The Prestige (Nolan, 2006) — 10 Years Later

A lot of movies show people trapped in hell; this one shows them constructing it. Read more

In Jackson Heights (Wiseman, 2015)

A modern masterpiece of quotidian urgency. Read more

2015 Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury Awards

The ten finalists are: About Elly, The Assassin, Brooklyn, Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, Inside Out, The Look of Silence; Love & Mercy, Spotlight, Stations of the Cross, and Timbuktu. Read more

Favorite 2015 Discoveries — Evan Cogswell’s List

This is not a top ten of 2015 list; it is a list of older movies that I watched for the first time this year. Read more

2015 Top Ten

I love movies. These are the ones I loved the most last year… Read more

Josh Wartel: My Year in Movies

At the start of 2015 I set out to watch 120 films and I met my goal. I’m at 135 and still have an opportunity to watch a few more before the College Football Playoff interferes. Without screeners and lots of time, I saw only a few dozen new releases. In fact, many of my favorite films of the year were not released in 2015 at all. So as I recap my highs and lows for the year, I remind everyone who complains about the current state of Hollywood that there is an ever growing storehouse of great films that are worth watching for the first time in 2016. Read more

The Hateful Eight (Tarantino, 2015)

I’ve mostly been a Tarantino fan, but even I can’t defend this… Read more

Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015)

As mimicry, it is good. As fan-service, it is serviceable. But it adds nothing to the underlying tapestry. Whatever pleasures are there are imported from other movies. The audience applauds when the actors enter, but that’s only out of respect for their past work. Could you imagine if J, K. Rowling did an eighth Harry Potter book and it was the next generation running through the same plot as the last? If Go Set A Watchmen had been about another trial of another African-American, a year later? Read more

The Big Short (McKay, 2015)

The Big Short is about people who got rich by short-selling credit default swaps–people who made obscene amounts of money by being able to accurately predict the suffering of others. That they themselves were not the root cause of the suffering makes it possible for us as viewers to not hate them; it doesn’t necessarily keep them–or Baum at least–from hating themselves. Read more

Kingdom of Heaven (Scott, 2005) — 10 Year Later

“No one has claim. All have claim.” Read more

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