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Jim Ridley

Drink

Thirst: Park Chan-Wook's Take on Vampires

Finally, there’s a vampire movie worthy of the title The Hunger— even if it arrives under the more potable name Thirst. Carnal appetite, not a parched palate, is the accelerant that fuels this perverse, prankish and merrily anticlerical exercise in bloodletting from Park Chan-wook, the South Korean director whose films......
Dude

The Hangover: Vegas, Babies

What Fletch was to plaid-checked water-cooler wits in the ’80s, what National Lampoon’s Van Wilder was to college-bound douches at the dawn of Dubya, that’s what 2003’s Old School is to Gen-X frat rats — a secret-handshake movie. A shaggy, intermittently hilarious wish-fulfillment nightmare about sorta dissatisfied, sorta middle-aged dudesters......
Survival of the driest

Trouble the Water: Hard Rain

Hurricane Katrina may have driven off a large segment of New Orleans’ African-American population, the providers of much of the city’s character. But in one sense the deadly storm was a uniter, not a divider: Only three years ago, the devil wind brought together much of the country in contempt......
Off the reservation

Soul and the City: Kent Mackenzie's The Exiles

"The old people remember the past,” a narrator says early in The Exiles, over a prologue of Edward S. Curtis photographs — faces of aged Native Americans who may have had their lands taken away but not their history or memories. For the length of Kent Mackenzie’s 1961 feature, the......
Man on Wire

Towering Cinema

Part–caper movie, part–real-life superhero saga and entirely engrossing, James Marsh’s Man on Wire recounts in Rififi-like detail how a Parisian street performer and wire walker named Philippe Petit dodged cops, fought the elements and defied seemingly impossible logistics to pull off a feat of death-defying frivolity: an illegal, hastily rigged......
Monkey business

Harmony Korine's Singular and Sincere Mister Lonely

(Click to enlarge) Monkey business The third feature by Harmony Korine, once the reigning Man You Love to Hate of American indie cinema, is just as likely to confound audiences familiar with the director’s prankish rep: a bittersweet fable about faith, the end of innocence and the search for artistic......
"Hey

Son of Rambow: Young Blood

No adult has ever been able to codify what separates a good movie from a classic. In kid terms, though — those favored by Son of Rambow, a chipper tribute to the cinema as both supplier and repository of dreams — a good movie merely sends you bounding home from......
Shotgun; Credit: Rachel Worthen

Shannon’s Deal

Anyone who watched Michael Shannon pump Bug full of basket-case conviction, or steal Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead with couldn’t-give-a-fuck contempt, knows he’s one of the most formidable unsung actors working in American movies today. In this tense, lyrical and bone-spare slice-of-death drama by writer-director Jeff Nichols, Shannon gets......
Bad boys

Funny Games People Play

For the crime of obliterating high culture, for the crime of getting off on vicarious degradation — and, above all, for the crime of sitting through any movie that resembles the one he’s (re)made — Michael Haneke sentences you (me, us) to Funny Games. Scratch that: to a second fucking......

Rambo: Universal Soldier

A fourth Rambo? The question isn't why; it's what took him so long. Was America's avenging angel of meat just planning to sit out Fallujah and what we're cooking up for Iran and Syria? (Oops — pretend that last part was redacted.) Okay, sure, last time we saw John Rambo,......
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