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The botched bank robbery is a well-worn genre staple, but has ever a heist gone quite so wrong to quite such electric, propulsive effect as in Josh and Benny Safdie‘s “Good Time“? Bouncing wildly off the screen like “Crank” with an arthouse pulse and the soulful eyes of a particularly loyal puppy, it’s a feat of sonic, visual and narrative engineering that confirms the Safdies’ arrival, after “Heaven Knows What,” as the beat filmmakers of the millennial generation. Continue reading Josh & Benny Safdie’s Electrifying & Energetic ‘Good Time’ With Robert Pattinson [Cannes Review] at The Playlist.

Netflix has had no difficulty (thanks to their pots and pots of cash) in attracting big names to the streaming service. They convinced Kevin Spacey and David Fincher to enter the TV world, they’ve virtually monopolized the stand-up comedy circuit, and they’ve made two deals with Adam Sandler to make a total of eight movies. But this Friday sees probably the biggest A-lister they’ve yet attracted, with David Michôd’s dark satire “War Machine,” starring none other than Brad Pitt. Continue reading The 20 Best Brad Pitt Movies at The Playlist.

The greatest favor you can do Sofia Coppola‘s “The Beguiled,” and yourself before you watch it, is to put all thoughts of Don Siegel‘s 1971 Clint Eastwood-starrer of the same name from your mind. As a standalone film, Coppola’s version abounds in pleasures: from the starry cast (at least four of whom almost coincidentally seem to be hitting their career-best strides at exactly the same moment) to Philippe Le Sourd‘s cinematography, all misty woods, dangling creepers and softly sparkling candlelit interiors. Continue reading Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Beguiled’ With Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell & Kirsten Dunst [Cannes Review] at The Playlist.

In the peak TV era, much of the attention has gone to the drama shows — the dark, morally complex, violence-filled series like “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” “Game Of Thrones,” “Fargo” and many more. But that’s only half the story. While they might not fuel thinkpieces and fan theories in the same way, we’re in a golden age of small-screen comedy, as this month has demonstrated: the excellent “Master Of None” and “I Love Dick,” and the wonderful “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” have all recently landed. Continue reading The 50 Best TV Comedies Of All Time at The Playlist.

You’ve heard the refrain from filmmakers before: making a movie is like going off to war. The director leads the troops, his actors are soldiers on the battlefield, and everyone leaves their loved ones behind for months. The crucial key to the battle plan is a vision and the unswerving belief in that ideal in the face of all odds and obstacles. For filmmakers, faith in what you’re doing — as you take the plunge and jump off the cliff to make a movie — is everything. Continue reading Failure To Launch: ‘War Machine’ Starring Brad Pitt Is A Major Misfire [Review] at The Playlist.

An expensive, over-the-top “adaptation” of a theme park ride, Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” seemed all but doomed to fail in 2003. The knives were out, the critics were skeptical, and the idea of story cobbled out of kiddie ride seemed preposterous. Astonishingly, and against all odds, director Gore Verbinski invigorated the often-dismissed pirate genre, with a cavalier spirit and rollicking, cartoonish exuberance. Add the surprisingly inspired performance by Johnny Depp as the almost immediately iconic Jack Sparrow and the result was swashbuckling entertainment with a capital E. Continue reading ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ Is A Tedious, Rudderless Blockbuster Sequel [Review] at The Playlist.

Maybe the second or third shot in Yorgos Lanthimos‘ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is of a hospital waste bin, over which Colin Farrell, as heart surgeon Steven Murphy, peels off his bloodied latex gloves post-surgery. Now, if you hold simultaneously in your head the established ideas of the surgeon-as-God and the director-as-God, then that suggests the surgeon equates to the director, and gives us a neat metaphor: “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is Lanthimos with the gloves off, and it makes the absurd, amazing “The Lobster” seem like a warm and cuddly experience by comparison. Continue reading Yorgos Lanthimos’ Ice-Blooded, Brilliant ‘The Killing Of A Sacred Deer’ With Colin Farrell & Nicole Kidman [Cannes Review] at The Playlist.

This “review” will cover the first two episodes of “Twin Peaks” that aired last night, May 21. **Spoilers ahead.** I’ll see you in 25 years,” were the last words Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) spoke to Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in the season two finale of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” back in 1991. Continue reading ‘Twin Peaks’ Returns And It’s Freakishly The Same & Arrestingly Different [Review] at The Playlist.

Shutting the blinds on the warmth that shined through his previous critically-lauded opus “Amour,” Austrian arthouse maestro Michael Haneke is back to doing what he does best: peeling the decadent, bourgeois layers off the European upper class to uncover its festering core full of lies, deceit and misery. The director’s immaculate compositions and sui generis brand of thematic depth suspend “Happy End” with the violent undertones of a high-strung piano wire, creating a nourishing cerebral treat that will nestles itself in the back of the mind to grow forevermore as yet another brilliant entry filmmaker’s intimidating catalog. Continue reading Michael Haneke’s ‘Happy End’ Is Austere, Darkly Comic & Stunning Cinema [Cannes Review] at The Playlist.

Welcome back to the Bingeworthy Breakdown, the feature where we ask ourselves if a show is worth watching or not. For the new Amazon show “I Love Dick,” the answer is a resounding “Yes,” which perhaps is all you need to know, especially if you love creator Jill Soloway‘s Emmy-winning “Transparent” (which you should, given that it’s been in our top 5 for the best TV shows of the year for three years running, including last year). Continue reading Jill Soloway’s ‘I Love Dick’ Is A Tremendous Mix Of Feminism, Desire & Art [Bingeworthy Breakdown] at The Playlist.