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  • Chi-Raq

    Chi-Raq 2015

    ★★★★★ Added

    I think this is what film-making is all about. I thought "Chi-Raq" was really great. I was entertained and often genuinely moved. The film was a deft mix of broad comedy and brutal reality. When was the last time a major motion picture actually pondered the meaning of life?

    "Chi_Raq" is one of the purest comedy-dramas I've ever seen. It takes a very serious and current issue (gun violence in America) and examines it through the lens of an ancient…

  • The Empire Strikes Back

    The Empire Strikes Back 1980

    ★★★★★ Added

    "The Empire strikes Back" was my favorite film as a kid. I think I saw it at least five times in the theater, a record that will probably stand for life. So, I can't really see it with fresh eyes. But, when doing these reviews, I'm always eager to "kill my idols" and nitpick even the most beloved films.

    That said, I couldn't find anything to slam on "The Empire Strikes Back." It certainly doesn't feel like "A New Hope:…

  • Rocky Balboa

    Rocky Balboa 2006

    ★★★★★ Added

    The “Rocky” series looked out of gas during “Rocky IV” and was TKO’d after “Rocky V.” But none of the character’s comebacks could match what the series itself did. I believe "Rocky Balboa" is a genuinely great movie. My favorite of the “Rocky” series. Somehow this is the one that has the most personal resonance. The “It’s not how hard you hit…” scene is one of my all time favorite movie moments. It’s inspiring and powerful. I was moved by…

  • Rocky

    Rocky 1976

    ★★★★★ Added

    Definitely a classic that holds up well. "Rocky" is not really a sports movie. There's too little action and the focus isn't on sports. I'd say it's really a romance between two lonely people that both feel like outsiders. It just happens that one is a boxer. The boxer gets a lucky break, and the film chronicles the effect this random opportunity has on his life and his relationships.

    "Rocky" is really a great example of a high concept done in a very grounded and realistic manner. I don't think you can really understand 1970's cinema without paying close attention to this particular film.

  • The Exorcist

    The Exorcist 1973

    ★★★★★ Added

    Still a pretty amazing film. You have to wonder how different it would be if it was produced today. The first hour is very slow compared to modern horror movies. I even suspect that police investigator Kinderman would be cut from the film entirely, since his subplot really goes nowhere. And one key death probably would have taken place onscreen instead of off.

    But the slow build really helps to sell the entire story. This film goes the extra mile…

  • Jaws

    Jaws 1975

    ★★★★★ Added

    This is an old favorite, and hard to look at with fresh eyes. But it's undeniably one of the greatest films ever made. Truly top notch cinema, "Jaws" has it all. Great direction, story, acting, and editing. It has thrills, chills, laughs, suspense, and genuine emotion. You can practically smell the saltwater air. It's hard to find any flaws with this immensely entertaining and transporting experience that still holds up well.

    One of the great things about "Jaws" is that…

  • The Fly

    The Fly 1986

    ★★★★★ Added

    Seriously, one of the greatest horror films ever made. The story builds at just the right pace and arcs brilliantly, and the climax is truly tragic. There's a lot more emotional investment in the characters in this film than in many mainstream dramas, much less other horror movies.

    It's really a brilliant exploration of the fear of disease, with well drawn characters acted superbly. Great direction, editing, writing, and an unobtrusive score. "The Fly" should be on the short list of movies to emulate when you're trying to make a great genre film.

  • The Witches of Eastwick

    The Witches of Eastwick 1987

    ★★★★★ Added

    One of my all time favorite films from when I was a teenager. I loved it in the theater way back in the day, and I still have great affection for it now.

    It's hard to look at "The Witches Of Eastwick" objectively, since I love the film so much already. The only real criticism I can make is that Susan Sarandon is just a little bit too cartoonish and broad, but that's hardly a major flaw. I have renewed…

  • Star Wars

    Star Wars 1977

    ★★★★★ Added

    tl;dr - Classic that still holds up.

    Part of the fun of being an amateur Letterboxd critic is attempting to develop writing skills and trying to analyze films in an objective way. Of course, that's an impossible contradiction, because art appreciation is completely subjective. That's the where the amusement and challenge comes in. I love watching films I've never seen before, as well as going back and trying to re-evaluate well known personal favorites. I'm hyper critical of movies in…

  • Mary and Max

    Mary and Max 2009

    ★★★★★ Added

    Funny, sad, creative, heartwarming, sentimental, irreverent, moving, touching... Just a few words of the many that could describe this fantastic, gentle story of a pen pal friendship. The extreme cartoonish style of the characters is offset by their fragile and familiar humanity. The people and their world they inhabit is completely artificial, but filled with so much detail and unique character that they seem real and believable.

    The only flaws are that a majority of the story is told in…

  • Cujo

    Cujo 1983

    ★★★★★ Added

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The only thing wrong with the film adaptation of "Cujo" is that if you watch it soon after reading the novel, it seems a little thin. On the plus side, in the film the methodical setting up of the reasons to explain why Donna and Tad are so isolated doesn't seem as calculated as it does in the book, therefore making it feel a little more natural. Also, a thousand words can't really match the image of the huge rabid…

  • The Godfather

    The Godfather 1972

    ★★★★★ Added

    Other than the slightly draggy interlude in Italy (which honestly doesn't go over fifteen minutes), this is still one of those three hour movies that just flies by. What new can be said about "The Godfather"? It's justifiably on the short list of greatest movies ever. I suppose part of the reason is that from the source material you wouldn't expect even a good movie, and you'd definitely expect all the gangster movie cliches. Yet it's a great movie that…