Joe Allen

  • The end of Entourage

    The HBO series Entourage had it all--sexism, racism, homophobia and a shallow, unrealistic idea of male "friendship."

  • "We live in hell"

    The popular movie The Help is sparking a debate about the portrayal of African American women in Hollywood.

  • When Lucy was a Red

    For a generation of Americans, Lucille Ball was the queen of television comedy. Was she a leftist, too?

  • The fall of Citizen Murdoch

    Large chunks of the Murdoch story are there in Citizen Kane: A one-time reformer who becomes a vindictive scandal-monger and friend of dictators.

  • Another side of a movie legend

    Actress Tallulah Bankhead is the subject of a new Broadway play, but it leaves out her most controversial role--as a fierce opponent of Jim Crow.

  • New Age warriors

    The Men Who Stare at Goats takes an oddly tongue-and-cheek look at the U.S. military's many methods of interrogation.

  • Rotten view of a rotten system

    A few recent dramas about the justice system have tried to bring a little realism to the genre. The Good Wife isn't one of them.

  • Inglourious savages

    The "love of movies" can sometimes get in the way of making a great film. A case in point is Quentin Tarantino's latest film Inglourious Basterds.

  • Watching Defiance with Gaza on my mind

    Unless you live in a bubble, you can't help noticing the parallels between the struggles for survival of the Jews depicted in Defiance and of the Palestinians of Gaza.

  • The good Germans?

    The problem with Tom Cruise's new thriller, Valkyrie, is that the conspirators who plan to kill Hitler are a lot like the dictator himself.

  • Mortal combat

    The American Catholic Church faces the abyss in John Patrick Shanley's new film Doubt.

  • Slumdogs of the world, unite

    The opulence, poverty and bigotry of the "new" India is exposed in Danny Boyle's hit film Slumdog Millionaire.

  • Bond is Bourne-again

    James Bond unexpectedly fights the CIA and various corporate conspiracies in the latest film from the long-running series.

  • To serve and protect?

    An important story of Los Angeles Police Department corruption and incompetence has been rescued from obscurity in Clint Eastwood's film, Changeling.

  • The man who fell to earth

    The problem with Life on Mars is that it portrays the police as "better" now--more sophisticated, less brutal--than in the distant past of the 1970s.

  • Second World War: Not for whites only

    Spike Lee's new epic film Miracle at St. Anna puts Black soldiers back into the story of the Second World War.

  • Batman's war of terror

    The Batman franchise is one of the most popular in U.S. history. Is the latest version propping up the war on terror?

  • The trouble with Indy

    George Lucas' Indiana Jones series aimed to pay homage to the serials of the 1930s and '40s--many of which were filled with offensive stereotypes.

  • Television's buffoons and bigots

    With few exceptions, white working-class people are presented on TV via the same stereotypes that pervade American culture.

  • The "Oscar moment" that didn't happen

    For those of us who watch the Oscars for the moment when a winner tells the truth about the real world, the recent ceremonies were a big disappointment.

  • Charlie Wilson's not-so-good war

    Charlie Wilson's War is well made--which is why it's important to say that this is a thoroughly reactionary film from beginning to end.

  • The right-wing, scandal-ridden "charity" that isn't really a charity

    The truth about the Red Cross

    For many people, the American Red Cross is the very embodiment of lifesaving. Millions of Americans donate blood or hard-earned pay to the organization each year, or during special appeals like after the Gulf Coast hurricanes. But the real story of the Red Cross isn't nearly as noble and humanitarian as the image.