Favorite films

  • Synecdoche, New York
  • Groundhog Day
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • Out of Sight

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  • Dirty Pretty Things

    ★★★★

  • Near Dark

    ★★★

  • We Broke Up

    ★★

  • The Sting

    ★★★★★

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  • MacGruber

    MacGruber

    ★★★

    Me: This movie is awful.

    Also me: Shut your butt.

  • Mississippi Burning

    Mississippi Burning

    ★★★★½

    I feel like I have a vague memory of this at the 1989 Oscars, but being 10 years old at the time, a fictionalized version of actual events in the Jim Crow south was far from something I would've watched then. As it turns out, now might have been the perfect time (and I the perfect age) to watch it.

    As a 32-year-old film period piece set some 24 years before it was released, there would certainly be a chance…

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  • Dirty Pretty Things

    Dirty Pretty Things

    ★★★★

    Not quite the 5-star gem I discovered nearly two decades ago, but, anchored by Tatou and Ejiofor, still pretty darn good.

  • Near Dark

    Near Dark

    ★★★

    The roadside bar scene is an all-timer. Not quite as enamored by the rest of it. But you can never go wrong with a gonzo Bill Paxton, and Bigelow has a strong instinct for action right out of the gate.

    Also a big fan of the scuzzy, burnt look for the vamps. Don't think I've ever seen that before.

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  • Driveways

    Driveways

    ★★★★½

    With keen direction from Ahn, endearingly understated performances from Hong Chau, Brian Dennehy and young Lucas Jaye, and a script confident enough to let the viewer fill in the blanks, this was my biggest SIFF 2019 surprise and is sure to be one of my favorites of the year—not just from the festival.

    It gets in and out quickly (in under 90 minutes), but it the pacing never feels rushed nor the characters shortchanged. I hope Driveways finds an audience, despite its unmarketable title.

  • Eighth Grade

    Eighth Grade

    ★★★★½

    Elsie Fisher is incredible and Bo Burnham’s script is miraculously universal and so specifically of this moment. I had the great fortune to see them together in a post-movie Q&A—they make a great pair both onscreen and off.