Être et Avoir

The documentary version of Seinfeld. With a small difference.

2001: A Space Odyssey

The search for an answer makes a monkey of us all.

21 Grams

Should Hemingway have gotten credit for this screenplay?

25th Hour

A country in post-9/11 crisis faces its family and friends.

28 Days Later

A guy who keeps his cool in the fight against rage, “Jim” takes his place as the best hero of the summer, the one we’d really like to be.

8 Mile

Eminem stars as Jesus Christ, King of the Jews, in a movie that’s all about being righteous.

A Beautiful Mind

John Nash is Winston Smith from Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Don’t worry, Winston. Big Brother is here to help you.

A Beautiful Mind

A mathematician imagines that there is more to life than what can be touched, but it's just his schizophrenia talking.


How do you like your steak?

About a Boy

Hugh Grant stars as the last hero of the dot-com era, the Sun-Tzu of Nothing, the one who lived the Seinfeldian Dream. Can the dot-commers join the grown-up world?


Charlie Kaufman fights self-reference with paradox in an effort to escape his own screenplay.


Perhaps no anime has destroyed Tokyo so artfully as this film, which captures the horror and the appeal of the apocalypse.


These days it’s sometimes hard to talk seriously about the ethics of sex. That’s where the Alien movies come in. Of course, with four directors, figuring out what they’ve got to say is another story.

Alien vs. Predator

Not just Kerry vs. Bush—for Europeans this film makes the culture wars pop like never before.


Amélie discovers the magic of Marketing and becomes a product. Don't you just want to consume her?

Being John Malkovich

Celebrity stalkers are only being honest.

Being John Malkovich

On being a tour through the history of philosophy.

Big Fish

A father and son struggle to reunify word and reality, signifier and signified.

Blade Runner

Science fiction or conspiracy theory? Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.


Johnny Depp proves to be the best Clinton impersonator this side of Hollywood, deftly portraying the rise and fall of the former President.

Cape Fear

For all the violence, what is real here is the skeleton in the closet.

Cat People

This horror classic drifts between the darkness of irrational instinct and the light of common sense, whether 1940s Europe vs. America or the girl next door vs. the femme fatale.


Is chocolate the means of grace or damnation? Probably.


Three alternative endings provide explanations of the top theories for the JFK assassination.

Dead Man

Or, Why the Revenge of the Spaghetti Western is a Dish Best Served Not Quite So Cold (Or, Was a Spaghetti Western the first postmodern film?)

Die Hard

The thieves aren’t the bad guys. The media is. Or are they? Let’s name names.

Donnie Darko

A disturbed student walks into the light.

Donnie Darko

A re-view from a new viewer. Perhaps a Prozac nation should pay attention.

Donnie Darko

On eighties pop music, intelligence, and analyzing film


Teens, disconnected from a life not in their control, look for a Big Feeling of their own making. Two find it in violence, extending a twisted valentine to a world caught in a trance and ready to be ‘taken out.’

Enemy at the Gates

The epic battle of Bill Gates and Steven Jobs is retold through the eyes of Gates.

Eyes Wide Shut

Kubrick confounds the critics—and their critics—with a best-of-breed film. The trick is figuring out the breed. A Metaphilm exclusive.

Fight Club

Hobbes is reborn as Tyler to save "Jack" (a grown-up Calvin) from the slough of un-comic despair.

Fight Club

Fight Club is a smart new twist on the most famous of the Greek tragedies. Jack is a modern-day Oedipus and Tyler Durden is his father, Laius.

Forrest Gump

Introducing the new James Bond for the Dumbo era: I'm Gump, Forrest Gump.

Ghost World

Searching for something filling in a world of fabrication.

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Neither history nor art lesson—this is a media theory about the new medium having the old medium as its content, and the new medium’s overheated reversal into its former self.


Psychiatrists are the new Inquisition in this horror tale of church dogma and state power.


The Letter of Hellboy to the Galatians.

Hotel Rwanda

Alone in its genre, this film asks the ancient question of being our brothers' keeper in a way we might actually hear and respond to.

House of Wax

Copulate. Videotape. Dissemenate. Or, How to Interpret a Film By Only Seeing the Poster.

I Heart Huckabees

Is Mark Wahlberg the real existential detective?


John Cusack is the front-man for an unsettling primer on the dos and don’ts of postmodern psychology. Jacques Lacan is ba-ack—and he has an important message about looking for certainty where it doesn’t exist.


Gaspard Noé has produced an unwatchable film about how we watch films.

