The Atlantic's Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment

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Don’t Miss

Nate Parker and the Court of Public OpinionGillian White explains why the resurfacing rape accusations against the Birth of a Nation star raise some urgent questions about how society deals with victims of sexual assault.

CBS Films


The Cultural Allure of Bank RobbersVann R. Newkirk II explores how the new film Hell or High Water speaks to American society’s longstanding distrust of financial institutions.

Star Wars: A New DroidSpencer Kornhaber analyzes what the new robot K-2SO, the apparent heir to R2D2 in the upcoming Rogue One anthology film, can bring to the Star Wars universe.

A Star Is Born Again, and This Time It’s Lady GagaDavid Sims doubts whether Hollywood’s latest iteration of a much-done story can find a fresh angle today.

War Dogs Is a Self-Satisfied Testosterone FestDavid Sims reviews the aggressive new comedy from Todd Phillips that could have been so much more.

Kubo and the Two Strings Is a Gorgeous Stop-Motion AdventureLenika Cruz relishes the lush, dreamlike world of the animation studio Laika’s newest film.

Comedy Central


Larry Wilmore’s The Nightly Show Is Gone Too SoonDavid Sims ruminates on what the show’s cancellation by Comedy Central means for the fate of late-night television.

The Reality of Those ‘Real People, Not Actors’ AdsSpencer Kornhaber identifies the existential questions behind the truthiness-in-advertising trend that culminated in Chevrolet’s recent Olympic spots.

Robert Downey Jr. and the Enhanced Prestige of TVDavid Sims connects the dots between the actor’s upcoming HBO project and the evolving medium of television.

John Kuntz / Reuters


Why Isn’t There a U.S. Synchronized Swimming Team at Rio?Vicki Valosik explains the reasons behind America’s significant decline in the sport it created and once dominated.

The Olympic Guide to LadybraggingMegan Garber looks at how the confident social media performances of women athletes at Rio challenges the cultural expectations of feminine modesty.

Mary Altaffer / AP


Marina Abramovic and the White Artist’s GazeSpencer Kornhaber unpacks a scandalous week for the art world.

Charles Sykes / Invision / AP


Seven Steps to Swagger, With Amy SchumerMegan Garber reveals how the comedian’s new collection of essays, while hilarious and profane, makes an important feminist statement.

And the New Harry Potter Books Keep ComingLenika Cruz demystifies what the imminent release of three new e-books could mean for the magical series.

There’s Something About Mary BennetMegan Garber examines the trend in recent fiction that focuses on the often-forgotten middle sister from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.



The Gorgeous Mysteries of Frank Ocean’s EndlessSpencer Kornhaber revels in the enigma of the singer’s beautiful new visual album.