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.”

Stanley Kauffmann Tribute: A Gentleman
October 09, 2013

The first time I met Stanley I had just started at The New Republic in the job of assistant literary editor, which has long entailed being the liaison between Stanley and the magazine. For several months I had spoken to him on the phone each week.

Arrival of an Artist
April 10, 1961
October 09, 2013

At last. Michelangelo Antonioni is an Italian director who has just made his seventh film and who is so highly esteemed abroad that there has already been an Antonioni Festival in London.

A New Spielberg; and Others.
December 10, 1993
October 09, 2013

Steven Spielberg has made his own Holocaust museum.