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Frances McDormand

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Review

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Review

RATING: (3 STARS) There’s a lot one could say about Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, but “You’re an inanimate fucking object!” is not among them. That iconic quote from McDonagh’s debut, In Bruges, could be at home in the profane and fired-up Three Billboards, but it hardly describes this frantic, frenetic film about […]

Promised Land Review

Promised Land Review

RATING: (3 STARS) When it comes to an issue like fracking, it’s hard to find middle ground. Those in favor of it cite the need to source energy more locally, while the anti-fracking crowd has Gasland and flaming water (among other things) to prove its points. Gus Van Sant‘s latest film, Promised Land, is ostensibly […]

Moonrise Kingdom Review

Moonrise Kingdom Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Moonrise Kingdom opens with a shot of an immaculately tidy room in a quaint, old-fashioned home on the New England coast. Suddenly, the camera pans right on the perfectly straight line to another such room, with three similarly—and oddly—dressed boys. They play a symphonic record and sit down in perfect symmetry. It […]

Transformers: Dark of the Moon Review

Transformers: Dark of the Moon Review

RATING: (1.5 STARS) Oh, Michael Bay. You fooled me again. Here I am thinking Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the third film in a franchise I’ve despised to this point, might be some mindless fun. After all, reviews weren’t quite as savage this time around. But no, this film is basically a carbon copy of […]

The Man Who Wasn’t There Review

The Man Who Wasn’t There Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The Man Who Wasn’t There is a deliciously offbeat, darkly comic noir that could only come from the minds of Joel and Ethan Coen. The story’s twists are painfully clever, and its performances are nearly perfect. It’s a little long-winded, which prevents it from being among Fargo and No Country for Old […]

Burn After Reading Review

Burn After Reading Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) There are two types of Coen Brothers films—ones that examine human nature and consequence and others that are just utterly absurd. Burn After Reading, like The Big Lebowski and Raising Arizona, falls squarely into the latter category. It’s a film about incomprehensibly dumb people doing incomprehensibly dumb things. None of it makes […]

Fargo Review

Fargo Review

RATING: (4 STARS) It really doesn’t get much better than Fargo. The Coen Brothers’ films are all special in their own way (even if they aren’t entirely successful, like in the case of Barton Fink), but this one is just magical. It’s relatively simple and straightforward for a Coen film, but it touches on the […]

Raising Arizona Review

Raising Arizona Review

RATING: (3 STARS) If Blood Simple was our introduction to Joel and Ethan Coen as smart, talented filmmakers, Raising Arizona is our introduction to them as crazy geniuses. At times, the comedy is laid on a little thick, but for the most part, this is a fantastically fun and breezy ride and a total departure […]

Blood Simple Review

Blood Simple Review

RATING: (3 STARS) The Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple is about as assured a directorial debut as I’ve ever seen. It’s a film noir very reminiscent of classics like Double Indemnity, but it has a tone that’s all its own. It’s a quiet film—one that relies a lot on atmosphere to build suspense. But I have […]