Our Exposition columns offer informed, compelling takes on issues around the movies, from opinions about the topics driving films today to reconsiderations of the movies of yesteryear.
by Andreas Stoehr
There’s a long tradition of cisgender actors playing transgender roles—often to great acclaim. But trans actors have started to make waves on television, and a winning comedy could help change things in movies, too.
On every level of calculation, the film is about servicing women’s sexuality; it’s an open, repeated plot point. But the film has some strange, sticky ideas about what turns women on.
Several Pixar films have already addressed the poignancy of childhood’s end. But in Inside Out, the studio gets brutally honest about coming of age.
Is Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s film as blinkered as its critics claim? One writer’s recent personal history leads him to suggest otherwise.
The latest Jurassic Park sequel splices together strands from many different sorts of blockbusters. But is it the sort of hybrid that can thrive?
As the wave of endless Twilight and Superbad rip-offs recedes, it’s being replaced with wave of movies that address real teen issues with respect and interest.
Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park has long been established as a modern blockbuster classic. But could a better version have been built by James Cameron?
Doug Ellin’s Entourage began as a Hollywood satire. Eight seasons and one obnoxious movie later, it’s become worse than what it once mocked.
Mad Max: Fury Road strongly ties its desert to the lives of the women who live there, making it part of a long tradition of wasteland stories linked to gender in complicated ways.
Poltergeist is just the latest reincarnation of a classic horror film that gets the notes right while missing the music.
As Aloha proves, the writer-director’s continuing devotion to a certain type of hero isn’t doing him any favors.
Brad Bird’s new film claims people used to love the future and look forward to it with shiny, unblemished optimism. But a quick survey of film history suggests that’s a convenient lie.
In 2005, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith disappointed older fans. But it also created enthusiastic new ones. Ten years later, the finale of the prequel trilogy remains an object of controversy.
Schwarzenegger’s film comeback hasn’t caught fire yet, but what he has done onscreen has suggested plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future.
Between the Mad Max films and the Babe and Happy Feet series, Miller made the seeming outliers The Witches Of Eastwick and Lorenzo’s Oil. But they’re all part of a career dedicated to treating movies as a kind of magic.
George Miller’s low-budget 1979 action movie remains a model of intense, beautifully choreographed action. Modern action films could take it as a master course.
Once on the cutting edge of horror movies, the slasher subgenre has become almost quaint, thanks to predictability and parody. But some signs of life suggest that could change.
Scene after scene, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe plays like a direct response to the casual destruction of Zack Snyder’s Superman movie, revealing a deeper philosophical divide in the process.
“Hey, Avengers is on again.” Movies based on Marvel characters now always seem to be on television. That’s not lazy programming, it’s one of a Marvel Studios’ many smart moves.
Though conceived, defined, and implemented by men, the Dogme 95 movement helped create opportunities for women behind the camera. A current retrospective reveals how its effects are still being felt today.
Films like Chimpanzee, Bears, and the new Monkey Kingdom double as introductions to both the power and rules of documentary filmmaking.