All posts for the month September, 2013

Don Jon

Movie review by Greg Carlson In a famous line in Laura Mulvey’s influential “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” the film theorist writes, “In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness.” Joseph Gordon-Levitt, […]


Movie review by Greg Carlson Like Baran bo Odar’s “The Silence,” theatrically released this year in the United States, Denis Villeneuve’s “Prisoners” deploys a large ensemble cast and interwoven plot threads involving victims, police detectives, perpetrators, and the bereaved to examine moral relativism in a stomach-turning crime involving children. Both movies follow the rules of […]

The Spectacular Now

Movie review by Greg Carlson Observant and sincere, James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of Tim Tharp’s “The Spectacular Now” is quieter and more naturalistic than the recent version of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower, another novel-to-film coming of age story willing and eager to treat its teenage characters with sensitivity and respect. Both stories deal substantially […]


Movie review by Greg Carlson Next to the events that inspired it, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s “Blackfish” is the worst kind of public relations nightmare for marine park giant SeaWorld Entertainment. Systematically documenting and dismantling years of questionable practices and dubious assertions about orcas, the gripping film uses an array of footage, from degraded old television spots […]

Twenty Feet from Stardom

Movie review by Greg Carlson An engrossing and thoughtful look at the backup singers whose voices grace some of the most familiar recordings of popular music, “Twenty Feet from Stardom” is certainly a must-see for rock fans. Tracing the enormous and all too often unheralded contributions of the supremely talented vocalists whose job requirement more […]