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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson


2018’s films ranked

Fri Jun 15 2018, 10:55pm | comments off

I rank films on the fly as I see them for the 2018 awards year.

new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, from Wed Jun 13

Fri Jun 15 2018, 10:54pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.

movies by or about women opening US/Can from Fri Jun 15

Fri Jun 15 2018, 10:53pm | 0 comments

Animated Holly Hunter and Sarah Vowell battle supervillains; Madelyn Deutch battles the postcollege blues…

Eating Animals documentary review: where’s the beef (coming from)?

Fri Jun 15 2018, 10:38pm | 0 comments

The philosophical and the sentimental trump the practical in this exposé of factory farming that, while effective in showing us the horrors, offers only simplistic solutions.

new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, from Thu Jun 14

Fri Jun 15 2018, 05:56pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.

movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Thu Jun 14

Fri Jun 15 2018, 05:16pm | 0 comments

Toni Collette fights family demons; Sylvia Syms fights to stay with her husband; Mc Linn Da Quebrada fights bigotry.

The Happy Prince movie review: in the gutter, looking at the stars

Fri Jun 15 2018, 04:18pm | 1 comment

Writer, director, and star Rupert Everett’s labor of cinematic love, about the last years of Oscar Wilde, is a small wonder of contradictions: nightmarish yet sanguine, a bit sordid yet full of grace.

Ocean’s Eight movie review: revenge of the women

Thu Jun 14 2018, 10:27pm | 2 comments

Breezy fun that sticks a shiv into Hollywood’s — and the larger culture’s — disdain for women. Wonderfully subtle comic performances from a great cast having a ball make for a perfectly suitable light diversion from the world right now.

curated: Brie Larson wants more diverse film critics; white dudes unhappy

Thu Jun 14 2018, 02:18pm | 7 comments


Studio 54 documentary review: inside the velvet ropes

Wed Jun 13 2018, 11:07am | 0 comments

A hugely entertaining exploration of the mythology of the legendary nightclub as something truly worth celebrating, and a towering Scorsese-esque drama of the men who invented it brought down by hubris.

new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, US/Can, from Jun 12-15

Tue Jun 12 2018, 09:28pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.

new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, UK/Ire, from Jun 11-15

Tue Jun 12 2018, 08:56pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.

curated: even when women film critics exist, we’re ignored by gatekeepers

Mon Jun 11 2018, 06:46pm | 2 comments

The story of my life.

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist documentary review: counterculture’s wise elder woman

Sun Jun 10 2018, 04:25pm | 2 comments

There’s nothing fawning and plenty ironic about this essential first documentary to cover a major female fashion designer, a woman whose life is almost a perfect reflection of the trajectory of 20th-century feminism.

movies by or about women opening US/Can from Fri Jun 08

Fri Jun 08 2018, 10:08pm | 0 comments

Does every wide release in North America this week feature a female protagonist or female ensemble? Wow.

Half the Picture documentary review: a woman’s place is behind the camera (#SundanceLondon2018)

Fri Jun 08 2018, 08:07pm | 1 comment

Authoritative and insightful, this essential film gives much needed cultural breathing room to some remarkable Hollywood women to discuss how they are undermined or shut out entirely from the industry.

movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Wed Jun 06

Fri Jun 08 2018, 03:06pm | 0 comments

Bryce Dallas Howard revisits Jurassic Park. Zosia Mamet revisits an old relationship.

McQueen documentary review: the tragedy of the fashion provocateur

Fri Jun 08 2018, 01:47pm | 0 comments

There’s so much fresh air in this stunningly good biography that it feels like you’ve never encountered a rags-to-riches, tortured-artist story before. Not just for fashion lovers.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom movie review: back to Isla Nublar… again

Thu Jun 07 2018, 06:24pm | 7 comments

Hollywood finds a way. To keep telling the same stories over and over again, that is. There’s too much going on in Fallen Kingdom, and yet somehow not enough, either. Still: dinosaurs!

Hereditary movie review: the haunting is coming from inside the family (#SundanceLondon2018)

Tue Jun 05 2018, 02:40pm | 7 comments

The sinister ambiance has a terrible grace, but its raw and honest portrait of grief and guilt is ultimately diminished by the supernatural horror that is also at play.

curated: horrible “fans” hound Kelly Marie Tran off Instagram

Tue Jun 05 2018, 11:51am | 5 comments

Disgusting. How do these pathetic excuses for fans live with themselves?

movies by or about women opening US/Can from Fri Jun 01

Fri Jun 01 2018, 10:44pm | 0 comments

Shailene Woodley faces disaster at sea; Claire Danes confronts trouble at home; and more…

curated: Lando Calrissian, space vlogger

Fri Jun 01 2018, 05:47pm | 0 comments

I love this.

movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Fri Jun 01

Fri Jun 01 2018, 05:36pm | 0 comments

Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen are friskily inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey; and more…

A Kid Like Jake movie review: the kid is all right; the parents are freaking out

Fri Jun 01 2018, 04:10pm | 0 comments

A movie as generous and as nonjudgmental as its protagonists, as frustrated yet as gently questing as they are. Claire Danes and Jim Parsons are extraordinary.

