The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Hollywood

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bostonians
Not every Merchant-Ivory film is a visually lush period drama based on novels by prestigious writers like E. M. Forster and Henry James, but the most memorable ones are, including The Europeans (1979), The Bostonians (1984), A Room with a View (1985), Maurice (1987), and Howards End (1992). Another in this vein is The Remains... Read More
697px-the_bridge_on_the_river_kwai_1958_us_poster_-_style_a
David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is not just a great film, it is a nearly perfect one. Even better, it was recognized as such from the start by virtually everyone. The critics lionized it and continue to include it on their “best” lists. The movie business showered it with prizes. Bridge... Read More
lawrencearabia
David Lean (1908–1991) directed sixteen movies, fully half of them classics, including three of the greatest films ever made: The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and, greatest of them all, Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Lawrence of Arabia is repeatedly ranked as one of the finest films of all time, and when... Read More
conanbarbarian
Over the years, I caught bits and pieces of John Milius’ 1982 movie Conan the Barbarian—starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the big lug himself—on cable TV. But I was never tempted to watch the whole film. I finally gave in when I started writing my series on Classics of Right-Wing Cinema, and friends urged me to... Read More
Michael Powell (1905–1990) is one of the tragic geniuses of film: a genius because he is one of the most visually dazzling directors in the history of cinema, tragic because he too often he wasted his talents on inferior scripts, most of them provided by his longtime collaborator, Emeric Pressburger, a Hungarian-Jewish refugee to whom... Read More
searchersjohnwayne
The Searchers (1956) has been acclaimed not just as one of John Ford’s greatest films, and not just as one of the greatest Westerns, but as one of the greatest films of all time. This praise is all the more surprising given that The Searchers is a profoundly illiberal and even “racist” movie, which means... Read More
clockworkorangefilm
For years now, readers have been urging me to review Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971), which adapts Anthony Burgess’ 1962 novel of the same name. I have resisted, because although A Clockwork Orange is often hailed as a classic, I thought it was dumb, distasteful, and highly overrated, so I didn’t want to watch... Read More
the_man_who_shot_liberty_valance_1962_poster
John Ford’s last great film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) enjoys the status of a classic. I find it a deeply flawed, grating, and often ridiculous film that is nonetheless redeemed both by raising intellectually deep issues and by an emotionally powerful ending that seems to come out of nowhere. The stars of... Read More
americanhistoryx
Director Tony Kaye’s anti-skinhead morality tale American History X (1998) is proof that propaganda is far from an exact science. Just as Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket caused a surge in Marine recruitment, American History X actually increases audience sympathies with neo-Nazi skinheads, despite its best efforts to present them as hateful hypocrites and losers.... Read More
magnumforce
Deconstructing a Hero
Dirty Harry (1971) is a compelling neo-noir thriller about San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), who is increasingly forced to choose between liberal legal norms and bringing a sadistic serial killer known as Scorpio to justice. Once Harry kills Scorpio, the movie ends with him throwing away his badge, symbolizing a momentous decision.... Read More
dirty-harry
Dirty Harry (1971), directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint Eastwood as San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan, is a classic of Right-wing cinema. Dirty Harry was hugely popular with moviegoers, spawning four sequels and a whole genre of films about tough cops whose hands are tied by the system and are forced to go... Read More
David Lynch’s second feature film, The Elephant Man (1980), is one of his finest works. In many ways, The Elephant Man is Lynch’s most conventional “Hollywood” film. (Dune too is a “Hollywood” film, but a failed one.) The cast of The Elephant Man is quite distinguished, including John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Sir John Gielgud, Dame... Read More
taxi_driver_movie_poster_wikicommons_0
It began with Dylann Roof. Since then, the Molotov cocktail of autism, inceldom (involuntary celibacy), gallantry, vengeance, and mass murder has exploded with such regularity that I keep dusting off a boilerplate article to condemn it whenever the perpetrators are connected with White Nationalism. But even with Roof’s case, I felt that I had seen... Read More
Since my pre-review based on the first trailer of Denis Villeneuve’s much-anticipated and much-postponed Dune got a good discussion going, I decided to do the same with the equally-hyped, equally-postponed Bond movie No Time to Die. Everybody has a time to die, including James Bond. Bond has cheated death countless times, but this time his... Read More
David Lynch’s 1992 movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me is his prequel to the Twin Peaks series, which ran on ABC from 1990 to 1991. Fire Walk with Me was a flop with critics and moviegoers, except in Japan. This is unjust, because Fire Walk with Me is a very fine movie. I won’t... Read More
I feel like I grew up in Twin Peaks, the fictional Washington logging town that gave its name to David Lynch’s iconic TV series, which aired on ABC from the spring of 1990 to the spring of 1991. Twin Peaks has one of the best pilots in television history, which was followed by an abbreviated... Read More
