Tragically and fashionably, The Crow turned superhero cinema into a death dance

The Crow is so weighed down with eerie, tragic coincidence that it’s almost hard to look at it as a real movie, rather than some mystic totem. Here we have a movie whose star, Brandon Lee, was killed in a freak on-set accident while filming his own character’s death. Lee’s father was, of course, Bruce Lee, a screen…

What four films define you? (No, really)

Sean O’Neal: This week, yet another movie-based personality quiz overtook Twitter—specifically, Film Twitter, that loosely defined consortium of critics, industry types, and eager film buffs united by their love of movies and making others feel bad about the movies they love. The “FilmStruck4” challenge was issued by …

Amy Schumer stars in I Feel Pretty, a high-concept rom-com with more product placements than laughs

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Amy Schumer plays yet another shallow New Yorker with self-esteem issues in I Feel Pretty, but it seems that with each starring role, the characters become more pitiful and the life lessons more corny. Here, the stand-up and TV sketch comedian is cast as Renee Bennett, a low-level employee at a world-famous luxury…

Houston, we have problems: A cinematic guide to what can go wrong in space

The study of space dates back millennia, long before the same ancient humans pondering the sun could fathom just how we’d get beyond our own stratosphere (and before the word “stratosphere” even existed). Science fiction stepped in to fill that void, with the literary works of Johannes Kepler, Mary Shelley, and Jules…

A theater hit, the horror anthology Ghost Stories fails to translate its scares to the big screen

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Adapted from their hit stage show, which played the West End in 2010 and 2011, Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s Ghost Stories pays homage to what was then a largely defunct mini-genre: the British omnibus horror movie. They were thinking of old-school chillers like Dead Of Night (1945), Black Sabbath (1963), and Asylum …

The director of The Artist turns in a shallow portrait of a film icon with Godard Mon Amour

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In the film canon, few figures enjoy a more divided reputation than the innovative Franco-Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard, an artist of discontinuities, contradictions, and quotations who has spent his nearly 60-year career in a one-sided dialogue with the rest of cinema. His accessible early films—a run that spans…

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Weekend Box Office: Rampage gives Dwayne Johnson something new to brag about 

It’s a true testament to Dwayne Johnson’s charisma that even when he’s being totally cocky, it still comes across as charming. (Even the official Doom twitter account played along when he shit-talked the movie on Twitter.) Now Johnson has something new to endearingly brag about on social media, as his new film Rampage

This Is Our Land draws gutsy drama from France’s right-wing resurgence, but whiffs where it matters

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Early in This Is Our Land, the latest effort from perpetually underrated French filmmaker Lucas Belvaux (The Trilogy, Rapt, Not My Type), a group of friends—all of them white—are enjoying a backyard barbecue when one of them makes a racist joke. Immediately, someone else calls him on it, insisting that such remarks…

A stoned Kirk Douglas fights Harvey Keitel and a robot in the weirdest Alien knockoff of the 1980s

Watch This offers movie recommendations inspired by new releases or premieres, or occasionally our own inscrutable whims. This week: With Ready Player One still flying the flag for beloved touchstones of the Reagan years, we’re looking back on some unsung gems from the 1980s—the movies from that decade that deserve…

Rampage is crazy violent for a movie sort of targeted toward kids

On this week’s episode of Film Club, A.V. Club film editor A.A. Dowd and staff critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky take a look at the latest Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson vehicle, Rampage, loosely based on the arcade game of the same name. The Rock stars as Davis, a primatologist whose best friend—an orphaned albino gorilla named…

Something Borrowed and the phenomenon of rom-coms that hate women

At its core, the romantic-comedy is about wish fulfillment. Individual films can subvert or comment on that idea in some way, but wish fulfillment is the basic template. That’s true of plenty of other film genres, too, notably sports dramas and superhero films, but rom-coms are unique because they’re the rare genre…