• Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    extremely embarrassed that there were a couple weeks in my teens where I was convinced this had anything worthwhile to offer. embarrassing on pretty much every level. McDormand gives one of the worst performances I have ever seen. a three-way tie for the worst scene ever written by a great writer between the confession to the CGI deer, the drunk Crips and Bloods monologue, and Rockwell reading the letter from Harrelson while McDormand yeets Molotovs at the police station. it…

  • Murder by Death

    Murder by Death

    watched this hoping for a silly murder mystery with the vibes of Clue, got a horrendous spoof with one of the most racist performances in film history from Peter Sellers. a waste of a great set.

  • The Beekeeper

    The Beekeeper

    ★★★

    a call to arms for presidential accountability that features Statham brutally murdering numerous Secret Service agents. ludicrous, borderline unfinished, politically incoherent trash. great time at the movies.

  • Friends with Benefits

    Friends with Benefits

    ★★★★★

    in this middle of this sexy rom-com, Richard Jenkins gives one of the most emotional depictions of dementia I’ve ever seen. a film with remarkable tenderness, humour, sexiness, chemistry and maturity. hurts me constantly that Mila Kunis has done practically nothing of value in a decade, since this and Forgetting Sarah Marshall should have secured her romantic superstardom for a generation.

  • Joint Custody

    Joint Custody

    ★★★★

    criminal that this has less than 20 views on Letterboxd. it’s available on Tubi in the US and Amazon Prime in the UK. this is one of the most fundamentally wacky, formally interesting movies of the new decade. completely free image making, no adherence to technical perfection or film school philosophy, the camera simply goes wherever the director feels like in the moment. the editing is ridiculous, both structurally and moment to moment. the script recycles through about 10 subplots,…

  • Ted

    Ted

    ★★★

    gets a little worse every time I watch it. there are bunch of offensive jokes that aren’t funny, especially the ableist one near the end which makes me feel sick, and tons of structural/narrative choices that are maddening. the Flash Gordon sequence has one joke that drags out way too long, everything with Ribisi is awful and takes up far more of the movie than it should, it spends far too much of the runtime committing to Wahlberg and Kunis’…

  • Dope

    Dope

    ★★★

    loved this as a teenager, its faults have become exceptionally clear as an adult. the script is practically broken, it does Kravitz a huge disservice, there’s so much devoted to white characters’ relationship with the n word which has nothing else to do with the narrative or setting, and it practically endorses drug dealing if you’re able to do it online (but portrays those who do it in real life as stereotypical gangsters.) it is extremely emblematic of a certain…

  • The Maltese Falcon

    The Maltese Falcon

    ★★★★★

    if Bogart hadn’t died in his 50s, he would have thrived in Hollywood after the Hays Code. imagining an even more grizzled, aged Humphrey Bogart in 1970s American cinema is making me long for it. yet, there has never been an actor who has suited black & white cinema more. in shadows, Bogart went from being a 5’8 alcoholic, to the most handsome, romantic, snarling, charismatic screen presence of his era. no actor has ever looked at a woman with as…

  • The Sacrifice

    The Sacrifice

    ★★★★★

    the late great Andre Braugher once talked in an interview about his love of Shakespeare and described his experience with Pericles, Prince of Tyre. “I’ve never read it because I’d like to see one Shakespeare play that I don’t know what happens. I close my ears and hum whenever I hear anything about ‘Pericles, Prince of Tyre.’ ”

    this quote stunned me when I read it the day after his unexpected, tragic death. Braugher is one of my favourite actors,…

  • Fremont

    Fremont

    ★★★

    so slight that it disappears from memory like cotton candy on the tongue. not without its gentle pleasures, but ultimately lacks the soulful melancholy and dexterous dialogue of its obvious influences. would have liked more Jeremy Allen White:

  • Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire

    Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire

    ★★★★★

    there are a few faults in terms of pacing and character development (many of which I believe will be sorted out by the longer cut) but there are only a handful of movies which have filled me with this much joy in the last few years. if I’d seen this as a kid, my imagination would have run wild with all the ideas, worlds and characters introduced. every frame is evidently crafted with passion, with Snyder’s ambition for this universe…

  • Maestro

    Maestro

    ★★★★★

    like Ford’s The Long Gray Line, Bernstein’s entire on screen life is dictated by his craft. we do not see his death, nor any of his childhood or periods before he reached the breakthrough moment of his life. after that initial point, the lives of both Cooper’s Bernstein and Power’s Maher are captured in around 2 and a half hours through brief grace notes of romantic bliss, seismic moments of personal tragedy and significant (and insignificant) career accomplishments. the two…