Mario Naves

Mario Naves

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I am an artist, critic, teacher and avid film buff.

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  • Easy Street

    Easy Street

    ★★★½

    Gleaning the reviews of this film, you can't help but think that "Easy Street" is either a vote in favor of a beneficent Christian God or Exhibit A in the defense for the selective use of narcotic substances. Both arguments are off-the-mark in that (a) the redemptive ending of "Easy Street" is a sop to sentimentality and (b) there's little humor to be gained from attempted rape--among the upshots of the stray syringe that proves a pivotal point in the…

  • Get Carter

    Get Carter

    ★★★

    You want an unromantic take on the criminal underworld? This amoral revenge pic will do you up right. Leavened with a mordant sense of humor and marked by a shabby regard for human life, "Get Carter" is chock full of low-rent characters, cheapjack eroticism and unrelenting grottiness. Michael Caine dominates as the lead, but it's the supporting characters who invest the narrative with grit and authenticity, with special kudos to Rosemarie Dunham, John Osborne and Geraldine Moffet.

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  • The Father

    The Father

    ★★★★

    Did I hear correctly that "Rosemary's Baby" proved an inspiration for director Florian Zeller's cinematic adaptation of his stage play? In real life, Satan plays a distant second-fiddle to dementia, but both films share the same sense of dislocation and encroaching unease, of human agency slowly being winnowed away. Anthony Hopkins keys into this cruel dynamic with unsettling mastery; it may well be his finest performance.

  • Sound of Metal

    Sound of Metal

    ★★★★★

    Five stars may oversell "Sound of Metal", but here is a rarity: a film without a false moment. From start to finish, we encounter one man's experience with deafness and follow the anger, frustration, growth and confusion that stems from it. The sound design is as instructive and unnerving as it's meant to be, and Riz Ahmed is some kind of actor. Paul Raci, too. Who knows? Five stars may well undersell this movie.