• The Northman

    The Northman

    ★★★★★

    This film stirred something within me at a deep, visceral, shadow-of-memories level.

    I could feel the cold breeze under the thousands of brilliant stars; I could smell the sweat, the blood, the body odor, the fur, the smoke; I could sense the fear, the anger, the exultation.

    Like . . . I had lived it.

    Well done, Robert Eggers.

  • The Brothers Bloom

    The Brothers Bloom

    ★★★

    Sometimes you’re not free until lies come true.

    Even better than the story here is the style of story-telling . . . even if the denouement is halfway predictable.

  • American Made

    American Made

    ★★★½

    A good story, made even better by the saturated, 70s-80s TV-style color palette.

  • The Winslow Boy

    The Winslow Boy

    ★★★

    A courtroom drama that never enters the courtroom, but instead demonstrates the impact that a criminal case can have on a reputation, on a family, on relationships . . . even on a country.

    “It is easy to do justice; it is hard to do right.”

  • The Batman

    The Batman

    ★★★★½

    Christopher Nolan’s Batman series finally matched the darkness of the original pulp fiction from a century ago.

    This film spectacularly surpasses it.  I was Jonesing for a Prozac halfway through.

    Worth a rewatch, because Reeves gives us lots of winks, nods, and Easter eggs.

  • Charade

    Charade

    ★★★½

    Donen does Hitchcock . . . or, tries to.

    Cook up the popcorn, because this needs to be watched in a double feature with To Catch a Thief. You'll see why.

  • To Catch a Thief

    To Catch a Thief

    ★★★★½

    A classic.

    Besides the movie's own virtues, important in so many ways:

    -It was during the filming of this movie, set and filmed in the French Riviera, that Grace Kelly would meet Prince Rainier. They married a year later.

    -Ironically features a scene where Kelly drives like a maniac in a sports car on the winding roads atop the cliffs over the ocean. She died, 27 years later, when she suffered a small stroke, lost consciousness and crashed while driving…

  • American Underdog

    American Underdog

    ★★★½

    Not really about Kurt Warner’s NFL days, except for a few moments at the end.

    No, this is about what he went through — often, by choice, by sheer will — to get there.

    Well-made film.

  • Rescued by Ruby

    Rescued by Ruby

    ★★★½

    For a small budget, independent family film, pretty good.  Decent acting.

    Of course, I’m a sucker for “based on a true story.”

  • Love & Mercy

    Love & Mercy

    ★★★½

    After seeing the documentary Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road, and then re-watching this film, it amazes me how well John Cusack accurately captures Brian Wilson.

    There are a few movies that give the viewer a taste of what it's like inside a troubled mind. This is one of them. (A Beautiful Mind is another.)

    Fortunately, there are Melindas out there.

  • CODA

    CODA

    ★★★★½

    My dark horse favorite for 2021 Best Picture.

    Yes, I know it hits all the stops, pushes all the “right” buttons . . . but, we need more of those stories.  
    How refreshing to see a family that fights against each other, in order to ultimately fight for each other; parents who truly embrace the pain of letting their children go, and children who begin to understand the sacrifices their parents have made . . . and continue to make.…

  • American Gospel: Christ Crucified

    American Gospel: Christ Crucified

    ★★★★

    A valuable and thorough — and sometimes heady — primer comparing orthodox views on the meaning of the crucifixion with progressive and/or “emergent” views. Excellent and fair interviews of thought leaders on both sides. (The score is often too loud for the dialogue.)