Favorite films

  • Mulholland Drive
  • Chinatown
  • Platform
  • Zodiac

Recent activity

All
  • Angel

    ★★★½

  • The Guilty

    ★★

  • The Guilty

    ★★★½

  • Cry Macho

    ★★★

Recent reviews

More
  • Angel

    Angel

    ★★★½

    War may loom and geopolitics dominate discussion on the fringes, yet the drama remains rooted in sex and desire. Lubitsch's elegantly refined melodrama plays the seductive lure of the other, Douglas's spark of excitement and allure, against the staid, stolid respectability of the domestic in Marshall's dedicated statesman, the negotiations to avert war running in parallel to the slowly unfolding seduction of Dietrich's conflicted, bored upper-class wife. Alongside this upper-class narrative, Lubitsch strings a downstairs reflection of the refined upper-class intrigue, the housemaids, bellmen, and chauffeurs looking on from the sidelines with vested interests, the patterns, and behaviors soon adopted in their own relationships.

  • The Guilty

    The Guilty

    ★★

    Adding little to distinguish it from its source beyond a contextual filigree--raging wildfires--and preferring to drive everything home with added emphasis, here a clumsy literalization of Gyllenhaal's anxiety in his asthma, there a superfluous child to justify his investment, and why not a clunky score and unnecessary "visions" of the scenes unfolding to boot? Gyllenhaal's performance is a deft bundle nervy, guilt-wracked anguish and desperation, yet the film falls flat everywhere else.

Popular reviews

More
  • Sicario

    Sicario

    ★★★★

    The strength of Villeneuve's intensely muscular direction, Deakins's gloomily gorgeous and evocatively atmospheric cinematography, and Jóhannsson's lush score set a spectacularly grim, fatalistic air of dread-soaked taut tension that lends Sheridan's overly glib, cynically nihilistic drug-war horror story a pulpy tone. The film's pulpiness helps to trim away the shallow nihilism of its moral commentary by amplifying the gruesome horrors of the film's bleakly nihilistic world and the grim amorality of its characters, overpowering Sheridan's didactic intentions and delivering a…

  • Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    ★★★★

    McQuarrie returns to the series with an understanding of the elements involved--the players and their strengths, the expected action quotient, and the relevant plot points to hit--and brings a deftness to the execution that balances the globe-spanning espionage theatrics and horizon-expanding action sequences with casual, quippy comedy and a seedling of emotional investment in its characters' lives--Hunt's romances never entirely convincing given Cruise's paternal air, but the friendships lend resonance to the life-threatening escapades, making the stakes personal--that, together, make…