John Podhoretz

Review: ‘The Irishman’

Good. Long. Not really juicy.

I like a good, long, juicy movie, so when I heard Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman ran three-and-a-half hours, I sure knew it was long.

Review: ‘Dolemite Is My Name’

A tribute to an entrepreneur

There's a whole subgenre of movies about bad movies, which is odd. After all, most industries don't offer testimonials to their greatest failures and disasters. This strange love of cultural detritus testifies to Richard Rushfield’s theory that the true subject of Hollywood is Hollywood, for even its garbage is turned into the Garbage of Legend.

Review: ‘Parasite’

The insane movie goes Oscar

I love a totally insane movie as much as the next guy. You know the kind. The movie that seems like it emanated from the brain of someone with ADHD who is also a cocaine addict. I’m talking about a movie as nuts as its creator is surely nuts.

Review: ‘Judy’ and ‘Joker’

JokerYou might not think that a biopic about a Hollywood legend on the glide path to her early death in swinging 1969 London and a comic book movie about a villain on the loose in 1970s New York would have anything in common besides titles that begin with the letter J. And yet Judy and Joker are very much alike. They both center on incredibly flashy lead performances with stars who appear in nearly every frame of the picture. They are both unflinching examinations of the toll of mental illness. And they are both astoundingly unpleasant.

Review: ‘Ad Astra’

Brad Pitt remakes 'The Tree of Life'

Ad AstraEight years ago, long before his dazzling and surely Oscar-winning turn this summer in Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, Brad Pitt gave a magnificent performance in The Tree of Life as a loving martinet father in 1950s Texas with Sean Penn as his pensive son, ruminating in endless voice-overs about his pains and sorrows and the origins of the universe. This weekend, you can see Pitt in a virtual remake of The Tree of Life, in which he plays the son, not the father. It's called Ad Astra, and like The Tree of Life, it's both good and awful.

Review: Brittany Runs a Marathon

Running in place

Brittany Runs a MarathonThere's a movie called Brittany Runs a Marathon and never has a title been more accurate. It's a movie about Brittany, and yes, she runs a marathon. When she's not running the marathon, she's training for a marathon.

Review: It Chapter Two

It’s Not Good

Until I saw It Chapter 2, I would have given the prize for the Worst Scary Movie Ending to Sphere. In Sphere, released in 1998, Dustin Hoffman and Sharon Stone and Samuel L. Jackson develop dangerous powers on an underwater spacecraft.

Doc Reviews: David Crosby and Pavarotti

How legends are made

Documentaries released in actual movie theaters (as opposed to public television or HBO or the streaming services) come in two kinds. First, there’s the hysterical, portentous world-is-coming-to-an-end-and-its-all-the-fault-of-the-Koch-brothers-aaaaah-help-call-a-cop kind. Then there’s the elegiac-rueful-showbiz-tribute documentary about a once-singular sensation.

Review: ‘The Farewell’

A Chinese-American movie that soars

The FarewellIn the woefully underrated 1982 comedy Unfaithfully Yours, Dudley Moore plays a concert pianist who resists a booking in China. His manager, played by Albert Brooks, explains why he’s wrong: “What, shrugging off a whole continent? That’s 800 million people. You get 200 million people to see you by mistake just because they’re looking for a restaurant.”

Review: Hobbs and Shaw Is Neither Fast nor Furious

Mission Inexcusable

So there's this movie called Hobbs and Shaw, and it's sort of a Fast and Furious movie, only it isn't. I really wouldn't know, because I've only seen a couple of Fast and Furious movies and I remember absolutely nothing about them. And when I say absolutely nothing, I mean absolutely nothing.