The Atlantic’s Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment

JoJo Whilden / Netflix

Don’t Miss

Pop Culture Is Having a Metaphysical MomentSpencer Kornhaber traces a recent philosophical trend in popular TV shows and movies like Westworld, The OA, and Arrival.

Warner Bros.


27 Movies to Look Forward to in 2017David Sims picks some of the most exciting films to watch out for in the new year.

And, Scene: Hell or High WaterDavid Sims breaks down a key bank-robbing moment in the hit neo-western film, as part of an ongoing series.

Why the Allegations Against Casey Affleck Should Stand AloneDavid Sims weighs in on the recent controversy surrounding the Manchester by the Sea actor, tipped by many to win an Oscar for his performance.

And, Scene: American Honey—David Sims analyzes a moving moment from Andrea Arnold’s electrifying road movie.

Bright Lights Captures the Magic of Carrie Fisher and Debbie ReynoldsSophie Gilbert revels in the HBO documentary’s a charming, poignant snapshot of the late actresses and their complex relationship.

Silence Is a Film That’s Easier to Love Than to AdmireChristopher Orr reviews Martin Scorsese’s new movie, a powerful work that is in part undone by the director’s own passion.



TV Shows to Look Forward to in 2017David Sims keeps an eye on some of the most exciting series premiering, returning, and concluding this year.

The Bachelor Gives Nick the Redemption EditMegan Garber recaps the season 21 premiere of the reality dating show.

The Troublesome Women of SherlockSophie Gilbert analyzes the BBC show’s difficulty in fitting female characters into its universe.

NBC’s Emerald City Takes Dorothy to a Darker OzSophie Gilbert watches the new show, which puts a darker and edgier twist on the classic story.

Obama’s Anger Translator Takes a Final BowMegan Garber delves into the Daily Show’s resurrection of Luther, the character who promises to tell Americans what the president is really thinking.

Stephanie Keith


Mariah Carey Feeds the Schadenfreude CycleSpencer Kornhaber unpacks the reaction to the popstar’s botched New Year’s performance.

Run the Jewels’ Gloriously Obscene RebellionSpencer Kornhaber reviews the rap duo’s jumbo-sized third album, which sees the world catching up with their say-anything, burn-it-all-and-start-again style.

Doug McLean


Opening Paragraphs Don’t Always Have to Be ExcitingJoe Fassler talks with the author Emily Ruskovich about Alice Munro’s uncanny restraint and the art of starting a short story.