Favorite films

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  • Old

    ★★½

  • Patch Adams

    ★★½

  • No Time to Die

    ★★★½

  • The Matrix Reloaded

    ★★★

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  • Old

    Old

    ★★½

    After 'The Sixth Sense', 'Unbreakable', and 'The Happening', 'Old' marks, by my reckoning, no less than the fourth time that M. Night Shyamalan has used the dramatic device of a marriage on the rocks as a useful clothesline to hang his thriller narrative and character arcs on. It's a recurring pathology with him which is starting to look more and more like a crutch, a sign of a filmmaker that's vamping rather than running on inspiration.

    The sense of a…

  • Patch Adams

    Patch Adams

    ★★½

    I would love to have been a fly on the wall at the first critics screening of 'Patch Adams' back in December 1998, just to witness the reaction and the frantic scribbling of the assembled hacks upon being confronted by the scene in which Robin Williams dons enema bulbs and bedpans and performs a comedy dance routine in the kid's cancer ward. One can imagine that the temperature in that room would have dropped from 'cool' to downright 'frigid'.

    What…

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  • Black Widow

    Black Widow

    ★★★

    Well, we've reached the point where formula has settled in, haven't we?

    Twenty-five (or is it twenty-four? Or fifty?) movies into this superannuated exercise in crowd-pleasing geekery, we've become accustomed to the tells and tropes of the ongoing Marvel universe. And "Black Widow' KNOWS we have, and tries to get in ahead of us and forestall any critique of familiarity with a new seam of self-aware meta humour. When Yelena admonishes Natasha for always deploying the same 'fighting pose' (which…

  • The Dig

    The Dig

    ★★★★

    'The Dig' is the life-affirming movie that we need right now. So it's a bit of a shame that some of the early reviews have tried to pigeonhole it as kind of a lost Miramax Oscar-bait epic from the late-90's. You know, the kind of well-behaved, slightly sterile exercise in tastefulness that used to get directed by Lasse Hallstrom or John Madden and unleashed just in time for the awards to be collected. And the presence of Ralph Fiennes (the…