Robert Ham

Arts & culture journalist/critic based in Portland, Oregon.

Favorite films

  • Birth
  • School
  • Work
  • Death

Recent activity

  • Women Talking

  • Eraserhead


  • The Blue Caftan

  • Infinity Pool

Recent reviews

  • The Locksmith

    The Locksmith

    Mitchell, an ex-con played by a gently grizzled Ryan Phillippe, has quite a momentous week in the locksmith. Released from prison after serving a 10-year sentence for armed robbery, this apparently talented thief is immediately given a job, a place to stay, his old truck, and some spending money by his old buddy Frank (Ving Thames). He attempts to rekindle a relationship with his former fiancee (Kate Bosworth) and their young daughter. The crooked cop who put him away and…

  • The Civil Dead

    The Civil Dead

    Many of us entertain visions of an afterlife that is a glorious relief, free as we are of life's worries as we bathe in the glow of a benevolent supreme being, or something equally pleasant. But what if our eternity is actually a dull slog that leaves us stuck in a purgatory, not able to feel any emotion while watching history roll on without us?

    That question lays at the heart of the low key, low stakes, low budget buddy…

Popular reviews

  • Alone With Her Dreams

    Alone With Her Dreams

    Let’s talk briefly about how films from other countries often have their names Anglicized for release in North America. It’s often a pretty hideous translation that dumbs down the intended title to, I’m guessing, make it more palatable for us dumb Americans. Or easier to say to the high school kid selling us a ticket. The latest victim is Picciridda - Con i piedi nella sabbia, a coming of age story whose title translates to “Little girl - with your…

  • The Central Park Five

    The Central Park Five


    [My Willamette Week review]

    Ken Burns has spent over 20 years documenting American history in bite-size chunks, homing in on one subject after another with keen alacrity. In all that time, though, Burns has touched on issues such as racism and poverty only at a decades-long remove. So to see the 59-year-old filmmaker's name associated with a documentary recounting one of the most horrendous miscarriages of justice in recent memory is frankly a little shocking. To Burns' credit, he rises…