Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey (2016)

“Voyage of Time” is in many ways an extension of the breathtaking twenty minute or so sequence from “The Tree of Life” showing the development of the universe and the birth of life on Earth. Where in “The Tree of Life” that sequence played off the themes and characters of that film, the entirety of…

Knight of Cups (2015)

Where “To the Wonder” conflated Malick’s cinematic style with the actual stories he tells, unifying form and function in a collage where Malick’s signature style told the precise point of the film, “Knight of Cups” continues that collapse of technique with storytelling, a dazed, flickering series of memories chasing spiritual sustenance amongst endless, useless beauty,…

To the Wonder (2012)

“To the Wonder” stands out among director Terrence Malick’s films in that his signature style – a lyrical, ruminative approach to filmmaking, concerned with examining themes from a macro sense instead of getting too specific with plot or character, meditative voiceover playing over breathtakingly gorgeous shots of nature, filming in the magic hour, natural lighting,…

Black Panther (2018)

“Black Panther” has more on its mind than most of its Marvel brethren, telling a surprisingly fully-formed story of monarchical conflict driven by racial issues, and even more surprisingly not backing out and undercutting its own promise, like so many of its predecessors in the Marvel series have. Where “Avengers: Age of Ultron” or “Captain…

The New World [Extended Cut] (2005)

A dreamy, expressionistic collage of a movie, where history feels immediate and real instead of retold or mythologised, where Malick steers away from the narrative (historical or romanticised) of Pocahontas and the forming of Jamestown, instead curiously exploring the tones and emotions of those involved. Shot in natural light, all handheld or steadicam, the whole…

Days of Heaven (1978)

The second, and last, film of the first phase of Terrence Malick’s career (a twenty year gap between projects comes before the next phase), this one shifts closer to the style of his much more numerous later films, with its even sparser plot than “Badlands”, increased focus on gorgeous imagery and visual storytelling, looser and…

The Foreigner (2017)

A lean, cold, very sleekly made political thriller with occasional, arresting forays into action. Jackie Chan charts a slowly escalating transformation from passivity and grief to malevolent effectiveness and violence brilliantly, keeping polite and calculated all the while but conveying a broken man persona with much more depth than how that character (irritatingly common in…