Café Society (2016)
"Woody Allen celebrates the vaunted era of New York's segregated 1930s nightlife - and its West Coast counterpart in Hollywood...Allen uses comedy to avoid serious contemplation of the social inequities that accompany class advancement. "
"A feminist Gunga Din, Jones's Patty makes it possible for the SNL white pukka sahibs to feel good about repeating Ghostbusters' Eighties line-up...It disguises Hollywood's entrenched biased hegemony as happily inclusive fun for all. "
Mei ren yu (The Mermaid) (2016)
"Chow cares mostly about Liu and Shan's love story - how their spiritual lives transcend their class differences. Yet, Chow balances romantic concerns with the sociological message. Most American films today...work backwards. "
"Caught up in the fun of telling this tall tale, Lane never matches the fine, humbling truth of Our Nixon...Lane's wild narrative flirts with Michael Moore-style deceit and contempt. Yet Lane's essential humanity comes through. "
"On its non-Disney-family-movie level, Wiener-Dog is the most unsentimental pet film since Godard's Farewell to Language...But it's the American Eccentric level of self-conscious filmmaking and social commentary that makes Wiener-Dog, frankly, amazing. "
The BFG (2016)
"The BFG isn't a remake of E.T. or A.I. but its own peculiar epic. It's an involuted fairy tale, leaning both Left and Right, expressing the quiddities of utopian imagination. Spielberg's childlike optimism brings quixotic ideas to life. "
"Chappie makes no more sense than the ludicrous alien takeover of District 9 and is just as visually ugly, but, without a Roger Ebert to shill for it, the formula now seems especially out of date and particularly depressing. "
"Marty seems intended to exemplify modern American discontent, but a slacker hero is false to this political moment of digital entrepreneurs. His immature "rebellion" patronizes the very audience...that the young adult Marty resembles. "
Dirty Grandpa (2016)
"A burlesque like Dirty Grandpa means to "liberate the oppressed" and does so in a low-comedy way. Ignore the bluenose critics who sharpened their dentures on this movie; ironically, they're the same fools who swallow drivel like The Hunger Games. "
"Aferim! is the opposite of a cultural celebration. It uses startling, hilarious misanthropy to portray Eastern Europe's immoral legacy - a hapless, dissolute, pusillanimous culture that has bequeathed the region a cynical present. "
The Finest Hours (2016)
Finding Dory (2016)
De Palma (2016)
The President (2016)
"Its story of a despot (Mikheil Gomiashvili)...who escapes his country's...capital city...with his cosseted grandson (Dachi Orvelashvili) in tow...looks at brotherhood by satirizing the highhanded excesses of nationhood. "
Roots: Miniseries (TV, 2016)
"Roots' shocking disclosures about the cruelties of America's past were subject to revision. The discomforting history of man's inhumanity to man...is now turned to the advantage of modern political and cultural powerbrokers. "
"As Jia guides Salles through Fenyang, formerly a prison, and his past shooting locations, and as he introduces old friends and neighbors, the documentary gives evidence of how a director translates personal experience and political perspective into film. "
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
"There's little distance between X-Men: Apocalypse and the films of Chinese director Jia Zhangke. Although their audiences are different (juvenile thrill-seekers and art-movie devotees), the films appeal to the same grim taste for catastrophe. "
Love & Friendship (2016)
"Beneath the impertinent, literary banter is a sedate - almost cold - vision of cruelty, greed, and selfishness. It recalls Stillman's The Last Days of Disco (1998), but without the soulful warmth of disco music to buoy the characters' urbane desperation. "
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016)
"Neighbors 2 is designed, rather cleverly, to tickle indulgent parents as well as self-indulgent kids (picking off two target audiences at once). Rogen and director Nicholas Stoller satirize outdated morality and pitiable decorum. "
Sunset Song (2016)
"Terence Davies' Sunset Song, a personalized tale about young Christine Guthrie (Agyness Deyn) growing up in rural Scotland just before World War One, is also a national epic about one's connection to a culture through language and the land. "
Money Monster (2016)
"Money Monster (also the name of Gates's program) pretends to expose Wall Street chicanery at the same time as critiquing opportunistic television. Who do Clooney, director Jodie Foster, and lead screenwriter Jamie Linden think they are? "
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
"Captain America and Iron Man almost represent the schism that now divides American voters, politicians, and pundits. I say "almost," because the film...doesn't inspire reflection upon the dire seriousness of our current ideological civil war. "
"The Measure of a Man...charts a global unease in the case of a working-class white male trying to stay afloat in Europe's unsteady economy...Brizé's unplotted, naturalistic style highlights a common man's series of on-going indignities. "
A Hologram for the King (2016)
"Hanks has moved forward - as an artist must, and as American foreign policy should have - toward reconciliation. A Hologram for the King lets modern technological commitment...lead toward Clay's rediscovery of his humanity. "
"Grant and Famuyiwa, with their dependence on famous names and talking heads, prove incapable of achieving character depth, atmosphere, or intellectual nuance. Instead, this turning-point cultural event falls into the maw of TV sensationalism. "
"Bercot's best irony is the film's fleet, incisive style - not docudrama but emotional precision in the composition, editing, and perfectly pitched humane performances (including Catherine Deneuve and Benoit Magimel at their compassionate best). "
Louder Than Bombs (2016)
"Norwegian director Joachim Trier makes his first American film with Louder than Bombs, but shows off the same morose affectations as in his previous work, Reprise and Oslo, August 31st (a not bad but still lesser update of Louis Malle's The Fire Within). "
I Saw the Light (2016)
"Abraham ignores cultural specifics that could illuminate the society that produced a figure like Hiram King Williams, who enjoyed his cultural heritage and took his masculine freedom as brazenly as Miles Davis did. "
Miles Ahead (2016)
"Miles Ahead is held together by Cheadle's regard for its subject, which clearly emboldened him, as a first-time director, to attempt filmmaking as complex and original as Davis's musical compositions and improvisation. "
"In this age of petty Marvels, most comic-book movies merely perpetrate fantasies of power, but Snyder, enacting his personal aesthetic, braves a film that examines those fantasies. He boldly challenges popular culture's current decay. "
Tricked (Steekspel) (2016)
Eddie The Eagle (2016)
Knight of Cups (2016)
Midnight Special (2016)
"Yes, it's claptrap, but not entirely dismissable, because of Nichols's compelling grasp of two authentic aspects of American experience: the parochial white South and our continued indulgence of the youth cult. "
Me Him Her (2016)
The Brothers Grimsby (2016)
"Cohen's burlesque (raunchy sex gags so blatant they're surreal) is his most hilarious and effective mode, but half-jokes about government surveillance expose a double standard; he's either politically ignorant or dishonest. "
American Beauty (1999)
I, Robot (2004)
The Terminal (2004)
Washington Heights (2002)