Articles by Madison Miller

The Critical Movie Critics

Madison Miller was named after "Splash." Her love of film (and mermaids) inevitably followed. She keenly observes the inflight entertainment selections of her fellow travelers, and judges them accordingly. More of her musings can be found at www.reviewfromthetop.com.


Movie Review: Maineland (2017)

Miao Wang’s Maineland is a seemingly straight-forward documentary feature profiling Chinese students — members of the enormous wave of “parachute students” — competing to study abroad in the United States. Filmed over three years in both China and the U.S., the film follows two affluent and cosmopolitan teenagers as they settle into boarding school in…

Movie Review: Thoroughbreds (2017)

Thoroughbreds has completely reinvented the concept of a haunted mansion, having mercifully put the former out to pasture and out of its misery. This particular mansion is home to Lily, a polished upper-class teenager with a fancy boarding school on her transcript, a coveted internship on her resume, and a penchant for short shorts and…

Movie Review: Allure (2017)

The word allure is defined as the quality of being powerfully and mysteriously attractive or fascinating. In the film Allure, formerly titled “A Worthy Companion,” Laura (Evan Rachel Wood, “The Ides of March”) fascinatingly conveys both power and mystery. We first glimpse her inviting a random man into her home and into her bed. With…

Movie Review: The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (2017)

Midway through The Vanishing of Sidney Hall, in the midst of a breakdown (breakthrough?), surrounded by his typewriter and empty bottles and strewn about pages, signifiers of talent devolving into madness, the successful yet troubled novelist at its center self-consciously admits to having recently written only “first lines and first pages. No middle. No end.”…

Movie Review: Golden Exits (2017)

I enjoyed writer/director Alex Ross Perry’s Golden Exits well enough at first. Yet as my chronological distance from the project increases, so too do my annoyances with its gender power dynamics. The film follows six very specific Brooklynites whose lives are vaguely intertwined and then thrown into further disarray when a young, beautiful Australian disrupts…

Movie Review: Double Lover (2017)

It is fitting that there are two competing readings of François Ozon’s Double Lover. The film dually presents as a highly stylized, seductively sleek French psychosexual thriller and this “I Know Who Killed Me”-esque overtly overly symbolic camp. Not wanting to assign one dominance over the other or perhaps unable to distinguish between apparent equals,…

Movie Review: My Happy Family (2017)

Following the release of “Lady Bird,” Anne Helen Petersen wrote a moving essay on the supporting roles of mothers in relation to their daughters’ central stories entitled “Moms Are Main Characters Too.” Petersen writes, “But something you learn after high school is that, without the momentousness of ‘firsts’ . . . and societally ordained milestones…

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