Blog Profile / Slate: Movies

Filed Under:Entertainment / Film
Posts on Regator:379
Posts / Week:0.9
Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Broken Glasses

In my brief career as Slate’s 3-D-movie correspondent, I’ve endured all manner of pop-up flotsam: shark’s teeth and human eyeballs, Grace Kelly’s outstretched hand and Jerry O’Connell’s severed penis. But I’ve just seen the most effective 3-D gimmick ever made, and it isn’t exploitation schlock, or not exactly that. Show More Summary

Force Majeure

Disaster movies usually adhere to a strictly prescribed formula: Introduce a large cast of sympathetic characters up front, then, after three acts of buildup and foreshadowing, kill the majority of them off in a grandly staged climactic catastrophe, while a few hardy souls struggle heroically to survive. Show More Summary

John Wick

Ever since the end of the Matrix trilogy, there’s been something vaguely morose about Keanu Reeves. The actor has always seemed a little lost—something his best movies have capitalized on—but now there’s an aura of melancholy about him,...Show More Summary

Philip, Stark

Listen Up Philip, the third feature from writer/director Alex Ross Perry (The Color Wheel), may be this year’s most unpleasant movie I’ve nonetheless thoroughly enjoyed. The film’s antihero, a self-absorbed schmuck of a novelist named...Show More Summary

Dear Dear White People

Dear White People: It’s rare for a film’s title to announce so plainly both its targeted audience and modus operandi, and in such few words. Then again, it’s not often that a debut feature that isn’t a documentary has such an unmistakable...Show More Summary


Alejandro González Iñárritu’s pitch-dark backstage comedy Birdman opens on an arresting image: a man in a dressing room, seated in the lotus position in his underwear, appearing to hover in midair. Is this a magic being capable of defying...Show More Summary


At first sight, Damien Chazelle’s second feature, Whiplash, appears to be a movie about jazz drumming. Beginning with the kinetic opening shot—in which the camera travels down a dark conservatory hallway to home in on a lone young man...Show More Summary

Gone Girl

David Fincher’s Gone Girl presents a succession of shimmering surfaces, each more seductive and opaque than the last. That’s not the only way in which this film (adapted by Gillian Flynn from her own best-selling novel) could be said to resemble its title character, the mysteriously missing Amy Elliott Dunne (Rosamund Pike). Show More Summary

The Boxtrolls

I wanted with every fiber of my being to love The Boxtrolls. The animation studio that made it, Portland’s Laika, stands for everything I value in contemporary animation: smart, subversive stories that neither condescend to children nor winkingly pander to adults. Show More Summary

The Guest and Fort Bliss

The figure of the returning veteran has been a constant in human storytelling since Odysseus took the long way home from Troy. When someone comes back from fighting in a war, what does he (or, as is more likely to be true now than at...Show More Summary

The Disappearance of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

I’m not entirely sure why Ned Benson’s The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them even exists. The Weinstein Company, in Harvey’s infinite wisdom, had Benson piece together this two-hour film out of scenes from two separate features, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her, which both premiered to raves at last year’s Toronto Film Festival. Show More Summary

The Skeleton Twins

The ghoulish setup could easily form the basis for an eerie psychological horror film: Separated by thousands of miles, a pair of long-estranged twins both attempt suicide only hours apart on the same day. Just as dental assistant Maggie...Show More Summary

This Never Happened

There was nearly a one-year hiatus between the fifth and sixth seasons of Mad Men, and while audiences pined for Don Draper, creator Matthew Weiner directed a film he had been trying to get made for years, based on a screenplay he had written back when he worked in the writers’ room of The Sopranos. Show More Summary

The Newlyweds

The writer-director Ira Sachs makes movies that take place in the interstices of his characters’ lives. In films like Forty Shades of Blue and Keep the Lights On, he prefers to chronicle not our grand moments of heartbreak and struggle, but the countless ordinary days in between. Show More Summary


Lois Lowry’s 1993 children’s novel The Giver is a masterpiece of dystopian fiction. In less than 200 pages, without much plot to speak of, Lowry slowly and gently pulls the curtain back on a society so totalitarian it outlaws pets, music, colors, wet dreams, and grandparents. Show More Summary

If You Have to Mask

It’s easy to see why Michael Fassbender, a blindingly handsome movie star whose career is ascending so fast he seems at risk for the bends, would take the title role in Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank. Why sign on to this modestly budgetedShow More Summary

The Designing Woman

She was the pure molten essence of a mid-twentieth-century movie star—if something that’s molten can somehow also be cool. Her beauty was classical, sculptural, a little remote, and all her life she carried herself not only with a dancer’s grace, but with a sly awareness of the power conferred on her by that sheer physical exquisiteness. Show More Summary

The Art House in Your Living Room

The way our culture produces, consumes, and shares information and entertainment is changing with vertiginous speed. That indisputable fact not only provides the subject of the freaky new sci-fi fantasy The Congress­, but also accounts for the film’s no-longer-that-unusual release strategy. Show More Summary

Brendan Gleeson Gets Biblical

Brendan Gleeson—the hulking, ginger-haired Irish character actor who’s been quietly improving every movie he appears in for the last 25 years—gets a rare and welcome chance to show us what he’s made of in Calvary, a black-humored drama about faith and sin from the Irish writer/director John Michael McDonagh. Show More Summary

Guardians of the Galaxy

James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy represents a new wing of subspecialization for Marvel Studios. Rather than deliver another update of a familiar superhero (Spider-Man, Captain America, the Hulk) or jam a bunch of familiar superheroes...Show More Summary

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