• Olive Kitteridge

    Olive Kitteridge


    So conspicuously based on a literary source that I suspect the book is better and more expansive. Good if you want to see Frances McDormand do a more nuanced execution of the curmudgeon she demonstrated to great acclaim in Three Billboards.

  • Magic Mike's Last Dance

    Magic Mike's Last Dance


    Given my viewing history it wouldn't be a stretch to say Magic Mike XXL is among the best films of the past decade. So it's no surprise that the follow-up is a disappointment if only because it dispenses with two factors central to its predecessor's appeal: a road trip through the South and the roster of characters. In lieu of beach campouts is voiceover narration, a private jet instead of a food truck. Most of what remains is Soderbergh's standard…

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon


    First watch in at least twenty years (I saw it in theaters twice). And I remain properly awed by the first roof-jumping sequence.

  • Confess, Fletch

    Confess, Fletch


    Inherent Vice with half the literary provenance and 6x the jokes that are actually funny.

  • The Whale

    The Whale


    Darren Aronofsky's Pity: The Movie operates mostly as an histrionic showcase for the prosthetic fat suit, pivoting around and scrutinizing Brendan Fraser's Charlie like I would a The Rock statue at a wax museum.

  • Edge of Tomorrow

    Edge of Tomorrow


    The tentacled aliens are more believable than Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt's romantic chemistry.

  • The Crying Game

    The Crying Game


    Rewatched b/c I just read Say Nothing in which Stephen Rea serves an anecdotal role in the Troubles (he was married to IRA terrorist Dolours Price). This is not a thoroughly illuminating film if like me you're interested in the Northern Ireland conflict and its cinematic depictions, but the aforementioned book does cast it in a certain way. Rea plays IRA soldier Fergus, and the first act depicts his actions in Belfast (he and others have kidnapped a British soldier…

  • Clifford



    Charles Grodin is all of us watching this movie.

  • The Outwaters

    The Outwaters


    Imagine the same effervescent cinematographic signature of the stream of consciousness parts of a Malick film only applied to horror. A flashlight beam that isolates a body part slick with blood, or a figure waking solemnly toward a vanishing point in the middle of the composition. There's plenty here that's striking, and it's so formally unmoored that it's as unpredictable as it is exasperating. (I haven't seen Skinamarink but this seems to be a more violent rendition of that film's…

  • Aftersun



    Too elliptical for my tastes, and like Michael Sicinski says this "seems stranded in a no man's land between confessional poetry and Claire Denis / Barry Jenkins style art reverie." Like with Jenkins there's lots of artfully staged low-angle magic hour stuff that occurs on a beach. Even if the end reduced me — an easily emotionally manipulated father of a young girl — to tears, this is nowhere near as poignant as the dance scene in 35 Shots of Rum in which a father solemnly watches his daughter transform into a young women in the span of about a minute and a half.

  • Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

    Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles


    As with other unimpeachable classics I don't know what to add. Akerman's vision is so singularly rigorous that this film atop the recent S&S top 100 still feels distinct in comparison to anything else on that list . Also admire this film's stringent spatial clarity. I could draw you, from memory and to scale, the floor plan to Jeanne's apartment.

  • Petite Maman

    Petite Maman


    Rare that science fiction focuses so expressly on a character's psychological mind-state, in this case a young girl's as she processes the loss of her grandmother. Imagine a time travel movie without a time machine.