Kristofer Jenson

Contributing writer to C-Ville Weekly. Associate Film Editor of DigBoston. Host of Spoilerpiece Theatre.

In Destroyer, Nicole Kidman stars as a burned-out detective who’s spurred into action by the revival of a cold case.
ANNAPURNA Pictures

Action flameout: Nicole Kidman’s gritty performance can’t save Destroyer

Director Karyn Kusama is one of the most interesting directors working today who is not a household name. Her most well-known movies—the groundbreaking Girlfight, the misunderstood Jennifer’s Body and the underseen The Invitation—are very-different-but-terrific showcases for her as a technician. With an ability to extract exciting performances from established movie stars, and a mastery of […]

Widows, starring Viola Davis, turns the traditional heist movie into a smart take on women’s power.
20th Century Fox

Widows wanders but redeems itself in the end

The classic heist movie gets a stylish, topical treatment with Widows, cowritten by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and Steve McQueen (Shame, 12 Years a Slave), who also directed. It could be seen as a gender-swapped caper flick, but with McQueen’s philosophical eye and Flynn’s take on societal expectations, Widows turns into an examination of gendered […]

Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek, captures the rise of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, from his ambitious beginnings as a performer
to the band’s legendary performance at Live Aid in 1985. Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox

Killer Queen: Rami Malek rocks Freddie Mercury biopic

It’s unfortunate that movies about exceptional people usually end up being so conventional. Queen was a band that defied expectations and broke down barriers, redefining what a rock band could be, and Freddie Mercury is not only one of history’s greatest frontmen but an icon for the alienated, particularly for LGBTQ fans. Bohemian Rhapsody, meanwhile, […]

In a new documentary, UVA students and residents of a juvenile correctional facility connect through Russian literature

In a new documentary, UVA students and residents of a juvenile correctional facility connect through Russian literature

When the great classics of world literature were first being written, they were not meant for students or academics decades or centuries in the future. First and foremost, they were meant to foster a relationship between reader and writer. For Andrew Kaufman, who teaches Russian literature at the University of Virginia, that connection came to […]

Jack Black starts in The House With A Clock In Its Wall. Image: Universal Pictures.

Making magic: Jack Black and Cate Blanchett cast a spell

Halloween season is off to a solid start with the pleasant surprise of the kid-friendly horror/fantasy/comedy The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Everything about this movie should be working against it. The marketing makes it seem like another expository, self-contained “adventure” that uses the fact that it’s for children to cover up inconsistencies […]

The cinematic vision
for The Life of Pi is a great template for
telling the story of the modern marathon. Image: 20th Century Fox

Two historical episodes that need movies now

There’s no one way to make a fact-based film, as 2018 has shown. From the satiric heights of The Death of Stalin to the self-parodic depths of Gotti, and with many major contenders to come (Bohemian Rhapsody, Beautiful Boy, Welcome To Marwen), all have different goals, from education, to poetic re-imaginings of familiar tales, to […]