Rod has written 343 reviews for films rated ★★★★ .

  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    ★★★★

    Charlie Kaufman’s latest metaphysical and surreal drama is completely befuddling, but so damn irresistible that I couldn’t peel my eyes away from the screen for its complete running time, with every line of dialogue and absurd image holding me captive.

    I knew the key to unlocking the film was largely to be found in “Jake’s childhood bedroom”, and was pleased to find that to be the case after doing some post-film reading, where Kaufman has said quite a bit about the film it seems.

    Much like Synecdoche, New York, I will come back on this and find more to admire and appreciate on subsequent viewings.

  • Foreign Correspondent

    Foreign Correspondent

    ★★★★

    It’s always highly amusing that in films of this era, the lead male and female will most likely fall in love and propose marriage at the batting of an eyelid, and this 1940 effort from Mr. Hitchcock is no exception to this trope. Yet, this is merely a slight flaw on an otherwise sophisticated and thrilling prelude to war romp which is chock-filled with set-pieces and accomplished effects; from the black umbrella chase, to the staging of the windmill scenario,…

  • Scarecrow

    Scarecrow

    ★★★★

    Criminally under-seen and often cited by Hackman and Pacino as their fav personal performance and one of the best films each of them made in their respective careers; tells of the union of two homeless drifters with starkly different personalities and their journey to make something of themselves, the only problem being that their pasts and their personal flaws cause many a speed bump along the way. 

    Hackman’s character is a brawler and womaniser who cannot keep his fists restrained,…

  • Dheepan

    Dheepan

    ★★★★

    I suppose being 5 years on from a somewhat controversial win has afforded me the ability to watch this film on its own merit without unnecessary hype, and in that sense I’m glad, because I found this to be a really powerful and well-executed drama. 

    Whilst Un Prophet remains his best film, (which most will concur) I found his follow up Rust and Bone to be a very interesting film in its own right. One thing for sure is that…

  • Devs

    Devs

    ★★★★

    Alex Garland’s “Limited Series” is a heady sci-fi brew of multi-dimensions, predetermined existence vs. free will (with plenty of religious allusion) and international conspiracy plotting all wrapped up in a dreamy and deliberately-paced aesthetic.

    The series slams out of the gate with some gripping murder-plot intrigue, quickly developing into something more dense and existential, leading to a pretty satisfying conclusion.

    It is bolstered by some terrific performances from most of the cast including Nick Offerman, Zach Grenier and Alison Pill,…

  • The Platform

    The Platform

    ★★★★

    ”The Panna Cotta is the message.”

    As others have said, The Platform Is like a vertical Snowpiercer with a slight Cube vibe. A film heavy on intrigue, allegory and gore and well-worth seeing!

  • The Invisible Man

    The Invisible Man

    ★★★★

    Nail-biting filmmaking from Leigh Whannell, with Elizabeth Moss single-handedly carrying it with her supreme acting abilities. A film that delivers on its promise with smarts and style and one specific moment that forced me to audibly gasp!

     Upgrade beckons me...

  • The Parallax View

    The Parallax View

    ★★★★

    I really dug this under-seen thriller helmed the ever-reliable Alan J. Pakula. Often considered one of his “Paranoia Trilogy” films alongside Klute and All the President’s Men, this has a Hitchcockian vibe with thrilling set-piece after set-piece as cocky reporter Joe Frady (played with all the wit and charisma you’d expect from Warren Beatty) dives headlong into a world of political assassinations, and the mysterious organisation called ‘The Parallax Corporation’ that recruits by way of a Ludivico style test with…

  • Snowpiercer

    Snowpiercer

    ★★★★

    I appreciated it more second time around, with some of my previous issues with the film feeling less problematic to the film as a whole. I still don’t quite understand how Curtis (Chris Evans) seems to understand all the Korean that is being spoken to him though...

  • The Hateful Eight

    The Hateful Eight

    ★★★★

    I got the second viewing blues on this just a tad, marking it down a little from where I initially was at. Just like Django Unchained it would benefit from Sally Menke’s (RIP) touch in the editing suite. I’ve yet to see the shorter version, opting again for the full length cut, but it’s not one I’ll return to again for quite sometime methinks.

  • My Neighbors the Yamadas

    My Neighbors the Yamadas

    ★★★★

    And so we bear witness to the chronicles of a middle-class Japanese family in Haiku form; small vignettes of day to day life that might at first seem to float about like a feather in a breeze, yet collectively form a beautiful portrait of the life we all live and breathe daily, in all its mundanity, whimsy and beauty.

    Whilst family life might have evolved somewhat from the era of Ozu, the core remains the same; that love makes everything…

  • Black Cat, White Cat

    Black Cat, White Cat

    ★★★★

    Goose down = The ultimate shit paper.

    ”I’m a Pitbull TERRIER!”