Aubrey Plaza leads a parade of bad taste and noir misfits in An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn

B-

To the extent that Jim Hosking’s cartoonishly grotesque characters can be called human, they paint an unflattering portrait of the species. They are dopes and bullies, middle-aged virgins and horndogs with bad hair, disgusting habits, ugly thrift-store clothes. The Greasy Strangler, his debut feature, pitched itself…

The writer-director of The Savages takes on an awkward subject in Private Life

B

The main characters of Tamara Jenkins’ Private Life, Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) and Richard (Paul Giamatti), are a fortysomething Manhattan couple who have spent a small fortune trying to have a baby—an obsession that their friends and relations liken to an addiction. She is a novelist who put off having kids for too long…

Hale County, This Morning, This Evening finds beauty in the small moments of black Southern life

B-

Hale County, Alabama, which has a population of just under 16,000, is best known as the subject of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, James Agee and Walker Evans’ classic and influential book about the white rural poor. One can presume that this fact played a role in the conception of RaMell Ross’ Hale County, This

Nicolas Cage takes a chainsaw to ’80s action cheese in the heavy-metal fantasia of Mandy

B

Panos Cosmatos knows his audience. But does he know anything else? Both of his films to date (Beyond The Black Rainbow, the new Mandy) have been exercises in psychotronic drag-ass, best appreciated by a certain kind of movie freak—the devotees of the church of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and Heavy Metal, in Mandy’s…

The shallow Hal skims the career of the director behind Harold And Maude and Being There

C

The story of Hal Ashby, the New Hollywood’s designated hippie, ended unhappily—a dispiriting 1980s comedown of forgotten features and high-profile legal problems before his death from cancer at the age of 59, having never made a comeback. But even in his ’70s heyday, Ashby cut an unlikely figure. He didn’t direct his…

BlacKkKlansman is Spike Lee’s best and most entertaining film in ages

On this week’s episode of Film Club, critics A.A. Dowd and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky sit down to discuss the latest from Spike Lee, which tells the bizarre true story of Ron Stallworth, a black detective for the Colorado Springs Police Department who infiltrates the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan by posing as a white…

Christopher Robin gives Winnie The Pooh and his furry friends the Hook treatment

On this week’s episode of Film Club, critics A.A. Dowd and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky take a look at Disney’s new live-action Christopher Robin, inspired by the Winnie The Pooh stories by A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard. In a Hook-esque twist, Christopher Robin follows a now grown-up, workaholic Christopher whose inner child…