Author's posts

Tape

There are few modes of healing as cathartic as sharing one’s truth through the prism of art. It was the world of avant-garde theatre in New York that first enabled filmmaker Deborah Kampmeier to explore the abuse she endured while growing up in the South. Her first three movies center on heroines who share the …

Continue reading

Dosed

“Life’s like a movie, write your own ending.”—Kermit the Frog in “The Muppet Movie” (1979) This sneakily profound lyric kept echoing in my head throughout the entirety of “Dosed,” which opens with its first-time writer/director/editor Tyler Chandler asking his subject, Adrianne, how she wants their documentary to end. Had Chandler not intervened in the life …

Continue reading

#376 March 17, 2020

Matt writes: From Friday, March 6th, through Friday, March 13th, we celebrated Women Writers Week 2020 at RogerEbert.com by spotlighting the voices of our wonderful female writers, from our Assistant Editor Nell Minow and regular critics Monica Castillo, Tomris Laffly, Christy Lemire and Sheila O’Malley to such vital contributors as Allison Shoemaker, Whitney Spencer, Roxana Hadadi, …

Continue reading

#375 March 3, 2020

Matt writes: Ebertfest 2020, slated to run Wednesday, April 15th, through Saturday, April 18th, in Champaign, Illinois, has just announced its selections for opening and closing night. The festival will kick off with Francis Ford Coppola’s newly restored 1984 gem, “The Cotton Club Encore,” and close with Peter & Bobby Farrelly’s uproarious 1998 comedy, “There’s Something …

Continue reading

Making Impossible Movies Happen: Benh Zeitlin on Wendy

When Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) declares that she’s “The Man” in Benh Zeitlin’s Oscar-nominated 2012 debut feature, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” it doesn’t matter that she’s a six-year-old girl with a dying father and a submerged hometown. The sheer force of her determination, personality and indomitable strength make her unmistakably The Man in every sense, …

Continue reading

#374 February 18, 2020

Matt writes: For the third year in a row, I had the privilege of representing RogerEbert.com in the press room of the Academy Awards, and I got to experience firsthand the roars of elation that occurred when Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” became the first foreign language film to win Best Picture. You can read my complete …

Continue reading

We Are All Connected: Backstage at the 2020 Academy Awards

The collective groan that accompanied “Green Book”’s Best Picture win in last year’s Oscar press room was replaced with thunderous applause when Bong Joon-ho’s universally acclaimed South Korean masterwork “Parasite” became the first foreign film to earn the top honor during last night’s telecast of the 92nd Academy Awards. Upon arriving backstage with his wonderful …

Continue reading

#373 February 4, 2020

Matt writes: The 2020 Sundance Film Festival came to a close this past Sunday, and RogerEbert.com was there to cover all the highlights. Check out our official table of contents to skim through our complete line-up of dispatches penned by Brian Tallerico, Nick Allen, Carlos Aguilar, Monica Castillo, Robert Daniels and Tomris Laffly, as well …

Continue reading

Beanpole

Around and around the young woman goes, spinning in her green dress until she suddenly finds that she cannot stop. The carefree giggles that had rippled from her lips, harkening back to the innocence of her childhood, are replaced with labored breathing, as her frolicking movement gradually proves to be a desperate compulsion. As long …

Continue reading

SBIFF 2020: The Night, Mentors—Tony & Santi

The 35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), which kicked off January 15th and runs through Saturday, January 25th, recently held the world premiere of Iranian-American director Kourosh Ahari’s debut feature, “The Night,” a horror film that is downright eerie in its timeliness. In light of the reckless actions made by world leaders earlier this …

Continue reading

#372 January 21, 2020

Matt writes: With the Academy Awards just weeks away, there appears to be a quartet of front-runners emerging in the acting races: Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker” for Best Actor, Renée Zellweger in “Judy” for Best Actress, Brad Pitt in “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” for Best Supporting Actor and Laura Dern in “Marriage Story” for …

Continue reading

#371 January 7, 2020

Matt writes: One of the best-loved films of this year’s awards season is Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, Little Women. In addition to Tomris Laffly’s four-star review, make sure to check out Ally Johnson’s appreciation of filmmaker Gillian Armstrong (who helmed the beloved 1994 adaptation) as well as Katherine Tulich’s exclusive video …

Continue reading

Clemency

“I am invisible, understand, because people refuse to see me.” This excerpt from the prologue of Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel Invisible Man is mentioned during a seemingly inconsequential moment in Chinonye Chukwu’s sophomore feature effort, “Clemency,” yet its essence reverberates through every frame. 2019 has been filled with films about wrongly incarcerated men, from Destin …

Continue reading

A Choreographed Dance: Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Cairns, George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman on 1917

What made Alfred Hitchcock’s criminally underrated 1948 masterwork “Rope” so compelling wasn’t only the visual trickery it utilized to make the story of Leopold and Loeb-esque killers appear as if it unfolded largely in an unbroken take. It was the substance informing the style that kept the audience’s attention rapt, as the claustrophobic sequences mirrored …

Continue reading

#370 December 24, 2019

Matt writes: As the days of 2019 grow short, let’s take a look at the Best Films of 2019, as chosen by the writers at RogerEbert.com. Our combined list includes such celebrated titles as “Marriage Story,” “Parasite,” “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” and “The Irishman.” You can find all the individual lists submitted …

Continue reading

The Whole of Ourselves: Tim Blake Nelson and Karan Kendrick on Just Mercy

Just as the formidably accomplished lawyer Bryan Stevenson has a penchant for getting close to his clients, filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton and cinematographer Brett Pawlak keep their camera fixed on the expressions of their characters, allowing their faces to tell the story. The new screen adaptation of Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy, marks the fourth consecutive …

Continue reading

#369 December 10, 2019

Matt writes: With Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” being named the best film of 2019 by the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle soon after its Netflix debut over Thanksgiving weekend, let us take a closer look at this masterwork. Our contributor Max O’Connell took a deep dive into the film by …

Continue reading

Bring the Soul to Life: Oscar-Winning Editor Paul Hirsch on “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Star Wars” and His New Memoir

There’s a memorable scene in John Hughes’ 1986 comedy classic, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” where awe-struck teen Cameron (Alan Ruck) glances at George Seurat’s infamous 1884 painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” that still hangs to this day at the Art Institute of Chicago. The film cuts back and forth …

Continue reading

#368 November 26, 2019

Matt writes: With Thanksgiving just days away, let us revisit the holiday perennial that has emerged as one of the most beloved of all American films: John Hughes’ poignant 1987 comedy “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.” Though Roger liked it right out of the gate, awarding it three-and-a-half stars and reviewing it favorably on “Siskel & Ebert” …

Continue reading

When Lambs Become Lions

The frightening process by which a parasite becomes untethered from its soul has been explored by an unofficial trilogy of films in 2019. It began with Jordan Peele’s “Us,” continued on through Todd Phillips’ “Joker” and culminated in Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite,” all of which detail, with varying degrees of success, precisely why parasites tend …

Continue reading