The best music of 2019 so far

Just six months into a great year in music, we’ve seen strange, galactic records from R&B innovators Solange and Flying Lotus. In the crowded field of hip-hop, emerging talents like Denzel Curry, Little Simz, and Zelooperz have separated from the pack—not to mention Tierra Whack, whose five singles widened the view of…

Bill Murray and Adam Driver face the end-times in Jim Jarmusch’s lame zom-com The Dead Don’t Die

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It takes all of five minutes for Jim Jarmusch’s new movie, the half-assed horror-comedy The Dead Don’t Die, to place a vast stretch of ironic distance between itself and its audience. The film’s eponymous theme song, a tongue-in-cheek country-western ditty by Sturgill Simpson, has just rolled over the opening credits.…

June brings a Dark Phoenix, the Men In Black, and lots of living toys to theaters everywhere

So many movies, so little time. Every week brings a new crop of them, opening in multiplexes and arthouse theaters across the nation, and arriving in increasingly high volumes on streaming platforms like Netflix. How’s a voracious moviegoer to keep up? That’s where The A.V. Club comes in. The first week of every

Dark Phoenix turns one of the most celebrated arcs in all of comics into just another damn X-Men movie

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Magneto, played again by Michael Fassbender, shows up about halfway through Dark Phoenix, the latest and probably last movie featuring this particular big-screen iteration of the X-Men. The master of magnetism has given up the terrorist life, redirecting his energies (and powers) to the creation of a new mutant state,…

The big disaster of Cannes arrives, and it’s almost 4 mind- and ass-numbing hours of twerking

One party animal on screen tells another that “It’s the end of everything,” and I finally lose count of the number of films at this festival that have vocalized the fatalism of our time, the nagging feeling that we all may be hurtling toward a point of destructive conclusion. Uttered during one of the last screenings…

Bong Joon-ho drags class warfare off the Snowpiercer and into the world of ingenious farce

I’m not proud to admit it, but my heart sank a little last May when Cate Blanchett announced that Shoplifters, from Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu, was her jury’s choice for the best film in the Cannes competition lineup. Nothing against the movie—quite to the contrary, Shoplifters is wonderful, and wound up…

Quentin Tarantino fights the future in his funky, meandering, elegiac Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood

A few years ago, Quentin Tarantino announced, with typical stop-the-presses grandiosity, that he would officially stop making movies after completing his 10th feature. It remains to be seen if American cinema’s reigning rock-star auteur will make good on this early retirement plan, but the rationale behind it appears…

Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe catch lighthouse fever in a new nightmare from the director of The Witch

Controversy, like long lines and coffee breath, is inevitable at the Cannes Film Festival. Last year, Lars von Trier supplied the lions’ share of it, as is his wont. This year, it comes from Quentin Tarantino, who may or may not dramatize Sharon Tate’s murder in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (I’ll find out today,…

Terrence Malick returns to the past and scripted drama, but not to form, with A Hidden Life

Rejoice, for Terrence Malick has written a screenplay again. After nearly a decade spent cobbling together improvised memory poems like To The Wonder and Knight Of Cups, this great American director has returned to the blueprint of narrative filmmaking, ready to tell something like a straightforward story again. But A

Postwar drama and an unnerving spin on a sci-fi classic are the highlights of Cannes so far

One of the prevailing ironies of Cannes is that while the films that win prizes here (see the work of Loach, first name Ken) are often urgent pleas for equality, the festival itself runs on rigid hierarchy. There is, for one, the whole badge system, which divides the thousands invited to attend every year into…