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  • The Rental

    The Rental

    ★★★★

    In many ways, home invasion is one of the most outdated horror genres, since it presumes a world where private property, and ownership of the types of houses that pass for normal in Hollywod, is widespread. Paradoxically, one of the things that make home invasion dramas so comforting (potentially) is that they affirm the existence of a home to be invaded, and therefore restored. In the last ten years, directors have tried to reshape the home invasion drama for the…

  • Little Nicky

    Little Nicky

    ½

    Adam Sandler had one real shot at playing an adult in Big Daddy and it must have exhausted him, since he doubled down with the most infantile film of his entire career with Little Nicky, which was also his first box office flop. From Billy Madison to Big Daddy, he had a golden run, effectively reimagining the basic co-ordinates of Billy Madison for each new release, but he didn’t get the balance right here – and getting the balance right…

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  • The Wolf of Wall Street

    The Wolf of Wall Street

    The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the bestselling memoir by Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), which describes how he became one of the richest people in America through sustained security fraud. One of Belfort’s most prominent strategies was to sell worthless stocks to inexperienced customers – in effect, to sell nothing to nobodies – meaning that it was a career that subsisted less on providing goods than in raising the process of circulation itself to a fever pitch. As…

  • Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler

    A kind of spiritual sequel to End of Watch, Dan Gilroy’s debut feature stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom, a petty criminal who turns his hand to freelance accident and crime scene photography to satisfy his yearnings to become a member of the professional class. Despite being set in Los Angeles, it’s clearly modelled on Michael Mann’s Thief – there’s the same procedural coldness, the same aversion to natural light, the same gravitation towards lurid, tungsten hues and, above all,…