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Roger Deakins

Unbroken Review

Unbroken Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) With Unbroken, Angelina Jolie mistakes heroic misery for rousing inspiration. What should be—and is, in book form—a fully formed and moving story about unparalleled hardship and the triumph of the human spirit falls oddly flat on the screen. It’s a decent enough movie with moments of emotional and plainly visual beauty, but […]

2014 Oscar Predictions: The Technical Categories

2014 Oscar Predictions: The Technical Categories

Click on over to my 2014 Oscar Predictions page to see everything I’m forecasting in the major categories. And check out my 2014 Oscar Predictions: Technical Categories page for projections in Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and more. Oscar talk always get serious for me when I start pondering the more technical categories. I’ve been […]

Prisoners Review

Prisoners Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Prisoners is the most tightly plotted 153-minute movie you’ll ever see. It’s a masterpiece of the crime genre that covers a lot of ground, but every crumb, clue, and detail dropped by director Denis Villeneuve and screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski is essential to its (murky-ish) resolution. Comparisons to films like Se7en and Zodiac […]

Skyfall Review

Skyfall Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Sumptuous and splendid, Skyfall takes James Bond in a whole new direction for his 23rd official big-screen adventure. Looking exclusively at the way the film concludes, one might think we’d gone back in time to the Bond of the 1960s, but what precedes it is very much a Sam Mendes character piece. […]

Revolutionary Road Review

Revolutionary Road Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Revolutionary Road is one of the most literary adaptations I’ve seen in some time. By that, I mean the film looks, sounds, and is structured as if it was directed by the source’s author Richard Yates, rather than Sam Mendes. That’s not a bad thing, per se. In fact, I think it […]

The Company Men Review

The Company Men Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) John Wells’ The Company Men is a film I wanted to like more than I actually did like it. Where 2009 masterpiece Up in the Air looked at mass firings from the corporate point-of-view, this film takes a look at the personal difficulties that come as a result of being fired. What […]

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 […]

The Big Lebowski Review

The Big Lebowski Review

RATING: (4 STARS) The Big Lebowski has to be one of the most absurd movies I’ve ever seen. It’s practically plotless. Its comedy is gleefully absurd. And it doesn’t once try to be something it’s not. As always, I admire the Coens for going so out there and not caring if they lose a majority […]

No Country for Old Men Review

No Country for Old Men Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Has there ever been a more unlikely Best Picture winner than No Country for Old Men? It’s a dark, somewhat cold picture that will confound your expectations at every turn. I’ve probably seen it about a dozen times, and I find something different to love about it each time—from the brilliant performances […]

The Hudsucker Proxy Review

The Hudsucker Proxy Review

RATING: (3 STARS) While The Hudsucker Proxy doesn’t quite reach the same level of insanity as the Coen Brothers’ earlier effort Raising Arizona, it certainly falls on the comedic side of their spectrum. What’s interesting about the film is that it’s relatively successful in two very different types of comedy—satire and screwball. The former is […]

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 […]

Barton Fink Review

Barton Fink Review

RATING: (2 STARS) Until watching Barton Fink, I honestly thought the Coens could do no wrong. I had never seen a film of theirs that I didn’t at least like or admire on some level. This one I just didn’t get, to be honest. The film spins its wheels for nearly two hours and in […]

True Grit (2010) Review

True Grit (2010) Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) If the Coen Brothers’ trademark is unpredictable and unexpected, True Grit is another solidly Coen-esque film. Why? Because it’s such a straight-forward well-told Western that we keep waiting around for some standard Coen twists and turns. But they don’t arrive. I didn’t have a problem with that per se, but it did […]