The Latest Reviews For The Country Germany

The Spool Staff

Case History of a Sales Meeting

No 21st-century filmmaker has a more accurate and forceful finger on the pulse of global political thought trends than Radu Jude. His movies brim with a completely black-pilled attitude towards his own country’s political and social state amid the populace and an affinity for using social media obsession as a cipher in his cinema. In his latest, he comes out firing in an ironic and didactic rampage unseen since Jean-Luc Godard’s La chinoise (1967). Both film and digital collide in the characteristically wry and unambiguously titled Do Not Expect Too Much of the End of the World.   Continue Reading →

Der Schwarm

The sea is always a great setting for a story. It’s both soothing and menacing; water is cleansing and purifying, and a consistently replenishing source of food. But it’s also dangerous and uncompromising. Water is one of nature’s greatest antagonists, it can get into virtually anything, softening it, weakening it, eventually breaking it apart. But nothing on earth would survive without it. It’s a brilliant metaphor for so many things, as it’s constantly changing and moving and covers wondrous and monstrous secrets. It works even better in visual mediums like TV and film because it’s beautiful to both look at and listen to. The CW’s new eco-thriller, The Swarm, makes good use of its watery locations in establishing an aura of tranquil menace: everything seems calm and orderly, but there’s trouble bubbling up just below the surface. Continue Reading →

The Last Voyage of the Demeter

The Last Voyage of the Demeter feels like a movie from a different era. To a point, it is—writer Bragi Schut first drafted his adaptation of the 'Log of the "Demeter"' sequence in Bram Stoker's Dracula in the early 2000s. It's a capital letters Hollywood Creature Feature—a grimmer straight horror cousin to 2004's action/horror hybrid Van Helsing. At its best, it's an admirably gnarly monster flick—bolstered by sturdy craft from director André Øvredal and consistently good performances from a game ensemble. At its worst, it loses confidence and resorts to bumbling attempts to guide its audience by the hand—most notably in its prologue and epilogue. Continue Reading →

Roter Himmel

Spare a thought for the white male writer in your life. Christian Petzold just roasted him so bad they’re beyond saving; just grab a marinade and sides. The enigmatic German formalist lets it all hang down in Afire, his loosest film in many moons, a comedy of ill manners, withheld emotion, and confusing flirtation, and his best film since 2014’s Phoenix. Continue Reading →

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

One of the things I enjoy most about the moviegoing experience is coming out of a film feeling as if I've actually learned something that I didn't know before, or had not even occurred to me in the first place. That's exactly the feeling that I got while watching Sam Pollard’s The League, a documentary about the history of Negro baseball leagues in America. Going in, I suppose I knew the basics about the subject and could name such key figures as Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige, but Pollard, who previously directed MLK/FBI, and executive producer Questlove delve much deeper, and the results are indeed fascinating. Continue Reading →

Smiley Face

As far back as the propagandistic days of 1936’s Reefer Madness, the onscreen adventures of those hooked on marijuana have long been a man’s domain. This boys club of bud appreciation has provided men a cinematic space to roll a joint, puff away, and ruminate on the inner machinations of, primarily cis-hetero masculinity; girl trouble, career stagnation, societal infantilization, and the general inadequacy of one’s day-to-day existence. That puff of reefer is enough to lower the mind’s defenses and reach an emotional cavalcade that unlocks heartbreak and humor in equal measure. Thus, the “stoner comedy” was born. Continue Reading →

La vaca que canto una cancion sobre el futuro

Cecilia (Leonor Varela) is in a bad way. She’s been twisted by years of neglect and disappointment into a coil of razor wire. She’s short with her co-workers and her children, especially queer Tomas (Enzo Ferrada Rosati), whose gender identity is taken as a personal slight. Her brother Bernardo (Marcial Tagle) is so used to her undermining him that he preempts their first meeting with an admission of his weight gain and a refusal to embrace her like a hit dog. Continue Reading →


While Anna Winger’s new series Transatlantic is visually and textually lush, it opens a stark portrayal of the refugee experience. It’s painful, watching as they struggle with the terrain, carrying everything they have in their arms. You hear every labored breath, see every sweat stain. This long opening sequence sets the tone for the rest of the seven-part series–it isn’t glamorous or glossy, just beautifully filtered misery, fear, and hope. Continue Reading →

John Wick: Chapter 4

The John Wick films are, simply put, the standard-bearer for American action in the 21st century. When the first came out in 2014, it shook the foundations of what we felt was possible in a Hollywood action landscape predominantly concerned with CGI energy blasts: It put stuntwork front and center, crafted labyrinthine mythology as dense and unnecessary as it was innately compelling in its flavor, and -- most importantly -- brought Keanu Reeves back to the public consciousness in a big way. Basically, it's some of the few times American action movies can even hope to compete with what comes out of Eastern Europe and Asia. And now, that saga comes to a close with John Wick: Chapter 4, a film that took two years after completion to come out, and feels like a final exhale of relief after hours of unrelenting, inventive action. Continue Reading →


