“We were afraid of the void”: Claire Denis on working with Robert Pattinson and navigating High Life’s deep space

Claire Denis is one of the world’s greatest filmmakers, but don’t let her hear you say that. She’s not crazy about compliments, the publicist warns me in the lobby of the hotel, minutes before our interview is scheduled to begin. Denis has come to Chicago to talk about her new movie, the hypnotic science-fiction drama

The director of the Oscar-winning Son Of Saul dives back into the disturbing past with Sunset

B+

Three years ago, something rather extraordinary happened: A Holocaust drama won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. That in itself is nothing unusual, of course—when in doubt, while filling out your Oscar pool, always pick the movie involving Nazis (assuming there’s only one, that is), and you’ll rarely…

Yesterday is today is always in Christian Petzold's brilliantly baffling refugee thriller Transit

A-

The cognitive dissonance sets in early, maybe at the first sight of a car. We’re in Paris, that much is clear. Armed stormtroopers patrol the streets, setting up checkpoints, issuing a familiar demand: “Your papers, please.” A German man, Georg (Franz Rogowski), haunted and desperate, is fleeing a wave of fascism…

The director of The Lives Of Others goes back to the Cold War in the Oscar-nominated Never Look Away

C+

Dresden, in the mid-1930s. A precocious little boy and his beautiful young aunt follow a tour through an exhibit of “degenerate” artworks, taking in the paintings of Otto Dix and Wassily Kandinsky while their tour guide blathers on about the common man, real art in the Reich, and the like. Nazism is the status quo,…

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly hit career lows in the abysmally unfunny Holmes & Watson

F

We’ve been telling jokes about Sherlock Holmes since the beginning. The earliest send-ups of the world’s greatest detective appeared not long after Arthur Conan Doyle started publishing his stories about Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Dr. John Watson, in The Strand Magazine, and by the early decades of the 20th…

Christian Bale’s Dick Cheney impression is the only virtue of the glib, superficial Vice

C

Adam McKay’s Vice opens in 1963 in Casper, Wyoming, as the young, puffy, and whoopingly drunk Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) is about to be arrested for driving under the influence for the second time in a year. After losing his scholarship to Yale, he has returned to his hometown to work as a lineman for the local…

The best film scenes of 2018

As usual, there was no shortage of worthy contenders for The A.V. Club’s list of the best movie scenes of the year. Even flawed films can contain flashes of brilliance, the parts that shine more brightly than the whole. And of course, plenty of the year’s best movies worked on a micro and macro level, though not all…

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