Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (30)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (28)
| Rotten (2)
| DVD (2)
In the rich umbers of Haskell Wexler's cinematography, Matewan does look great.
If Sayles's bite were as lethal as his bark, he might have given this a harder edge and a stronger conclusion. But the performances are uniformly fine.
In its grave clarity, it's as pure and plaintive as a mountain ballad.
Sayles must have meant his movie to stir and provoke, but the self-contained look of it yields something else -- a sense of quaintness, of harmless nostalgia.
When this movie stumbles, it stumbles honestly and sympathetically, but, when it succeeds, it makes history sing.
The movie works the way Westerns have always worked: In clear, simple terms and with straightforward dramatic devices.
Matewan is an earnest and sympathetic look at both the universal tragedy of the exploitation of workers and the specific tragedy of the struggle of the Matewan townspeople to find some dignity in a harsh existence.
The film is beautifully shot (by veteran cinematographer Haskell Wexler) and works not just as a tense drama, but also as a fascinating recreation of the shifting politics of the the 1920s, where workers' rights blurred with socialism.
This thoughtful film is real in every respect, right down to the plaintive sound of a country woman`s ballad.
John Sayles' period piece is an ambitious drama of union making and union breaking in the 1920a
Cinematographer Haskel Wexler contributes greatly to the look and feel of a truly special cinematic achievement.
For all of the binary simplicity of the film's moral structure, the question of violence, its utility or even necessity, is the great ambiguity at the film's center.
An amazingly authentic film with great performances, photography and production design. Sayles work here is stellar, can't wait to read the book.
Caught this on late night cable. Fantastic film on all levels. It looks great and has some amazing performances. It is everything that I love about John Sayles. It seems like every movie he makes is a social studies project (not that it's always a good thing) and you always learn about something from his films. I didn't know anything about this event and it made it more riveting. Bob Gunton, Chris Cooper (in his film debut), and James Earl Jones are brilliant.
A modern classic.
Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones and Mary McDonnell each do a good job in this John Sayles piece on the growth of the labor union into the West Virginia coal mines of the 1920's. But, I may have set my expectations for the film a bit too high. Maybe it was meant as a warm-up for Sayles, David Strathairn, Kevin Tighe, Jace Alexander and Gordon Clapp prior to their collaboration of the following year...Eight Men Out.
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