My Generation documentary review: when London was swinging

Thu May 31 2018, 03:36pm | 4 comments

A brilliantly thrilling look back at the flowering of creativity and freethinking spirit of 1960s London, through the thoroughly charming perspective of Michael Caine.

curated: now I *really* want to see Lord & Miller’s Han Solo movie

Sun May 27 2018, 07:40pm | 4 comments

Whatever they shot… that footage exists somewhere.

dreaming of a female-gazey Han Solo movie…

Sun May 27 2018, 07:36pm | 5 comments

…maybe one directed by a woman who understands why we love this scoundrel.

thank the Maker, the Brian Daley Han Solo novels are available on Kindle

Sun May 27 2018, 06:53pm | 0 comments

I haven’t read these since I was a kid, but back in the day, they did fulfill my tween hankering for more Han Solo.

movies by or about women opening US/Can from Fri May 25

Fri May 25 2018, 06:23pm | 0 comments

Elle Fanning invents science fiction; Natalie Dormer overhears a murder; more…

movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Fri May 25

Fri May 25 2018, 05:05pm | 0 comments

Sheila Hancock climbs a mountain; Saara Chaudry becomes a boy; more…

The Breadwinner movie review: a daring girl’s adventure

Fri May 25 2018, 04:05pm | 1 comment

Beautiful and startling, bursting with both brutality and hope, this animated adventure is too intense for young children, but the brains and bravery of its young heroine will inspire older kids and adults alike.

Edie movie review: go scream it on the mountain

Fri May 25 2018, 01:28pm | 0 comments

This is no twee old-lady adventure. The magnificent Sheila Hancock crafts a portrait of elder womanhood as a tangy triumph of risk-taking over regret, and resolution over resignation.

curated: ‘Show Dogs’ gets recut following complaints it helps pedophiles

Fri May 25 2018, 12:36pm | 2 comments

The movie is still complete shit, and no one should see it.

Solo: A Star Wars Story movie review: where has our scoundrel gone?

Wed May 23 2018, 03:46pm | 88 comments

A Star Wars–flavored juice drink* of a movie (*contains 10% real juice) that tells us nothing of significance we didn’t already know about Han Solo, in an incarnation that lacks his essential charisma and precarious danger.

1945 movie review: a reckoning for the collaborators

Tue May 22 2018, 02:18pm | 0 comments

A quiet horror movie about grief and regret as spiritual possession, about rationalization and denial as immorality. We don’t tell ourselves stories that whisper, as this one does, The Nazis had help. We need to.

On Chesil Beach movie review: no sex, please, we’re British

Mon May 21 2018, 05:17pm | 1 comment

This stilted, utterly implausible film manages the astonishing feat of being both histrionic and monotonous at the same time, trolling us with absurd clichés, yet doing so with a quiet solemnity.

gendered abuse I have received

Mon May 21 2018, 10:12am | 166 comments

The misogynistic insults I’m getting in response to my review of Deadpool 2 are about as original as the movie itself…

movies by or about women opening US/Can from Fri May 18

Fri May 18 2018, 10:15pm | 0 comments

Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen read a book.

Show Dogs movie review: everything is awful

Fri May 18 2018, 09:11pm | 18 comments

Embarrassingly bad CGI; pratfalls; genital humor; denigration of cat ladies; horrible clichés and stereotypes. This is the cinematic equivalent of stepping in dog poop. You know, for kids!

movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Fri May 18

Fri May 18 2018, 08:03pm | 0 comments

Saoirse Ronan has trouble on her honeymoon; Laetitia Dosch has trouble with everything; plus, documentaries about women navigating personal and political strife.

Deadpool 2 movie review: kryptonite for superheroes

Fri May 18 2018, 04:34pm | 39 comments

This is the death of the comic-book movie. Or it should be. The savage, inhumane nihilism here says, Yup, comics haters are right: this is dangerous nonsense with no morality or redeeming qualities.

Jeune Femme (aka Montparnasse Bienvenüe) movie review: the heroine of her own life

Fri May 18 2018, 12:08pm | 0 comments

Laetitia Dosch burns with a passionate anxiety in French writer-director Léonor Serraille’s debut, a clever, wise, wildly unsentimental portrait of a woman learning how to be herself.

Saving Brinton documentary review: the man with a mission to rescue a slice of cinema history

Thu May 17 2018, 04:18pm | 1 comment

A charming tribute to one remarkably dedicated cinema fan and historian, and to his decades-long hard work to save an essential piece of the pop-culture past and cultivate its story for the future.

Revenge movie review: better served unhot

Tue May 15 2018, 01:01pm | 6 comments

This rape-revenge action horror is solid as pure grindhouse exploitation. But the rendering of its rage-fueled female protagonist is too salacious for this to ever be considered feminist.

curated: has the Internet killed cultural criticism?

Sat May 12 2018, 09:03pm | 14 comments

Signs point to yes.

is it wrong to see a ‘Quiet Place’ soundtrack album as wrong?

Sat May 12 2018, 02:31pm | 2 comments

I mean, ya gonna listen to the score to remind you how quiet the movie is?

movies by or about women opening US/Can from Fri May 11

Sat May 12 2018, 12:14am | 0 comments

Elisabeth Moss, Saoirse Ronan, Mare Winningham, and Annette Bening take on Chekhov; Gemma Arterton runs away from her family; and more…

movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Thu May 10

Fri May 11 2018, 11:13pm | 0 comments

A thriller about a real-life female Indian spy, a documentary about a Saudi woman who fights religious extremism, and more…

Anon movie review: brings a whole new meaning to ‘private eye’

Fri May 11 2018, 09:59pm | 0 comments

This sci-fi riff on the end of privacy is not as provocative as it would like to be, and its mystery completely falls apart in the end. But its visual worldbuilding is fascinating.

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