December 18, 2014
Foxcatcher is one of the bleakest visions ever about the American Dream in a mainstream movie.
It's a gruelling, disspiriting ordeal. Audiences may be reluctant to stew in 134 minutes of bile. But Foxcatcher is instructiv ... more
December 11, 2014
When one has a powerful film experience, he has to get away from it for a while and let it settle.
Selma is a punch in the gut.
It's brutal, visceral, and it opens old wounds. It's a troubling film. But it's a tr ... more
December 6, 2014
The word surveillance has the letters "evil" in it.
At least metaphorically, Edward Snowden realized that illegal intrusion by the National Security Agency into private lives and confidential communications opened a Pandora's b ... more
|A Most Violent Year |
November 29, 2014
A Most Violent Year is the American Dream in winter.
Long ago the American Dream lost its spirituality and turned into the American Success Story.
In A Most Violent Year, set in 1981, Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) is try ... more
|The Imitation Game |
November 27, 2014
2014 may go down as the year the music kidnapped the movies.
Film after film this year is awash in music that tries to lead the audience by their ears.
It's as though directors - maybe the producers - don't trust th ... more
|American Sniper |
November 22, 2014
The old man is back.
And he's back with thoughtful, raging force.
Not only is 84-year old Clint Eastwood back in directing American Sniper, he's broken the mold and put it together again with renewed verve and vitali ... more
|The Theory of Everything |
November 16, 2014
The Theory of Everything is the laundry detergent version of the story of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde.
It is spanking clean and bright. But it washes away crucial reality.
This would be ok if it were a Life ... more
November 7, 2014
Whiplash should "wow" its audiences. It should have them leaving the theater with that word on their lips.
Whiplash is drum-pounding and heart-pounding. It's whip smart and full of emotional lashing. ... more
November 4, 2014
Interstellar is majestic and ridiculous.
I think I saw a kitchen sink flying through space. And I may have seen M. Night Shyamalan behind a planet.
Interstellar is the story of a family - plus some scientists and ... more
October 29, 2014
Birdman is molted and motley. It coos and screeches. It's one of those films that keeps prattling about the truth, but it deals with it falsely.
It smacks of pretension throughout.
It reminds me of the political ads on t ... more
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Tony Macklin is a freelance film critic. A current member of the Las Vegas Film Critics Society, he is a former film and literature professor at the University of Dayton, and the former editor of the filmcrit magazine Film Heritage. His articles and reviews have been most recently featured at Rotten Tomatoes and The Internet Movie Database, as well as in the Bright Lights Film Journal and The Fayetteville Free Weekly.
Tony's well-received book, Voices from the Set: The Film Heritage Interviews (2000), includes his 1970s interviews with Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Martin Scorsese, Alan Rudolph, Robert Altman, Sam Peckinpah, John Wayne, Edith Head, Stockard Channing, Richard Baskin, and others. It's an excellent read for anyone who loves film.
Since 1972, and in every decade since, Tony's picks for best films of all time have been included in the British Film Institute's Critics' Top 10 Poll. Published in BFI's international film magazine, Sight and Sound, the most recent Critics' Top 10 Poll was published in 2002.
Tony's votes are also included in the American Film Institute's lists of bests, including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Comedies, 100 Greatest Movies, and more.