Two brawny, male-focused war thrillers, ‘Dunkirk’ and Fox’s ‘Apes’ finale capture an excitingly tense same-sex psychological intimacy.
Author Archive | Lena Houst
A sharp, yet chaotic, black comedy, Marianna Palka’s ‘Bitch’ is more bewildering for its feminist critique than for its feebly dominant characters.
Wrenching, gorgeous and often suffocating, Andrew Dosunmu’s ‘Where is Kyra’ is a brutalizing descent into hopeless poverty.
Formally exquisite, yet disarmingly soulful, Kogonada’s ‘Columbus’ is lovely, lyrical film about how art makes us at once richer and smaller.
A serene and sublime dual character study, ‘Princess Cyd’ turns queer coming-of-age into a profoundly empathetic, naturalistic fairy tale.
An oblique journey into the wilderness of young masculine rage, ‘The Strange Ones’ struggles to resonate beyond its unnervingly disciplined craft.
Sadly scooped up by Netflix, ‘The Incredible Jessica James’ is a warm, enthusiastic Jessica Williams showcase that deserves a big screen spotlight.
Schmaltzy, stilted and winningly inclusive, Jennifer Reeder’s ‘Signature Move’ is a charming, if messy, wrestling-fueled rom-com.
A modern noir classic about suffocating celebrity, Aaron Katz’s ‘Gemini’ is as humanely funny a comedy as it is a strikingly stylized thriller.
Ten years after its release, Lena makes her case for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End’ as Gore Verbinski’s grandest romantic opus.
Stereotyped and overlooked upon its release, Lena takes another look at Craig Brewer’s sweaty, sexy slab of southern swamp pulp, ‘Black Snake Moan’.
In the aftermath of a… surprising 2017 Oscar ceremony, we look at and rank every film honored just by being nominees.
Merhdad’s Oskouei’s ‘Starless Dreams’ brings intimacy and morally challenging perspective to an Iranian Juvenile Detention Center for girls.
In a tumultuous and sobering year, Lena’s Top Ten films give voice to both the ecstatic highs and devastating lows the best cinema brings out in us.
The thing that I await and adore obsessively every year is here once again, a time-honored tradition that I can rely on every year to lift my spirits. Yes, it’s David Ehrlich’s annual Top 25 countdown video, a reliably surprising and disarming time capsule of yet another year in film. You may not have known […]
‘Manchester by the Sea’ & ‘Moonlight’ split the focus of the New York Film Critics Circle’s awards winners, while ‘La La Land’ & Isabelle Huppert stood out.
A heart-stopping group portrait, ’20th Century Women’ is a bittersweet existential triumph, expanding coming-of-age for every generation.
Ava DuVernay’s ’13th’ is an urgent, vital testament of black history; ‘Manchester by the Sea’, a devastating dramedy of grief. Our latest dispatch from New York Film Festival.
Our first dispatch from the 2016 New York Film Festival, Lena digs into the fragile and lunatic delights of Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Paterson’ and Joao Pedro Rodrigues’ ‘The Ornithologist’.
As Telluride by the Sea kicks off, Damien Chazelle’s Los Angeles musical ‘La La Land’ casts a kaleidoscopic spell that never lets go.