The Nation

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Pulp Fiction (1994) Stuart Klawans Soon enough you come down off its high, with that druggie feeling of your bones being hollow and your skin encrusted with dirt; but you can't deny that the movie delivers... or that it somehow elevates craft and cleverness to the level of art. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2019
Us (2019) Namwali Serpell An extraordinary turn by Nyong'o. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
The Brink (2019) Stuart Klawans In The Brink, [director Alison] Klayman gives us something even more disturbing: copious on-the-fly glimpses of the man in action. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
Dogman (2018) Stuart Klawans Dark, absorbing, [and] beautifully acted. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
Captain Marvel (2019) Stuart Klawans Larson makes something more than formulaic out of Vers's grit and impetuousness, Jackson takes the trouble this time to play the nuances of his character (since the filmmakers, for a change, have given him some). EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
Climax (2018) Stuart Klawans This is virtuosity without thought or purpose, other than to show that everyone's beastly...I note with added queasiness that Noé has chosen to make the ones with the darkest skin tones the most brutal and obscene. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
Transit (2018) Stuart Klawans To be in focus, a dual vision requires an immaculate style. Petzold weighs the effect of each image in Transit, never faltering in his camera placement, never cluttering the action with an unnecessary shot. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
Woman at War (2018) Stuart Klawans Erlingsson mimics the language so well that you might find it chucklesome, if it didn't ring so dreadfully true. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
High Flying Bird (2019) Stephen Kearse In High Flying Bird, the lockout simply ends without any of the terms being disclosed, but through Ray's finesse, Soderbergh makes it clear that we don't have to know the game to see that it's broken. EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
Ahlat Agaci (2018) Stuart Klawans There are no winners to be found, not even that regional author whose feet hurt from listening to Sinan. There is still something to be won, though: if not forgiveness, then the capacity to forgive. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
A Star Is Born (2018) Stuart Klawans With Gaga, everyone who feels the call of the polymorphous can see themselves in the endlessly malleable contours of her face and hear their emotions throb in her omni-generic singing. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
Never Look Away (2018) Stuart Klawans The director moves Never Look Away out of the category of fancy biopic and into the realm of languorous, art-house suspense movies-like Blow-Up, you might say, if Antonioni had been a German postmodernist eager to offer reassurance. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
Fyre (2019) Stephen Kearse When put under a microscope, Fyre Festival looks less like an epic con and more like standard start-up-culture flimflam. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2019
Cold War (2018) Stuart Klawans An old-fashioned melodrama -- a good one at that. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018
Vice (2018) Stuart Klawans Vice has enough depth that it also can excite pity, fear, and a creepy, corporeal dread. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018
The Favourite (2018) Kristen Yoonsoo Kim What sets apart The Favourite most from Lanthimos's previous features is not so much the time period, but its softer treatment of the human body and its many desires. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
The Waldheim Waltz (2018) Stuart Klawans [It] speaks even more directly to our current situation... EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2018
Monrovia, Indiana (2018) Stuart Klawans As scenes recur and a rhythm gets going, certain types of labor gain force as organizing principles in the film. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2018
The Wife (2017) Leah Rosenzweig Glenn Close's masterful performance carries the recent film adaptation of a Meg Wolitzer novel. EDIT
Posted Nov 9, 2018
Suspiria (2018) Kristen Yoonsoo Kim Guadagnino is a captivating and stylish filmmaker: Suspiria's cavalcade of grotesquery is expertly shot (the notable exception being its ugly, chaotic climax), and the sullen atmosphere of its world is richly rendered. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2018
Long Day's Journey Into Night (2018) Stuart Klawans Nothing makes much sense, but everything is gorgeous. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2018
Ash Is Purest White (2018) Stuart Klawans Witty, gritty, resourceful, and burning with the "righteousness" of which other criminals only boast, [Zhao Tao] endures. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2018
Happy as Lazzaro (2018) Stuart Klawans I wish [director Alice] Rohrwacher had thought of a better way to end the picture than to resort to a weak religiosity; but I'd gladly watch everything up to the last five minutes again and again. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2018
Manbiki kazoku (2018) Stuart Klawans The plot revelations, which [director Hirokazu] Kore-eda cunningly piles up at the end, are heartbreaking when they hit. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2018
Roma (2018) Stuart Klawans Of those [films] I managed to see, none could match the clarity of vision and intensity of feeling, expansiveness and intimacy, breadth and breath of Alfonso Cuarón's Roma. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2018
The Other Side of the Wind (2018) Stuart Klawans For people with an infinite interest in Welles - like me - The Other Side of the Wind will provide inexhaustible material for study. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2018
Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018) Stuart Klawans Ross's images are intimate and emotive; the camera often follows people closely or shows details as if through his subjects' eyes, and a heightened color intensifies the mood. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2018
From the East (1993) Stuart Klawans Chantal Akerman's magnificent, wordless journey into the regions of her unlived past... EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2018
Nostalgia for the Light (2010) Stuart Klawans [A] gorgeous meditation on astronomy and the collection of human remains. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2018
Le Fond de l'air est rouge (A Grin Without a Cat) (The Base of the Air Is Red) (1977) Stuart Klawans Epic (or perhaps encyclopedic, or maybe satiric). EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2018
Support the Girls (2018) Stuart Klawans Support the Girls is a rare house-of-cards movie. Watch the first inadvertent nudge. See the whole thing tumble. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2018
Madeline's Madeline (2018) Stuart Klawans A movie that respects the fluidity of a 16-year-old's sense of self by demanding to be a "what the hell?" experience. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2018
BlacKkKlansman (2018) Stuart Klawans I felt that despite the patches of wobbliness and pomposity in BlacKkKlansman, the film was well worth my time for the sake of that shocking leap into a reality so rotten that spoiler alerts are neither necessary nor possible. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2018
Sorry to Bother You (2018) Stuart Klawans In his first feature film, Boots Riley pretty much shreds the script, or several of them. Nothing in this movie happens the way it's supposed to. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2018
Leave No Trace (2018) Stuart Klawans Leave No Trace lacks the ferocity that drove Granik's earlier features, as well as a ready hook for audiences; but it offers deeper sorrow and greater hope, as well as a direct line to a substratum of the American imagination. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2018
Estiu 1993 (2017) Stuart Klawans This modest, quiet, deeply felt movie comes through in the end. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2018
On the Seventh Day (2017) Stuart Klawans The deepest satisfaction of En el Séptimo Día comes from these characters, these comrades, as they improvise a piecemeal scheme to rescue their championship hopes EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2018
Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat (2017) Stuart Klawans Driver brings to Boom for Real a quality that's both unexpected for this topic and invaluable: balance. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Stuart Klawans Not only is it incomplete despite a running time of 149 minutes... but its action would be meaningless to anyone who hasn't seen a good many previous Marvel pictures. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2018
In the Last Days of the City (2016) Stuart Klawans Beautiful, brooding, and astonishingly two-faced...Said is willing to give you something that is all the more affecting for being discontinuous and inconclusive. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2018
Recount (2008) Adam Howard Credit must go to Recount's script, which manages to cover all of the bases without sacrificing wit and realism, and its acclaimed cast, who bring to life several infamous moments. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2018
Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (2004) Greg Tate Burns's footage of Johnson in action is astounding, and the commentary from Stanley Crouch, Gerald Early and James Earl Jones provides acerbic, one-two punching Black male insights. EDIT
Posted Apr 19, 2018
The Power of Nightmares (2004) Peter Bergen A richly rewarding film because it treats its audience as adults capable of following complex arguments. EDIT
Posted Apr 19, 2018
Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues: A Musical Journey (2002) K. Leander Williams [Scorsese's] desire for a throng of personal pictures that rambled like the earliest blues men and women has also resulted in a series that at times feels unwieldy. EDIT
Posted Apr 19, 2018
Ralph Ellison: An American Journey (2002) David Yaffe But even if Kirkland's documentary reduces Ellison's novel to comic strip, the medium serves him well to provide the cultural context so crucial to Ellison's reading of America. EDIT
Posted Apr 19, 2018
Ken Burns' Jazz (2000) Gene Santoro Is it entertaining TV? Mostly, in PBS fashion. Does it tell an informed and informative story? Usually. Is it part of the transition jazz has been making for three decades into the academic world? You bet. EDIT
Posted Apr 19, 2018
Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (2016) Tim Murphy A new HBO documentary on the late photographer is smart enough to realize that his power derived from his creepiness. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2018
3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets (2015) Kristal Brent Zook HBO's new documentary reminds us how deadly threat perception is for black people. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2018
The Young Karl Marx (2017) Stuart Klawans Is the whole thing kind of silly? Yes, but maybe not quite enough. Will it inspire the masses to take up the Manifesto anew? Now, that's funny. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2018
The Death of Stalin (2017) Stuart Klawans Maybe the movie doesn't live up to the most lavish praise that's been heaped on it, but there's a certain grim pleasure to be had from seeing its knaves and fools stripped down to their essential, vulgar meanness... EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2018