Favorite films

  • Birth
  • Minority Report
  • Face/Off
  • Eyes of Laura Mars

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  • O Brother, Where Art Thou?

    ★★★★

  • Stop Making Sense

    ★★★★★

  • Elvis

    ★★½

  • Blackhat

    ★★★

Recent reviews

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  • Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The Old Man and the Sky

    Take all the details and context together, and I think you can build an argument that this is the most engineered film in history. What else at this budget level, with this type of star guiding the ship who carries around a multi-hyphenate studio assassin as his personal fixer, has ever had two additional years to tinker with the mechanics of a picture? Howard Hughes, maybe? Kim Jong-il? It’s hard to recall a scenario…

  • Petite Maman

    Petite Maman

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The Parent Trap -or- Nelly and Marion Go Boating

    After leveling-up with Portrait of a Lady on Fire, this is the type of filmmaking 'retreat' (i.e., infinitesimal scale, 'tweener runtime) that could gesture toward creative indecision, abbreviated ambition, or possibly just pandemic-necessitated isolation, but in fact reflects an artist precisely in-tune with her values: clarity, economy, and wise compassion. The center of Sciamma’s cinema, after all, is not physical but emotional, so the landscape of this moonrise kingdom is drawn in…

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  • American Hustle

    American Hustle

    ★★½

    AD: "Auteurs Direct, this is Ryan, how may I help you?"

    DOR: "Returns, please."

    AD: "Which Auteurs Direct product are you looking to return today?"

    DOR: "I ordered one Scorsese '70s Starter Kit, but I was sent the Ted Demme version instead. I'm looking for the Scorsese, the vintage model."

    AD: "I'm afraid your previous orders suggest the Scorsese '70s Starter Kit isn't compatible with your toolset, so that's why we sent you the Ted Demme. You've purchased the Remedial…

  • Spotlight

    Spotlight

    ★★

    Noble mediocrity, of the most self-consciously humble order. Co-writer and director Tom McCarthy starts with an unnecessary flashback and tip-toes through the chronology of events with the literal-mindedness of a 7th-grade book report: Convenient facts, laid out in a row, delivered with the shrunken vocabulary of a child. It's a work of service-journalism that wants to be judged on its clear-eyed morality; it deserves to be seen as an artless, charmless piece of homework that refuses to challenge its audience…