Favorite films

  • Melancholia
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • The Virgin Suicides
  • Magnolia

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  • The Black Phone

    ★★★

  • A Scanner Darkly

    ★★★½

  • Young Ahmed

    ★★

  • Delicatessen

    ★★★½

Recent reviews

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  • The Black Phone

    The Black Phone

    ★★★

    It was interesting learning in the opening credits that this was based on a Joe Hill short story because there's so much Stephen King (his dad) in this film, particularly in the way it sets up the story. Those first 20 minutes or so are by far the best part, because they primarily focus on the terrific dynamic between the main kid and his little sister. Far too often in entertainment, siblings are portrayed as adversarial or just kind of…

  • Young Ahmed

    Young Ahmed

    ★★

    I'm choosing to view this as a dark comedy in the vein of Four Lions about a young Muslim radical who botches things both small (kissing a hot girl) and large (assassinating his teacher) as a way of coping with the fact that the Dardenne brothers missed the mark this badly.

Popular reviews

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  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    ★★★★★

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

    Yesterday I saw a Twitter thread where some dude was saying that letterboxd was ruining film criticism/engaging with films in general. It was just as crotchety as it sounds, but there was a kernel of something I agreed with in the midst of all the cloud-yelling, which is that even professional film criticism doesn't talk about form enough. Part of it is because the modern film review format just doesn't suit talking about cinematic techniques. It's all lede -> plot…

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★★

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

    This felt like it took on an extra layer of fascination and potency in the wake of the recent high profile suicides in the news.

    I've seen some people complain about Schrader's use of digital photography and how it flattens out the images, but that choice, plus the use of 4:3 aspect ratio was so effective to me. It just makes the world feel all the more bleak, suffocating, and hopeless.

    And I love the way Ethan Hawke's character serves…