Roger Ebert Home

Jesse Plemons


Jungle Cruise (2021)
Vice (2018)
Game Night (2018)
The Post (2017)
Hostiles (2017)
American Made (2017)
The Discovery (2017)
Other People (2016)
The Program (2016)
Black Mass (2015)
Like Mike (2002)

Blog Posts

Far Flungers

A snake in the grass drinks his own poison

Movies usually present the life and religion of conservative masses as that of simple-minded, bigoted country bumpkins. Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" (2012) explores the life and religion of the liberal elite, presenting them as sophisticated frauds eagerly exploiting eagerly exploitable colleagues. If we spoke of "There Will Be Blood" (2007) as "madness," we might accurately speak of this film as "intoxication." And, as is the case with the previous film, "The Master" is amazing in its characterizations, sails us through its cinematography and faded colors, but its narrative confuses us. It is said to be a story about the development of Scientology, but it also recalls Byrne's "The Secret," as well as most every television healer on either side of the Atlantic or Pacific. I don't know that the story is about the religion or the cult leader, as much as it is about the rabid pit-bull he keeps on his leash.