A loud recommendation for All Quiet on the Western Front

Do we need another epic war movie in 2022? Yes, if it serves to strip away any sense that battlefields are about heroes or glory. All Quiet has always been about telling the truth, and this new German-made adaptation on Netflix is no exception.


0 Comments15 Minutes

Looking Closer All-Stars: Sarah Welch-Larson on The Rings of Power

Star-gazing, I'm highlighting Sarah Welch-Larson as the first Looking Closer "all-star" — a writer whose wisdom and wit set her apart as exceptional in guiding us to the best in art and culture. Here, she finds her way to insight about why Amazon's The Rings of Power is such a fascinating and frustrating show.


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Sinead O’Connor was right all along

It has taken three decades — 30 years to the month! — for the truth to come into focus. In the early '90s, Sinead O'Connor risked her career to speak truth to power. She was condemned by Christians, by pop culture, by almost everyone. And now we've seen her laments justified, her prophecies coming true. Here, thank God, is a movie that loves her and grieves for her.


0 Comments12 Minutes

Where Did My Community Go? Marcel the Shell Offers Insight at The Rabbit Room

After posting my initial review of Marcel the Shell With Shoes One here at Looking Closer, I've contributed a second consideration of the film (after seeing the film twice more) to the wonderful website hosted by my friends at The Rabbit Room.


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In Roger Michell’s final film*, Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren are in trouble with the law

Roger Michell's final film* is an endearing epilogue to an impressive career, but even the headliners Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren can't make this one memorable.


0 Comments7 Minutes

Mrs. Harris goes to the land of pure imagination

The great Leslie Manville proves that she can make even a cloying crowdpleaser like this worth watching. You might find this "power of positive thinking" fairy tale a blessed relief it is from the punishing darkness and violence of almost everything else this summer. (Or, if you're like me, you might find it too sticky sweet for its own good.)


0 Comments14 Minutes

Moretz is magnificent as the gremlin-fighting Maude

This isn't a one-woman show, but it's close: Chloë Grace Moretz gives this cartoonish action film a far stronger central performance than it needs, and that turns an otherwise forgettable action thriller into surprisingly compelling experience.


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Hilarity and hardship: an unforgettable Iranian road movie

The son of the great Jafar Panahi has become a promising filmmaker himself. Panah Panahi's first movie takes backroads that lead to laughs, surprises, and troubling revelations.


0 Comments12 Minutes

My multi-viewings of the year’s best multi-verse movie

A conversation between moviegoers Cravis Frankly and Jeffrey Overstreet about the most complicated and most exciting multi-verse movie of the year.


0 Comments22 Minutes

Making Marcel the Shell my new mentor…

Marcel is the kind of film that I suspect Jim Henson would have loved: It's childlike, playful, hopeful and wise — and all of this without ever stooping to sentimentality. Its characters seem to have been brought to life with patience, attention, and love. Just as I have learned more from Kermit the Frog about living a meaningful life than I have from most movie characters, I'm adopting Marcel as a mentor during dark times.


0 Comments21 Minutes