The Atlantic’s Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment

Martin Scorsese
Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP

Don’t Miss

What Martin Scorsese Gets Right About Rotten TomatoesDavid Sims argues that the director is blaming the critical aggregator for dooming more complex films, but that the deeper problem is studio neglect.

Chris Szagola / AP


Kyrie Irving, the NBA’s Singular StarRobert O’Connell notes that while players around the league team up to chase the Warriors, the Celtics’ new point guard looks for a heavier burden.

Evan Agostini / Invision / AP


‘Humanity Is Subjective’Emily Buder talks with Ai Weiwei about perpetual migration, the tragedy of exile, and the power of plain cinematic language.

Adam Sandler Does His Best Work YetDavid Sims says the actor shines as the perfectly bedraggled protagonist of The Meyerowitz Stories, Noah Baumbach’s new Netflix film.

The Barren Future of The Weinstein CompanyDavid Sims points out that Harvey Weinstein’s film studio is already disintegrating, as the public image the disgraced producer crafted for himself crumbles.

How The Snowman MeltsChristopher Orr thinks a chilly, Nordic mood can’t save the ill-plotted adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s bestselling crime novel.

Beats Per Minute Is a Rousing Portrait of a Community in CrisisDavid Sims reviews Robin Campillo’s award-winning drama, which follows the AIDS-activism group ACT UP Paris in the early 1990s.

Wonderstruck Chooses Mess Over MagicDavid Sims watches Todd Haynes’s convoluted new film, a disappointing follow-up to his masterpiece Carol.



Better Things’s ‘Eulogy’ Is One of the Best TV Episodes of the YearSophie Gilbert raves about the FX show’s weird, wonderful ode to working motherhood.

Richard Shotwell / AP


Hip-Hop’s ‘Rockstar’ Moment Gets Its No. 1 HitSpencer Kornhaber highlights Post Malone’s smash, which marks the biggest charts year for rap in a decade.

Thelonious Monk’s Quiet, Slow Conquest of the WorldDavid A. Graham celebrates the pianist and composer, who’s at the peak of his influence as he reaches his centennial this month.

Can a Thrash Metal Band Help Save the Maori Language?Sylvia Varnham O’Regan reports that indigenous tongues around the world are under threat, and modern musicians are trying to keep them alive.

‘Gorgeous’ Doubles Down on Taylor Swift’s New AttitudeSpencer Kornhaber listens to the bubbly new Reputation track, which confirms the singer is trying on an edgier persona with a familiar musical swerve.

Katja Bohm / Katie Martin / The Atlantic


How Sci-Fi Writers Imagine Iraq’s FutureJason Heller reads a new speculative-fiction anthology series, in which Iraqi authors consider how their country could look in the year 2103.

The Biggest Winners: What Ivana Reveals About Trump Family ValuesMegan Garber analyzes Ivana Trump’s new book as a parenting memoir, and an ode to being better than everyone else.

George Saunders’s Striking Man Booker WinSophie Gilbert writes that, for the second year in a row, an American writer claimed the British literary prize, this time for the dazzling novel Lincoln in the Bardo.

Carlo Allegri / Reuters


The Movement of #MeTooSophie Gilbert explains how a hashtag got its power.

‘Casting Couch’: The Origins of a Pernicious Hollywood ClichéBen Zimmer traces how a seemingly innocuous phrase became a metonym for the skewed sexual politics of show business.