Rural Pennsylvania. No one moves, and the woods surround them. The trees shudder. A whip snaps around a branch. Cut to the forest below, a denim-clad hero emergesIIndiana Jones on his latest adventure. Continue Reading →

Hello! Continue Reading →

Triangle of Sadness

MPAA RatingR

As we lurch our way through the sixth or seventh wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve only just begun to see how much billion dollar companies (and billionaires themselves) profited from the chaos, while smaller businesses and individuals took devastating financial hits. A class war has erupted, if not in real life (yet) then certainly on social media, marked by endless heated debates over privilege, the victims and villains of capitalism, and who the “elite” really are. Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness satirizes this very unsettling period in time, putting a cheeky spin on class rage, but with an acidic undertaste that lingers long after it’s over. Continue Reading →


Makbul Mubarak’s debut Autobiography delves deep to examine loyalty & family under dictatorship. (This review is part of our coverage of the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival) Continue Reading →

Moonage Daydream

MPAA RatingPG-13

In the unforgettable Looney Tunes cartoon Duck Amuck, director Chuck Jones posits a question to the viewer. What is Daffy Duck? Are his qualities recognizable even if he was in a different body? Entirely invisible? The various visual manifestations of this fowl, complete with a consistent personality emanating from the character’s voicework and body language, make it clear that Daffy Duck is more than just one physical vessel. He transcends form. Continue Reading →

Orphan: First Kill

We’re currently in the middle of a horror renaissance, which makes it easier to forget what a bleak time the 00s were for fans of the genre. A dull selection of sequels, reboots and limp, watered down remakes of J-horror, with only a blessed few exceptions it seemed to be heading towards the same “death by ubiquitousness” as musicals had years earlier. Then, in 2009, horror was given a bizarre little jolt with Jaume Collet-Serra’s Orphan, which starts off as a standard killer kid movie, a la The Bad Seed or The Good Son, then goes gloriously off the rails, with a twist that left audiences not just surprised, but shouting “What? What? What?” at the screen.  Continue Reading →

Rogue Agent

Watch afterHeatwave (2022)

In Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn’s spy thriller Rogue Agent, English actor James Norton plays Robert Hendy-Freegard. Or, more aptly, Norton plays every version of Hendy-Freegard — lovable, charming, terrifying, convincing, evil. Norton’s up to the task, and the film rewards a level of misunderstanding and a lack of knowledge about Hendy-Freegard and his history (he has already been made into a docuseries). With each passing moment, Norton becomes more persuasive, more potent in his convictions, and more believable in his alleged employment as an MI5 agent constantly on the run.   Continue Reading →

Watch afterEternals (2021)
MPAA RatingR

It's hard to overstate just how seismic The Matrix was when it was first released in 1999. Looking back on it now, in an age of focus-tested corporate franchises, extended universes, and an even more top-heavy IP landscape than we had back then, it feels positively revolutionary. Even in its imperfect but-radically-reappraised 2003 sequels, Reloaded and Revolutions, filmmakers Lana and Lilly Wachowski manage to build a world that's at once evocative of so many of its influences (cyberpunk, bullet opera, kung fu film, Star Wars) but feels highly original. And what's more, is unafraid to tackle challenging, often heady psychological questions while still revolutionizing the way action movies were made. Continue Reading →


Death Valley, a new horror film from Matthew Ninaber (known best for playing PG in Psycho Goreman), wants it all. The 93-minute feature hopes to bend horror, thriller, and action—a daring attempt at a balancing act without much of a safety net. Unfortunately, in practice, Ninaber’s picture can’t put two feet into any storyline and fumbles its attempt to juggle its myriad characters, plots, and tonal shifts. Continue Reading →

Far more frustrating than a disastrous mess is a film annoyingly close to being good or vastly more interesting. That's The Unforgivable, a sloppy retelling of the Sally Wainwright's (Gentleman Jack, Happy Valley) 2009 BBC miniseries.  Continue Reading →

In medieval morality plays, the dramatis personae always includes the likes of Charity, Death, and Temperance, named for the vices or virtues they embody. These characters are vessels, existing somewhere between allegory and literalism and imbued with the social values and anxieties of their time. French surrealist Bruno Dumont (Lil Quinquin, Slack Bay) drags this tradition into the twenty-first century with his latest film, France. Continue Reading →

Pablo Larraín’s sympathetic “fable” about Diana, Princess of Wales, also compassionately addresses the secret shame of eating disorders. CONTENT WARNING: this article addresses eating disorders and self-injury. See our spoiler-free overview of Spencer here. Continue Reading →