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  • In the Heat of the Night

    In the Heat of the Night

    ★★★½

    A corny-clever whodunit with a liberal zeitgeist edge, like KNIVES OUT; and a tawdry flyover-country crime story with Quincy Jones, Scott Wilson and a pantheon-level DP running jazzy circles around a square director parachuted in, like IN COLD BLOOD. To Stirling Silliphant’s eternal, scarcely believable credit, you could shoot his script tomorrow, almost line for line (with Don Johnson as Rod Steiger, but maybe not Lakeith Stanfield as Sidney Poitier), though I’ll always wonder if Mr Tibbs was still in the Philadelphia PD by the time of the Move bombing.

  • The Naked Spur

    The Naked Spur

    ★★★★

    a mixed-gender group riding west into the high country to bring back an outlaw, with money on everyone’s mind throughout the usual Western obstacles and feats of sharpshooting, and everyone working the angles against each other—surely a strong influence on Charles Portis’s True Grit the following decade.

    “Western noir” indeed—Mann shoots in Academy with compositions that convey a sense of vertiginous heights rather than wide expanses; there’s lots of grimy close-quarters grappling, and psychological tableaux of actors standing around and…

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  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★★

    if anything we underrated this at the time—inner-circle blackpill canon with memes for days, yes, but beyond First Reformed's utility as a source of screenshots for acknowledging simultaneously the depth of our plight and the awkwardness we feel when facing it head-on, there are just transcendently (in the sense of Transcendental Style in Film) beautiful scenes. the "Magical Mystery Tour" braves the ridiculous as it goes from awkward to sensual to magic-realist to dystopian; the memorial scene is a *perfect*…

  • Some Like It Hot

    Some Like It Hot

    ★★★★½

    forced feminization classic