Elizabeth Debicki brings what passion she can to the banal biopic romance of Vita & Virginia


Taking on a role for which one of the world’s most famous actors has won an Oscar—not all that long ago, even—has to be mighty intimidating. Didn’t work out so well for Julianne Moore as the new Clarice Starling in Hannibal, but Moore eventually received a gold statuette of her own, and so may Elizabeth Debicki, one…

Shia LaBeouf and a talented newcomer help The Peanut Butter Falcon transcend its feel-good clichés


There’s a regrettable tendency in Hollywood to employ actors with Down syndrome either as harbingers of weirdness (see Lars von Trier’s miniseries The Kingdom) or as irrepressible life forces that are mostly around to remind uptight “normal” characters what’s really important. A smidgen of the latter can be found in

Louis Garrel is still handsome, and still stuck in his dad’s shadow, in the frivolous A Faithful Man


Children of celebrities often strive to dissociate themselves from Mom and/or Dad, sometimes even going so far as to take on a different name (as, say, Joe Hill did). They want to feel confident that any professional success they may achieve was fully earned rather than merely inherited. Not so with French…

Martin Scorsese digs up a lost Bob Dylan tour in the slippery Netflix concert film Rolling Thunder


In 1975, Bob Dylan, who’d just started touring again following an eight-year hiatus (ostensibly precipitated by his infamous motorcycle accident), decided to put together something a bit unconventional. Rather than simply play concerts, he’d headline a “revue,” accompanied by a rotating group of fellow musicians (Joan…

Shakespeare superfan Kenneth Branagh finally plays the Bard himself in the resonant All Is True


Kenneth Branagh has dedicated so much of his career to Shakespeare—directing and/or starring in adaptations of Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Hamlet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and As You Like It (and that’s just on screen)—that his decision to play the man himself feels not just right but inevitable. Of course,…

Werner Herzog lends his voice and brand, but little else, to the unilluminating Meeting Gorbachev


Werner Herzog has made himself such an effective brand name in documentary filmmaking that it’s become difficult not to approach some of his projects with a degree of cynicism. That’s not to suggest that he ever phones it in, exactly—Herzog is a man of almost boundless curiosity, capable of being genuinely, even…