Blog Profile / Slate: Movies

Filed Under:Entertainment / Film
Posts on Regator:302
Posts / Week:0.8
Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive


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


Remember Maximus, that funny horse from Disney’s Tangled? The one whose animation DNA was mostly equine, regal gallops and whatnot, but with just a touch of big friendly dog? Your child surely remembers. And so does Disney, because its...Show More Summary

Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?

Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?, the French director Michel Gondry’s animated documentary about the linguist, philosopher, and left-wing activist Noam Chomsky, seems at first like it’s going to be dragged down by an excess of whimsy. As he queries the 84-year-old M.I.T. Show More Summary

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games books and films come to fill a psychic void left by the Twilight series. For whatever reason, it seems our culture right now needs a mega-selling YA franchise built around a beautiful, stubborn teen heroine who waffles endlessly between two inexplicably patient lovers as she battles to save the world from malevolent forces. Show More Summary


The Nebraska of Nebraska is a lot of places at once. It’s a geographical location, of course—the Cornhusker State, home to the film’s director, Alexander Payne (though he grew up in Omaha, far from the rural back roads where most of the story takes place), as well as the birthplace of Nebraska’s Woodrow T. Show More Summary

At Berkeley

Full (and proud) disclosure: I—like my mother before me, as a matter of fact!—am an alumna of the University of California at Berkeley. I was a Ph.D. student there during a period that sprawled over more than a decade. (Just ask my dissertation advisers). Show More Summary

Thor: The Dark World

In the long, important, trillion-dollar history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, 2011’s Thor represented its first semi-risk. Iron Man, the 2008 film that launched the franchise, introduced a character who wasn’t terribly well-known outside the comic book shop, but it starred Robert Downey Jr. Show More Summary

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