It's a Wonderful Life

Capra's It's a Wonderful Life is a completely original inversion of A Christmas Carol.

Josie and the Pussycats

Consumerism is a plot—and Josie knows who’s behind it.

Jurassic Park

A spectacular critique or a mere spectacle?

Kill Bill: Volume 1

Tarantino revisits his childhood and produces a postmodern, gender- and genre-bending psychotherapy session in an attempt to remake the past.

Kill Bill: Volume 2

Tarantino finishes his therapy session by showing Uma what it means to be a natural woman. And, this time, it’s a Western!

Lady and the Tramp

Whit Stillman's famous interpretation of Disney's primer on love and marriage.

Land of the Dead

It's a liberal's nightmare: a whole nation of zombies questing for the American dream.

Le Poulet en Colère

Nike's angry chicken chases the pretentious art snob, but criticism survives for another day.

Legally Blonde

Hollywood’s love letter to the left brain: "Interpret Me!"

Lost in Translation

Postmodern multimedia attacks Tokyo—and our senses and sensibilities.


Maybe it is all about the frogs. A master prestidigitator tells the story of the children in bondage, with child genius Stanley Spector playing Moses.

Mary Poppins

How Mary Poppins corrupts the minds of our good capitalist youth.

Masked and Anonymous

Why Bob Dylan won’t lend a hand and is still standing in the middle of the road (and how Ozzy Osbourne is the future).


Guy Pierce stars in an homage to the Post-It note.

Metropolis (1927)

This is the twentieth century of the mind. Memories forever.

Metropolis (2001)

Love (or something) in the ruins. Ever since Little Boy, Japan and the U.S. have been co-enablers in a mutual identity problem.

Minority Report

Steven Spielberg’s diatribe against Ralph Nader, a far-flung vision of our dystopian, Al Gore-less future. The dire consequences of the 2000 Bush victory as dreamed into a paranoid future by a moderate liberal.

Monster's Ball

Bad news for race relations as Hollywood validates the not-so-subliminal desires of the white man for the black woman.

Mulholland Drive

David Lynch makes a two-hour intro to literary theory. Who needs "ceci n’est pas une pipe"? we have "no hay banda."

Mystic River

Clint Eastwood directs a mythic narrative of a person who kills off his own id.

Mystic River

The real victim is the feminist movement.

Napoleon Dynamite

Continuing a tradition of ‘entertainment’ that began with Gummo.

No Direction Home

It's not about Dylan. It's about his critics, fans, and colleagues. The question is, did any of them love his music?

Ocean's Twelve

George Clooney and the difference between smartly self-aware and dumbly self-involved.

Panic Room

Life in the Big City, as seen by young optimists who leave small towns to follow their dreams.

Pearl Harbor

The CEO of Coca-Cola lauds director Michael Bay for sacralizing their product.

Phone Booth

It’s official: the gunpoint conversion movie is now its own genre. And while it feels new, it comes from one of the oldest and most revered traditions of our storytelling species.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Nietzsche’s Abyss is staring back at you and grinning with real gold teeth, implanted on actors for the sacred end of Authenticity.

Planet of the Apes

Tim Burton apes The Ten Commandments and reformats the Old Testament as a continuous, hairy loop.

Planet of the Apes

Marketing the KKK.

Pulp Fiction

The death of God and the Royale with Cheese.

Pulp Fiction

Michael Gose takes exception to Mark Conard’s conclusions about Pulp Fiction, suggesting that just as there is no transcendence, there is no transformation—and that Tarantino distorts even the philosophies he espouses.

Punch-Drunk Love

Share the pain as Adam Sandler—er, Barry Egan—tries to figure out what it is to be a man.


Why hot babes dig ugly rock stars.


A barbed valentine from a red-state filmmaker on a blue-state subject.


Animal Planet meets Magnolia as Guy Ritchie gives us a taste of Social Darwinism. Can we escape the food chain?


Blade Runner meets Memento in a film about the memories of love.


Why the Green Goblin is the archetypical villain of the Viagra generation—and other sticky issues.

Spider-Man 2

Web superhero-dom has its burdens.

Spider-Man 2

Peter Parker uncovers performance issues in contemporary masculinized science.

Standing in the Shadows of Motown

Were the backup singers of Motown�s glory days just interchangeable parts or assembly line workers?

Star Wars

Phallic light sabers. X-Wing penetration. A dominatrix father. Ugh. Sounds like a tale of impotence.

