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  • Shoplifters



    There is no better director of child actors in world cinema than Japan's Hirokazu Kore-eda. This film, like that director's superb 2004 Nobody Knows continues his study of children lost in the underclass milieu. In addition, this is an audacious look at an unconventional "family" of scofflaws...ambiguous, and ultimately moving.

  • Free Solo

    Free Solo


    In this thrilling, viscerally affecting documentary, "free solo" rock climber Alex Honnold defied death (not a spoiler, thankfully) in climbing the famous 3,000 ft. granite face of Yosemite's El Capitan in a little over 3 hours. "Free solo" means climbing alone, without any protective gear, no ropes, only naked hands and feet and enormous gumption (or foolhardiness, or a death wish.) The film followed Honnold in his preparation for the feat (aided by another famed climber, Tommy Caldwell, whose 2015…

Popular reviews

  • El Topo

    El Topo


    The New York Times contacted me today for background about my review of El Topo that was published in the L.A. Free Press on April 23, 1971. They provided me with a scan of the article, and I'm reposting it here. Maybe 43 years later its verbiage is a little embarrassing; but I stand by what I wrote back then. How often do we get an opportunity to view what we thought about films through the prism of the far…

  • Joy



    David O. Russell's popularity and reputation for enlightened whimsy eludes me. I can't blame the actors in what has become his "stock company" for my dislike of this film. Rather it must be Russell's mechanistic, by-the-numbers script filled with neurotic characters acting nonsensically. I know I'm out of step with audiences here; so forget that I ever tried to review this film.