Michael Atkinson is a film reviewer for In These Times. He has written or edited many books, including Exile Cinema: Filmmakers at Work Beyond Hollywood (2008) and the mystery novels Hemingway Deadlights (2009) and Hemingway Cutthroat (2010). He blogs at Zero For Conduct.
Culture
Throwing Satire to the Wolf
Scorsese's latest is a romp through vicarious amorality.
Feature
American Hustle Has Nothing To Say (And That’s Okay)
David O. Russell is more about entertainment than statement, but his films still matter.
Culture
Straight Outta Juárez
A new documentary on narcocorrido, the gangsta rap that glorifies the Mexican drug trade.
Culture
The Beats Go On
Counter-culture badassery is back in Kill Your Darlings.
Culture
Silk Road Rage
Jia Zhangke's A Touch of Sin is a grotesque portrayal of modern-day China's struggle with corruption.
Culture
This Can’t Be Paradise
Dante gets an update in Austrian director Ulrich Seidl's provocative new films.
Culture
Tricky Dick’s Flicks
Before going to prison, three giddy Nixon staffers took reels of White House footage.
Culture
Psychonesia
Mass murderers reenact their crimes for fun in Joshua Oppenheimer's new documentary, The Act of Killing.
Culture
Tel Aviv Rorschach
The Attack, a tasteful thriller about a Palestinian suicide bombing, will please both sides of the divide. And that's its problem.
Feature
Robert Redford Doesn’t Know Which Way the Wind’s Blowing
Redford's 'political' film about '60s radicals, The Company You Keep, is anything but.
Culture
Upstream Color Reinvents Cinema
We've seen the future of film, and it's incomprehensible.
Viewpoint
Hollywood Is the Wrong Target
Entertainment isn't causing a culture of gun violence--we are.
Viewpoint
A Romanian Exorcism
Cristian Mungiu's film 'Beyond the Hills' will take your breath away.
Culture
‘Forget About Morality’
Two Oscar-nominated documentaries present footage of Israel and Palestine you'll never see on network TV.
Feature
Zero Nuance
Kathryn Bigelow’s “apolitical” film about bin Laden’s death might as well be a video game.
Culture
A Heathcliff We Haven’t Seen Before
Crafty casting turns Wuthering Heights into a love story haunted by the guilt and ghosts of slavery.
Culture
Tears of Gaza
A new documentary explores the Gaza War from the point of view of children.
Culture
There Will Be Blood ... and Movies
The evolution of our interaction with film
Feature
How to Create a Cult
In Kumaré, Vikram Gandhi sets out to determine whether a fake guru could be just as convincing as a “real” guru.
Culture
Arthritic Docs
Documentaries are everywhere, but they've become stale and clichéd.
Culture
I, Cyclops: Monocularity in a 3-D World
The future of cinema doesn't look good for the 700 million people who can't process 3-D films.
Culture
War and Popcorn
Serious war films are going extinct as Hollywood cranks out childish fantasies about heroism and violence.
Culture
Adam Curtis: Conspiracist of Long-Lost Facts
The BBC producer/director's brilliant oeuvre is nothing less than astonishing.
Culture
Lifting the Veil on Iranian Censors
With A Separation, Asghar Farhadi artfully subverts Iran's reactionary big-screen rules.
Culture
Required Viewing: 2011’s Top Political Films
From The Black Power Mixtape to Werner Herzog's Into the Abyss, here's what you need to watch now.
Culture
The Secrets, Lies and Elisions of J. Edgar
Clint Eastwood's biopic of the FBI Director inventively avoids the massive damage he inflicted.
Culture
George Clooney: The Man From Yesterday
Ides of March isn't great, but at least its director and star actually cares about politics, history and memory.
Culture
In Defense of Nostalgia
It's gotten a bum rap, but it's worth revisiting our collective history—and resisting the market's obsession with novelty.
Culture
Once Upon a Time in Mississippi
The Help proves, yet again, that Hollywood can't resist placing white people at the center of racial struggles.
Culture
Godard’s Oblique Socialism
The French director has never been dogmatic—he'd rather ask questions.
Culture
ELF’s Appetite for Destruction
The new documentary If a Tree Falls details the doomed saga of the Earth Liberation Front.
Culture
Atrocities Beyond Our Gates
City of Life and Death details the Rape of Nanking—and reminds us of the 20th century's widespread horrors.
Culture
Another Grunt’s-Eye View
Like Restrepo, the battle documentary Armadillo hyperfocuses on homegrown Everyboys. Not a good idea.
Culture
Chile’s One-Man Truth Commission
Patricio Guzmán's latest film extends his 35-year yowl of rage.
Culture
Meet Joe, the World’s Most Original Filmmaker
2011 has hardly begun, but Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is probably the year's best film.
Culture
Gareth Edwards’ Monstrous Realism
Monsters explores the frontier of Americans' privileges and presumptions.
Culture
Friend Your Day Away: The Anti-Social Network
The Social Network and Facebook are seriously overrated.
Culture
Get Angry: The Year’s 10 Best Political Docs
From Eliot Spitzer to Daniel Ellsberg, documentary filmmakers didn't lack engrossing subjects this year.
Culture
The Politics of a New Metropolis
Fritz Lang's newly expanded dystopian classic looks better than ever. Its vision of humanity? Not so much.
Culture
Reading Gandhi in Budrus
A new documentary illuminates the power of nonviolent protest in a Palestinian village opposing the West Bank barrier.
Culture
The Fog of Jihad
The Oath, now out on DVD, brilliantly explores the muddy battle lines between the U.S. and al Qaeda.
Culture
Once Upon a Time, in America…
The right has one fundamental advantage over its opponents: storytelling.
Culture
Todd Solondz’s Dystopia in Suburbia
In his sixth film, Life During Wartime, the film director offers another twisted modern fairy tale that revels in taboos.
Culture
Virtually Conservative
Most video games—in which you accumulate stuff and/or dominate the world—are the opposite of progressive.
Culture
Plight of the Living Dead
The strange longevity of George A. Romero's zombies.
Culture
Always Look on the Bright Side of Genocide
When did the Holocaust become morally ambiguous?
Culture
A Massacre in 3/4 Time
Waltz with Bashir is hallucinatory, relentless, and amazing.
Culture
Moore Than You or Me
Slacker Uprising offers nothing new, but it will be worth something if it affects November's election
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