Stone Reader

The only movie made about a book you can't read, or, How to Read a Film as Text and Back Again

Sweet Home Alabama

Sweet Home Alabama is Breakfast at Tiffany’s with a happy ending—and a slap in the face to DeBeers.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

John Connor marries his mother, Ahnold grows impotent, the T-X as dominatrix, and other Freudian themes.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

A moving near-documentary of rural poverty, says this Amazon reviewer.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

A Scooby Doo wish-fulfillment fantasy.

The Animatrix

The Animatrix is The Prince for the electronic age.

The Big Lebowski

Jeff Bridges stars as the Buddha in a film that’s all about enlightenment.

The Game

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? The game of life turns out to be about dying.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Labels and the problem of defining the good.

The Incredibles

Ciceronian themes permeate a popular family film.

The Last Samurai

Tom Cruise follows the Twelve Step path to freedom from alcohol—and Western Civ.

The Lion King

Disney does a knockoff of Shakespeare and gives Hamlet a happy ending.

The Lord of the Rings

Coziness v. greatness and Tolkien's real bittersweet geopolitics.

The Lord of the Rings

Epic quest or allegory of the Ph.D. process? Find out in this popular British interpretation from somewhere on the Internet.

The Man Who Wasn't There

The Coen Brothers turn to Camus for help telling the story of modern alienation.

The Matrix

The essay that started Metaphilm. Enter, if you dare . . .

The Matrix Revolutions

It’s not a story. It’s not a philosophy. It’s a global marketing experiment that’s all about control. And George Orwell saw it coming.

The Matrix: Reloaded

The Brothers Wachowski are attempting the reunification of the mythologies of East and West. And other reasons the One is an anomaly.

The Matrix: Reloaded, Decoded

The tragedy of The Matrix Reloaded is not only that it abandons the savior motif it so obviously advertised in the first film for a bait and switch, but also that the product delivered in the sequel is not even good old Hinduism or Buddhism—or even relativism for that matter—but a vapid and reheated heresy packaged in a smart business suit and sold at a price in a hotel conference room.

The Matrix: Reloaded, Re-Decoded

Metaphilm's theologian in virtual residence takes another crack at interpreting Reloaded. Can you free your mind if the Matrix is really your own desire for salvation?

The Others

This, for today�s postmodern feminist, is the nightmare known as motherhood.

The Passion of the Christ

If faith is the evidence of things unseen, then what’s a movie? Or, why the Pope said what he allegedly did.

The Player

Robert Altman presents Hollywood as a metaphor for the real world.

The Powerpuff Girls

Will the Abrahamic religions overcome their differences in time to save the world from secularism?

The Royal Tenenbaums

Let us sell you your memories.

The Shining

One man�s struggle to support a family on one income in an economy that�s moved beyond his worldview.

The Siege

September 11, 2001 was like watching a movie. This is what we were watching.

The Sixth Sense

Bang! Psychology is dead. The age of science is over. (If you don't believe us, just check out the WB.) Long live Mulder!

The Sum of All Fears

Hollywood saves us from the neo-Nazis. Don�t you feel better now?

The Truman Show

Is Truman a sinner or a saint? Luther and Erasmus have a heated exchange over the sovereignty of Christof.

The Wicker Man

Despite appearances, it's Foucault’s philosophy that provides the dread that makes this film a horror classic.

The Wizard of Oz

What makes the Wiz so wonderful? It's the movie of the American Century—and the story of public relations.

The Wizard of Oz

McDonald’s, Budweiser, the Gap, oh my! Step out of the woods and into the light.

Top Gun

Quentin Tarantino deconstructs the ultimate guy film.

Toy Story

The spiritual delusion of Buzz Lightyear.

Toy Story 2

A playful Augustinian meditation on the true nature of love and identity

Training Day

Denzel Washington stars as George Herbert Walker Bush discovering the consequences of training your son to be the world's traffic cop.

Twelve Monkeys

Terry Gilliam’s introduction to Heidegger’s Being and Time starring Bruce Willis as the prophet of authenticity.

Waking Life

Is life a dream? With optimistic pessimism and pessimistic optimism, Linklater's characters talk out the unbearable lightness of being.

X-Men / X2

Marvel Morality and the Once and Future King. Magneto has a lesson about evolutionary geopolitics to share with the would-be leaders of the world.


The new James Bond for the Maxim era sets off the decline and fall of the American Empire. Now playing at a political theater near you.

Y tu mamá también

Heh-heh. Yeah, that’s it.