Robert Daniels

Film critic at The New York Times, LA Times,, ThePlaylist, Polygon, and more

Favorite films

  • 8½
  • Singin' in the Rain
  • Bicycle Thieves
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

Recent activity

  • Palm Trees and Power Lines


  • Boogie Nights


  • To Leslie


  • Straighten Up and Fly Right


Recent reviews

  • Hold Your Fire

    Hold Your Fire


    Intense, harrowing and urgent, HOLD YOUR FIRE plays like a thriller but still allows space for unpacking identities and excavating the brutality of policing. 

    Seen at Chicago Critics Film Festival

  • Both Sides of the Blade

    Both Sides of the Blade


    As I’ve sat with Claire Denis’ BOTH SIDES OF THE BLADE, the more I’m drawn to the emotional shocks of rawness and vulnerability. Vincent Lindon and Juliette Binoche are enrapturing as lovers split by the emergence of an old flame, and the diminishing of theirs.

    I love how much Denis is protecting and withholding here. The lack of excavation could easily slip the film to levels of underwhelming obliqueness. But obfuscations serve the characters, and their fragile relationship well.


Popular reviews

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness


    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was just… ok. A great Sam Raimi gothic horror flick is lurking underneath the crushing weight of over calibrated MCU world building. But it only pokes through in fits, giving the film a nauseating quality in its rapid tonal shifting.

    The performances are also lacking: Elizabeth Olsen, for instance, just didn’t work for me, and the story made me hate the events in WandaVision even more. I don’t think this movie, on an…

  • tick, tick...BOOM!

    tick, tick...BOOM!

    The most insufferable film, maybe, ever? Andrew Garfield goes big, but that doesn’t mean he’s particularly good. Black people aren’t properly lit. Lin-Manuel Miranda lacks the visual language of a filmmaker (very odd and repetitive compositions. Even weirder editing choices). In general: I had very little patience for Larson. This film creaks under the obnoxious, and misplaced importance of the all-consumed creative, particularly, the white creative, the only kind of creative who’s allowed to carry themselves like Larson does. That’s…