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Sam has written 40 reviews for films rated ★★★★★ .

  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

    Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

    ★★★★★

    Funnier, cleverer, more heartfelt, and more tonally complete than all of the Cornetto Trilogy combined. Don't @ me.

  • Annie Hall

    Annie Hall

    ★★★★★

    Look, I've rhapsodised enough about how this is my favourite film, and how perfect it is. So let's leave it at this: how amazing is Diane Keaton? Her performance here is one of the most carefully detailed I've ever seen. Watch her in the first apartment scene and tell me there's an actress who could have played this role better than her.

  • Play It Again, Sam

    Play It Again, Sam

    ★★★★★

    Play it again again again again again again again again again again, Sam.

  • Vertigo

    Vertigo

    ★★★★★

    So enthralled, I even forgot to look out for the Hitchcock cameo. I'm ashamed to admit that I have never seen Vertigo before, and wow was I (obviously) missing out.

  • Lady Bird

    Lady Bird

    ★★★★★

    Oh, it's not fair. It's really not. Greta Gerwig isn't allowed to be that funny an actress, that inspired a writer, and that brilliant a director. Saoirse Ronan is superb amongst an already stellar cast. It's too much.

  • There Will Be Blood

    There Will Be Blood

    ★★★★★

    Watched (as you may guess from my recent Letterboxd entries) in 35mm as part of the Paul Thomas Anderson season at the Watershed (god bless that place).

    There's a stark divide in Anderson's filmography that happened in the 5 year gap between Punch Drunk Love and There Will Be Blood, a shift in tone towards the more serious that's hard to quantify. I wonder how much influence Jonny Greenwood has had on this; it's hard to imagine TWBB with a…

  • Magnolia

    Magnolia

    ★★★★★

    Watched on 35mm at the Watershed was part of their PTA season (and there's still two more screenings to go!).

    This is simply a triumph. PTA was 28 when he made this; I am 24. The idea of being to pull off something so mind-bogglingly ambitious to such a high calibre of technical brilliance is frankly embarrassingly out of reach for me within the next 3 and a half years. Directors twice his age would have been proud to achieve…

  • WALL·E

    WALL·E

    ★★★★★

    10 years later, WALL·E is still the most breathtaking piece of cinema Pixar has ever made. WALL·E - the character - is one of the most expressive animated characters I've ever seen, from the subtlest, most delicate eye movements to the superb sound design by Ben Burtt. Thomas Newman's score is still utterly delightful, moving fluidly from playfulness to bombast. The cinematography is beautiful - what other animated film has Roger Deakins consulting on it - and the camerawork is…

  • Groundhog Day

    Groundhog Day

    ★★★★★

    This time, I really noticed just how economical Groundhog Day's script really is. I mean, it's incredible. Barely a moment goes by between one of the interesting takes on the concept of being stuck in the same day that stuck with you, and another interesting take on the concept of being stuck in the same day. Everything happens logically, in narrative and emotional terms. It's magnificent.

  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    ★★★★★

    It's amazing the positions you'll put yourself in for love.

    Daniel Day Lewis is, and I know this has been said thousands of times before, simply magnificent. He slips effortlessly into Reynolds Woodcock, to the point that it's genuinely hard to believe it's the same man who played Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood. Vicky Krieps and Lesley Manville both prove incredibly able foils for Day Lewis. Jonny Greenwood rightfully deserves his first Oscar nomination for his score, his…

  • The Social Network

    The Social Network

    ★★★★★

    Still as fundamentally perfect a film as this decade has produced. The Social Network is, I think, the defining film of this decade, both for cinema and for society at large. I tried writing something to that effect:

    blog.anewthought.com/2018/01/21/the-social-network/

  • World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People's Thoughts

    World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People's Thoughts

    ★★★★★

    There's somehow even more to take in this time around. I'm sure there'll be even more to take in the next infinity times.