dunepreview
If movies can have previews, why can’t movie critics release “pre-reviews”? I ask because September 9th was the release date of the first trailer for the first half of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Dune is one of the most-anticipated movies of 2020. Trailers can build up a lot of excitement for a... Read More
Yukio Mishima’s 1963 novel The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea is one of his darkest works. Set in post-War Yokohama, it is the story of Fusako Kuroda, a thirty-three-year-old widow who runs a boutique selling Western luxury goods, and her thirteen-year-old son Noboru Kuroda. (See Alex Graham’s discussion of the novel here)... Read More
Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite living filmmakers. Tenet is Nolan’s new sci-fi espionage thriller, highly imaginative and visually striking. Tenet was filmed on locations in Denmark, Estonia, India, Italy, Norway, and the UK, and its cast includes Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh. But Tenet is not Nolan’s best work,... Read More
When I saw Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, I was convinced that David Lynch is an essentially conservative and religious filmmaker, with a populist and mystical bent. Arguing that thesis was an uphill battle as his work got increasingly dark in the nineties. Many people interpreted Lynch’s portrayals of quirky, salt-of-the-Earth white Americans as parody,... Read More
fightclubposter
What’s philosophical about Fight Club? Fight Club belongs alongside Network and Pulp Fiction in an End of History film festival, because it beautifully illustrates ideas about human nature, history, and culture from Hegel and Nietzsche—especially as read through the lenses of Alexandre Kojève and Georges Bataille. Prehistoric society is relatively egalitarian and focuses on the... Read More
Twelve Monkeys (1995) is Terry Gilliam’s last great movie. It is a masterful work of dystopian science fiction, with a highly imaginative plot, a tight and literate script, fantastic steampunkish sets and props, and compelling performances from Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, and Madeline Stowe. Gilliam is usually far too ironic and self-conscious to deliver emotionally... Read More
networkimage
Written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet, Network (1976) is a sardonic, dark-comic satire of America at the very moment that its trajectory of decline became apparent (to perceptive eyes, at least). Network has an outstanding script and incandescent performances, which were duly recognized. Chayefsky won the Oscar for Best Screenplay. Peter Finch... Read More
In 2010, Christopher Nolan released Inception, one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. It is stunningly artful and imaginative, as well as dramatically gripping and emotionally powerful. (See my review here). Then, four years later, Nolan released Interstellar, which is almost as good. It may seem silly not to want to “spoil”... Read More
John Huston’s Wise Blood (1979) is one of his lesser-known films, but it deserves a wider audience. Based on Flannery O’Connor’s 1952 novel of the same name, Wise Blood is the most faithful screen adaptation I have ever seen, largely because the screenwriter truly loved and understood the source material. The script was written by... Read More
p24479_v_v8_ad
Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) has been one of my favorite films since I saw it on the big screen while living in darkest Atlanta. A few years later, post-red pill, I bought the DVD and was struck anew at the brilliance of the script, performances, and direction. But I was also struck... Read More
Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen is his best movie since his first two feature films, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000), largely because it is a gentrified return to their crime caper format. Ritchie at his best is a kind of British Quentin Tarantino, with his underworld settings, non-linear storytelling, colorful and... Read More
richardjewellfilm
2019 was the year of the “frustrated-white-loser-living-at- home-with-his-mom” movie. First there was Todd Phillips’ Joker, an origin story of Batman’s most memorable nemesis, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the clown himself. Then came Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell, the true story of a Georgia security guard who discovered the Centennial Olympic Park bomb in 1996. Jewell alerted... Read More
Ad Astra (2019), starring Brad Pitt and directed by James Gray, is the best science fiction movie since Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar (2014). Like Interstellar, Ad Astra is visually striking and emotionally powerful, stimulating to both thought and imagination, and unfolds at a leisurely pace—all traits inviting comparisons to Kubrick and Tarkovsky, although I hasten to... Read More
star-wars-rise-of-skywalker-leaks-theories-spoilers
In memory of Raven. Even I didn’t expect Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to be this bad. It is simply a terrible movie: derivative, incoherent, arbitrary, superficial, and deeply boring and uninvolving—despite, or maybe because of, the frenetic action sequences, dazzling duels, and effects so special they’ll leave carbon scoring on your eyeballs. The... Read More
starwarshelmet
“Help us, Dave Filoni. You’re our only hope.”
On December 20th, J. J. “Death Star” Abrams and Disney Corp. will complete the destruction of the Star Wars saga that many of us have loved since childhood, while raking in untold millions by cynically exploiting nostalgia for the mythos they are desecrating. So pass the popcorn, because I’ll be right there, dear readers, to... Read More