David Edelstein

David Edelstein is a film critic for New York magazine and for NPR's Fresh Air, and an occasional commentator on film for CBS Sunday Morning. He has also written film criticism for the Village Voice, The New York Post, and Rolling Stone, and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times' Arts & Leisure section.

A member of the National Society of Film Critics, he is the author of the play Blaming Mom, and the co-author of Shooting to Kill (with producer Christine Vachon).

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. "La La Land" is the third film by the director Damien Chazelle, best known for his drama "Whiplash," which won an Academy Award for J.K. Simmons as a sadistic music teacher. The protagonist of "La La Land," played by Ryan Gosling, is also a jazz musician, but the film is a full-scale musical that also stars Emma Stone. Film critic David Edelstein has a review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: Damien...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Although Jackie Kennedy was one of the most photographed celebrities of the last half century, she also was one of the most private. Now a new biopic called "Jackie" takes audiences into the White House in the days following her husband's assassination in Dallas. Natalie Portman plays Jackie Kennedy and the supporting cast includes Peter Sarsgaard as Robert F. Kennedy. Film critic David...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Film critic David Edelstein has a review of the new film "Manchester By The Sea," the third feature written and directed by playwright Kenneth Lonergan. The film is named for a Massachusetts town to which the protagonist returns to bury his brother and reconnect with his teenage nephew. It stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: In Kenneth Lonergan's ...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Film critic David Edelstein has a review of the new sci-fi drama "Arrival" starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, co-star. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: Have you ever thought about the idea that in American space-alien-invasion movies, extraterrestrials have no problem mastering the King's English? Well, "Arrival" is different. Communication between earthlings and aliens doesn't...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Mel Gibson has directed a new movie called "Hacksaw Ridge." He won an Oscar for the second feature he directed, the 1995 Scottish war epic "Braveheart." And he went on to make two more brutal films, "The Passion Of The Christ" and "Apocalypto." "Hacksaw Ridge" is also graphically violent, set on the battlefield during World War II. But the hero, played by Andrew Garfield, is a pacifist. Film critic...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Film critic David Edelstein has a review of "The Handmaiden" by Korean director Park Chan-wook. It's a major reworking of the Victorian-era erotic thriller "Fingersmith" by Welsh-born novelist Sarah Waters. The BBC adapted the novel into a miniseries in 2005. Here's David. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: The Korean Park Chan-wook would be the last director I'd have figured could make a lush, romantic...

Tower is an animated documentary that tells the story of a massacre that happened 50 years ago and was a historic first: A man with no record of violence shot at people at random for no logical reason. It was Aug. 1, 1966, in the middle of a 100-degree day at the University of Texas at Austin. The shots came from the clock tower at the center of the campus. A woman eight months pregnant was the first to fall, soon to be followed by her boyfriend and a boy delivering newspapers on his bicycle....

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Nate Parkers "The Birth Of A Nation" opens today. It had a triumphant world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. But in the intervening months, questions about the director's past have upstaged the film itself. This retelling of the slave rebellion by the black preacher Nat Turner stars Parker as Nat Turner and Armie Hammer as his master, Samuel Turner. Film critic David Edelstein has...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The "Magnificent Seven" is the remake of a 1960 Western that was based on the Japanese epic "Seven Samurai." The new film is directed by Antoine Fuqua, best known for "Training Day" and "The Equalizer," both of which starred his leading actor here, Denzel Washington. The cast also includes Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: Antione...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The release of Oliver Stone's new film "Snowden" coincides with a campaign by human rights groups for a presidential pardon of Edward Snowden. Yesterday, all the members of the House intelligence committee signed a letter to President Obama asking him not to pardon the exiled former NSA contractor who stole classified documents and exposed a widespread secret surveillance program. Oliver Stone sees...

You have to sympathize with the makers of Sully, director Clint Eastwood and screenwriter Todd Komarnicki. The focus of their story is Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger's aborted Jan. 15, 2009, flight , which lasted only 208 seconds. He flew out of New York's LaGuardia, hit a flock of geese, and made an unprecedented landing on the Hudson River, saving all 155 passengers and crew members. There was more, of course. He and the flight attendants had to help get frightened passengers onto the...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Barack and Michelle Obama's first date in Chicago back in 1989 is the subject of a new movie called "Southside With You." Film critic David Edelstein has a review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: "Southside With You" is a dramatization of Barack and Michelle Obama's first date in 1989, which Obama wrote about briefly in his second book and has already become a piece of American folklore. He just finished...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The crime film "Hell Or High Water" centers on two masked robbers who clean out small branches of the same bank all over West Texas while a ranger tries to predict which one they'll hit next. Jeff Bridges plays the ranger. And Chris Pine and Ben Foster are the robbers, brothers on a mission to save the family property from foreclosure. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN,...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. In director Ira Sachs' new film "Little Men," two adolescent boys become increasingly close while their parents grow further and further apart, engaging in a bitter struggle over the lease to a Brooklyn dress shop. The film premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival. It features Greg Kinnear and Chilean star Paulina Garcia. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE:...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Our film critic David Edelstein has a review of the new movie, "Jason Bourne." The character was created by Robert Ludlum who wrote a series of "Bourne" novels. Bourne is a CIA assassin who goes rogue after losing and regaining his memory in the first book of the series, "The Bourne Identity." Matt Damon played Bourne in the hit film adaptation and went on to make two sequels, "The Bourne Supremacy"...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

I have some reservations about the documentary Life, Animated , but they can't undermine how moved I was watching its subject, Owen Suskind, who has autism, figure out how to navigate the world using Disney cartoons as a reference point. Here's the scenario laid out by the movie, which is directed by Roger Ross Williams from a book by journalist Ron Suskind. When Owen, Suskind and his wife Cornelia's second son, was born, he seemed "normal" until age 3, when, as Suskind puts it, he "vanished....

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

The writer-director Whit Stillman's Love & Friendship is an improvement on its source, Jane Austen's novella Lady Susan . That's not quite as heretical as it sounds. Austen wrote the book early in her career, before Pride and Prejudice . It wasn't published in her lifetime. The title isn't even hers — it didn't have one. It's an epistolary work, told via letters, and, as such, missing Austen's all-important voice as narrator. Her protagonist, Lady Susan Vernon, is an impoverished widow with...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Pages