Appalachia Used to Be Simply Scary. Now Its Hipness Is Frightening.
November 05, 2013

For four decades Ned Beatty has been the unofficial spokesmodel of Appalachian tourism.

Naomi Watts Takes On the Insufferable Cult of Diana
November 01, 2013

"The film is so vague, so fuzzily adoring, that it ultimately tells us far more about the annoying endurance of the cult of Diana than it does about the princess herself."

Cormac McCarthy's Disastrous Hollywood Debut
October 23, 2013

Making a film is so hard. Sometimes you wish it had been impossible.

Why Can't Critics Deal With Films About Slavery?
October 22, 2013

Last week, I saw 12 Years a Slave and thought it was absolutely superb. For this reason, and because it concerns arguably the most important aspect of American history, I have been seeking out commentary about the film.

I Was a Character in The Fifth Estate—Here's What the Wikileaks Film Got Right and Wrong
Geeks versus the government
October 17, 2013

This piece originally appeared on’s get the personal bit out of the way. How did Peter Capaldi do?

The World Needs More Wes Andersons
October 17, 2013

The trailer for director Wes Anderson’s next movie, due out in 2014 and called The Grand Budapest Hotel, came out Thursday. It features harpsichord-esque background music, a madcap plot, impish hipster humor made funnier by contrast to its opulent su

Editorially Infallible: A Tribute to Stanley Kauffmann
October 10, 2013

I started working with Stanley at The New Republic in 1978, when I was twenty-four and he was sixty-two. The best part of my job was proofreading his reviews. It involved no work, since we both regarded him as editorially infallible.

'Captain Phillips' Will Pummel You Into Submission
You won't even notice Tom Hanks's awful Boston accent
October 10, 2013

Paul Greengrass could make the most mundane human activity—slouching in a work cubicle, napping in a hammock—feel dramatic.

Donald Rumsfeld Is Finally Under Interrogation
“The Unknown Known”: The scope and limits of documentary
October 10, 2013

As an investigation, The Unknown Known adds little to our memory of Rumsfeld’s press conferences and his lugubrious ruminations over what words meant. The marvel of the film (and of other Morris projects) is the cold lucidity of the light in undeviating close-up on the “witness.”