Favorite films

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  • Dream Horse

    ★★½

  • Inferno

    ★★½

  • Wrath of Man

    ★★★

  • Animal Kingdom

    ★★★★

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  • Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy

    ★★½

    Erotic thriller that feels trapped between the tawdry expectations of the genre and aspirations for something more artful and tasteful. That same awkward middle-ground applies to its targeted teenaged audience and housewife presentation. The result is an unsatisfactory blue-balls experience. Drew Barrymore's steamy scenes with Tom Skerritt likely wouldn't fly today given her underage status. The empathetic nature of her character makes for an uncharacteristically gray villain. Her desires aren't nefarious, just her methods. Sara Gilbert's bookish, dry personality is…

  • Short Eyes

    Short Eyes

    ★★★½

    Adapted from a play written by Miguel Piñero while he was incarcerated at Sing Sing prison for armed robbery, giving this underseen gem a hardened legitimacy few prison dramas can match. Essentially a hang-out film, barely any plot. We're just a fly on a prison-cell bar, watching inmates race cockroaches and barter for smokes, everyone asserting their dominance in subtle or not-so-subtle fashion as they navigate racially-charged landmines. Puff out your chest but tread softly. Felt like I needed to…

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  • Rear Window

    Rear Window

    ★★★★★

    Hitchcock once said to fellow filmmaker Francois Truffaut: "I'll bet you that nine out of ten people, if they see a woman across the courtyard undressing for bed, or even a man puttering around in his room, will stay and look; no one turns away and says, 'It's none of my business.' They could pull down their blinds, but they never do; they stand there and look out." I'm sure Hitchcock counts himself in that number, given the recurring theme…

  • Le Cercle Rouge

    Le Cercle Rouge

    ★★★★

    There are many reasons to fall in love with a movie. Maybe you're able to relate to the characters on a deeply personal level. Maybe the movie stimulates you intellectually or emotionally. Maybe, like a ride at a carnival, you find the movie enormously entertaining and fun. Or maybe, in the case of Le Cercle Rouge, the movie is so effortlessly cool, so assured and stylish and elegant in its approach, that you feel more like a badass just for…