Guillermo del Toro‘s Nightmare Alley (Searchlight, 12.17) is obviously a double-down noir — doom, baby, doom! Conceived, written and directed from the perspective of Herman Melville‘s damp, drizzly November of the soul.

My only possible quibble (and this just a fleeting impression) is with Bradley Cooper. He was 46 during filming, and I’m sorry but he seems too old to play Stanton Carlisle, who’s supposed to be an up-and-coming hustler on the make. With his fleshy face and beard stubble, Cooper looks like a guy on his way down. Tyrone Power was a more fitting 33 when he played Carlisle in the 1947 version.