The Critics
September 20, 2021 Issue
Shades of Beckett in “Pass Over”
The first play to open on Broadway since the shutdown, about two down-and-out young Black men on a barren block, is a strange fit for the moment at hand.
By Vinson CunninghamSeptember 13, 2021
September 20, 2021 Issue
Guilt and Numbness in “The Card Counter”
Paul Schrader’s obsession with sin and redemption is palpable in a film starring Oscar Isaac as a veteran haunted by his experiences in the Iraq War, but against the strong moral backdrop the characters seem adrift.
By Anthony LaneSeptember 10, 2021
September 13, 2021 Issue
The Messy Introspection of Spike Lee’s “NYC Epicenters”
The original cut of the HBO documentary, which featured debunked 9/11 conspiracy theories, would have been a career-defining offense. And yet it may have inadvertently captured our collective psyche.
By Doreen St. FélixSeptember 6, 2021
September 13, 2021 Issue
A Cautionary Tale About Science Raises Uncomfortable Questions About Fiction
Benjamín Labatut’s Sebaldian “When We Cease to Understand the World” grapples with science’s moral quandaries, but what is real and what is imagined?
By Ruth FranklinSeptember 6, 2021
September 13, 2021 Issue
Briefly Noted
“The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois,” “Radiant Fugitives,” “Bolla,” and “Somebody Else Sold the World.”
September 6, 2021
September 13, 2021 Issue
Did Making the Rules of War Better Make the World Worse?
Why efforts to curb the cruelty of military force may have backfired.
By Dexter FilkinsSeptember 6, 2021
September 13, 2021 Issue
The Smell of Villainy Wafts Compellingly Through “Azor”
Set during Argentina’s Dirty War, Andreas Fontana’s remarkable début feature avoids overt horrors, preferring to coolly examine the inexhaustible human talent for averting one’s gaze.
By Anthony LaneSeptember 3, 2021
August 30, 2021 Issue
Is the Digital Age Costing Us Our Ability to Wander?
In a newly translated novel, “To Walk Alone in the Crowd,” the fate of the flâneur is at risk.
By Alejandro ChacoffAugust 23, 2021
August 30, 2021 Issue
Simone de Beauvoir’s Lost Novel of Early Love
Her passion for a doomed friend was so strong that Beauvoir wrote about it again and again.
By Merve EmreAugust 23, 2021
August 30, 2021 Issue
The Most Vital Conductor of Beethoven Is Ninety-four
Herbert Blomstedt’s readings deftly combine vigor and lyricism.
By Alex RossAugust 23, 2021
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