ranks I belong). Show More Summary

Lone Survivor

The title of Lone Survivor, Peter Berg’s recounting of the experiences of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell in Afghanistan in 2005 (adapted by Berg from a best-selling memoir by Luttrell and Patrick Robinson) gives away the game right up front. Show More Summary

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I commend Ben Stiller for trying something in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty—an adaptation of the 1939 James Thurber story, written by Steve Conrad and directed by and starring Stiller as the daydreaming office worker of the title—that few American comic directors would attempt. Show More Summary

August: Osage County

The Chicago-based playwright and actor Tracy Letts writes dramas that seem to take place inside a pressure cooker. Like Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (for which Letts won a well-deserved Best Actor Tony last year asShow More Summary

The Wolf of Wall Street

Remember that scene in The Wolf of Wall Street when Leonardo DiCaprio (as the crooked stockbroker Jordan Belfort) and Jonah Hill (as his right-hand man and chief enabler Donnie Azoff) do an obscene amount of drugs and ostentatiously throw around their swindled millions and just generally act like complete amoral tools? No, the other one. Show More Summary

Anchorman 2

When Will Ferrell and his frequent director and writing partner Adam McKay get together, they are capable of making beautiful, stupid comedy magic. Sometimes, their best conjuring happens on a small scale, as with The Landlord, the filmed sketch that was the foundational video at McKay and Ferrell’s now-indispensable comedy website, Funny or Die. Show More Summary


A man sits in a sleek, rainbow-hued modern office, dictating a love letter into his computer. At first, the sincere, impassioned words he’s speaking appear to be part of an intended mash note to his beloved. Then we start to notice that...Show More Summary

Saving Mr. Banks

It’s a pleasing coincidence that the prestige studio picture Saving Mr. Banks—a Disney release in which Walt Disney figures as a major character—came out the same year as Escape From Tomorrow, a gnarly little underground horror filmShow More Summary

American Hustle

The films of David O. Russell have a certain characteristic swagger, a slightly self-mocking confidence that sometimes borders on the buffoonish. Russell (I Heart Huckabees, The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook) loves protagonists who...Show More Summary

The Best Movies of 2013

The night before I was to start compiling my 10-best list for 2013, I dreamed of Inside Llewyn Davis. Or rather, I dreamed inside Inside Llewyn Davis: The setting was some version of that film’s smoky, dim Gaslight coffeehouse (albeit...Show More Summary

Inside Llewyn Davis

Ethan and Joel Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis is structured around a temporal riddle that’s also a mordant existential joke. The film, an elegiac glimpse at the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early ’60s, begins and ends with slightly differing versions of the same event. Show More Summary


One thing you definitely cannot say about Spike Lee’s Oldboy, a remake of the freaky 2003 Korean thriller of the same title directed by Park Chan-wook, is that it’s derivative. Lee’s interpretation diverges from the original in important ways, from the characterization of the titular antihero up through the resolution of the final shocking twist. Show More Summary

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