In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”



The multiple twists, double-crosses and leaps in logic are more likely to prompt giggles than gasps, despite the impressive production values and the earnest efforts…


Oasis: Supersonic

While Oasis: Supersonic is never boring, especially for fans, it’s also not quite deep enough to justify its narrow focus, especially at its overlong running…

Other Reviews
Review Archives

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

What is the Cold War good for? A director's career

On the one hand, John Frankenheimer is of course pleased that the Cold War seems to be over. On the other hand, the timing was disastrous for his filmmaking career. After the success of "52 Pickup" (1986), he made "Dead Bang" (1989), an unhappy experience marked by sharp differences with the star, Don Johnson, and then in 1989, began shooting "The Fourth War," a splendid political thriller starring Roy Scheider as a hot-headed U.S. Army officer assigned to a sensitive border post opposite Soviet troops.

The script built tension just as real events were dissipating it, and by the time the movie was released in 1990, it occupied a no-man's land; it was either the last Cold War movie or the first detente thriller. Critics like it, but audiences, no longer much interested in the Russians as villains, stayed away.

For his newest film, "Year of the Gun," Frankenheimer has gone to a pure thriller ingredient that served Hitchcock well: the notion of an innocent man wrongly accused. The movie, set in Rome in 1976, stars Andrew McCarthy as an American who unwittingly writes a book so close to the truth that both sides think he knows dangerous secrets.

Frankenheimer began his career in the golden age of live television, and his film credits include such classics as "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962), "The Train," "Birdman of Alcatraz" and "Seconds." He dropped out for a period in the 1980s, living in Paris with his wife, actress Evans Evans, but his return, announced with the extraordinary impact of "52 Pickup," is still on track.

"Year of the Gun" is a stylish and atmospheric thriller, and the nice thing about making period movies is that recent events don't make them obsolete.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

No Longer an Inconceivable Future: The Vision of Alfonso Cuarón's "Children of Men"

FFC Seongyong Cho on watching 2006's dystopian thriller "Children of Men" ten years later.

Hooray for Hillary: Commander-in-Chief

An article about Hillary Clinton's historic nomination as the first female presidential candidate and the most qualif...

How 2016 Became the Year of Adventurous, Original Horror Films

2016 has been a very good year for horror movies.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus