The Front Row
Richard Brody offers notes on blockbuster movies, independent films, and documentaries.
The Movie World’s Misplaced Worship of “The Swimming Pool”
American art-house cinema mistakes the film’s glamour and nostalgia for originality, leaving better movies unavailable.
By Richard BrodyAugust 23, 2021
“Passenger” Depicts the Holocaust from the Point of View of a Nazi Official
Andrzej Munk’s 1961 drama is one of the few fiction films about Nazi death camps that neither vulgarizes the subject nor presumes access to it.
By Richard BrodyAugust 20, 2021
“Respect” Gives Us an Aretha Franklin Without an Inner Life
Despite a reductive script, Jennifer Hudson’s performance nearly saves the movie.
By Richard BrodyAugust 18, 2021
Revisiting a Widely Derided Ingmar Bergman Film—Which Is Actually Among His Best
The disruptive presence of Elliott Gould in the Swedish director’s drama “The Touch” gave critics an easy target.
By Richard BrodyAugust 13, 2021
“Annette,” Reviewed: Leos Carax Is Limited by Adam Driver’s Star Power
Driver, playing a scandalous comedian, is front and center in this musical drama of male—and paternal—rage, but his role is strangely ambiguous.
By Richard BrodyAugust 11, 2021
What to Stream: “Bontoc Eulogy,” a Filipino Filmmaker’s Docu-Fiction About His Grandfathers’ Disappearances
Marlon Fuentes’s only feature to date relates his own family history to colonialism past and present.
By Richard BrodyAugust 5, 2021
“The Green Knight,” Reviewed: David Lowery’s Boldly Modern Revision of a Medieval Legend
Dev Patel stars as Sir Gawain in an Arthurian drama that reveals present-day delusions of masculinity and martial valor.
By Richard BrodyAugust 3, 2021
Revisiting “The Barefoot Contessa”: An Insider’s View of Hollywood Stardom and Its Painful Price
Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1954 drama features Humphrey Bogart and Ava Gardner in one of the great movies about filmmaking.
By Richard BrodyJuly 30, 2021
“Val,” Reviewed: A Val Kilmer Documentary Reveals Thwarted Hollywood Dreams
The actor, whose voice is impaired, reflects on the art of acting and evokes his own cinematic counterlife.
By Richard BrodyJuly 28, 2021
Roy Brooks’s “Understanding,” a Crucial Jazz Rediscovery in Sound and Sense
The first release of the drummer’s 1970 quintet recording displays the era’s key musical and political influences.
By Richard BrodyJuly 26, 2021
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