Politics & Policy

Across the Ungreat Divide

Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (Warner Bros. Pictures)
20 signs of a broken film culture

Since 2004, the year that film culture split along moral and artistic lines, political and class biases have been exhibited in films that became more and more partisan. This rift was furthered by a compromised media, where critics praised movies that exhibited cynicism along with political bias.

Not just entertainment, the 20 films listed here effectively destroyed art, social unity, and spiritual confidence. They constitute a corrupt, carelessly politicized canon.

1) Good Night and Good Luck (2005) — George Clooney, president of the corrupt canon, directed and acted in a dishonest fantasy biopic of TV-news icon Edward R. Murrow to revive blacklist lore as part of a liberal agenda.

2) The Dark Knight (2008) used the Batman myth to undermine heroism, overturn social mores, and embrace anarchy.

3) Ocean’s Twelve (2004) — Steven Soderbergh salutes land of the greedy and home of the depraved in a reboot franchise sequel, scoffing at the post-War conviction of Sinatra’s Rat Pack original.

4) 12 Years a Slave (2013) distorted the history of slavery while encouraging and continuing Hollywood’s malign neglect of slavery’s contemporary impact.

5) Wall-E (2008) — Nihilism made cute for children of all ages who know nothing about cultural history or how to sustain it.

6) Manderlay (2005) — Lars Von Trier’s Dogville sequel sold American self-hatred back to us, and critics fawned.

7) United 93 (2006) reduced the pain and tragedy of 9/11 to the inanity of a disaster movie.

8) Frost/Nixon (2008) — Political vengeance disguised as a dual biopic that prized showbiz egotism over conflicted public service.

9) Knocked Up (2007) — Judd Apatow’s comedy of bad manners attacked maturity and propriety.

10) The Social Network (2010) — David Fincher’s new Horatio Alger tale glorified technocrat Mark Zuckerberg with chic, digital-era arrogance.

11) Precious (2009) coincided with Obama’s first year in office to revive racial condescension with the audacity of nope.

12) The Hangover (2009) infantilized privileged adulthood, a celebration of chaos and irresponsibility.

13) Slumdog Millionaire (2008) — an Oscar-winning tale of game-show greed as an answer to systemic poverty.

14) A History of Violence (2005) — David Cronenberg’s new take on Ugly Americans blamed patriotic sadism.

15) Inglourious Basterds (2009) — Quentin Tarantino’s answer to Abu Ghraib, a cruel, jokey, ahistorical revision of WWII.

16) The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) — Ass-kicking espionage disparaged American foreign policy while making money off it.

17) Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005) — Sarcastic violence is the new marriage equality, says Brangelina, Hollywood’s POTUS and FLOTUS.

18) Che (2008) — Steven Soderbergh gives Hipster Hollywood its own four-hour rebuttal to Oliver Stone’s JFK.

19) There Will Be Blood (2007) — Paul Thomas Anderson’s pseudo-epic of the American soul cooked up an anti-Christian, weirdly misogynist history lesson.

20) Lincoln (2012) — Spielberg succumbs to Tony Kushner’s limousine-liberal cynicism to valorize Obama-era political chicanery.

Armond White, a film critic, writes about movies for National Review Online. He is the author of The Resistance: Ten Years of Pop Culture That Shook the World and the forthcoming What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about the Movies. 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Origins of Progressive Agony

What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement? Even party chairman Tom Perez concedes that there are “no moderate ... Read More
Elections

How Will the Senate Races Break?

How will the Senate races break? We have less public polling to go on than in recent years, so answering that question is harder than ever. But the news is more optimistic for Republicans than it was a month ago.   Waves and Breakers Four years ago, I projected in mid September that if “historical ... Read More
PC Culture

Warren Is a Fraud

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has been telling a story for years. It’s a deeply romantic story about her parents and their young love, fraught with the familial bigotry of an earlier time. Here’s how she told it this week in a video she released in preparation for her 2020 run: My daddy always said he ... Read More
U.S.

Two Minnesota Republican Candidates Assaulted

Two Republican candidates for state office in Minnesota have been physically assaulted in recent days, leading prominent Republican lawmakers to caution their Democratic colleagues against employing inflammatory rhetoric. Republican state representative Sarah Anderson was punched in the arm last week after ... Read More
Law & the Courts

A Christian Man Receives Justice

A good man’s legal ordeal is at an end. Yesterday, my friends and former colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom announced that former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran had reached a $1.2 million settlement, ending a case he brought after the city fired him for writing -- and distributing to a select few ... Read More