Favorite films

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  • Bullet Train

    ★★★

  • Breakdown

    ★★★★½

  • Causeway

    ★★★½

  • Miami Vice

    ★★★★½

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  • Bullet Train

    Bullet Train

    ★★★

    For something that's styled as a romp, directed as a romp, and sold as a romp, 'Bullet Train' proves to be weirdly convoluted. I'd be interested to know just how much of this movie is made up of sidebars, flashbacks, and backstory. At a rough estimate I'd say maybe about a fifth of the total running time. Heck, even during the end credits 'Bullet Train' is still looping back on itself.

    It's not that some of its interpolations, flashbacks, and…

  • Breakdown

    Breakdown

    ★★★★½

    Jonathan Mostow's work on 'Breakdown' and his subsequent career is broadly analogous to that of Andrew Davis and 'The Fugitive'. Both of these directors made one of the tightest, effective and economical thrillers of the 1990's, and both of them never showed anything like this level of form again.

    Time and again throughout 'Breakdown', Mostow's style and story judgment are clever and judicious. He was smart enough to insist on jettisoning the weird studio-mandated prologue following Jeff as a cameraman…

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  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★★★

    As you may have heard, Denis Villeneuve has made great play of emphasising his desire for you to see 'Dune' on the biggest, baddest, loudest, IMAX-iest screen possible, railing against Warmer's decision to send the movie to HBO Max day-and-date and declaring that seeing his movie on the small screen (and depending on your age, what constitutes 'the small screen' nowadays could mean your TV, or equally your phone, couldn't it?) is analogous to going power sailing in a bathtub.…

  • Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★★★½

    You wonder if Tom Cruise spotted the irony. For all of 'Top Gun : Maverick's barnstorming action and bravura technical coups, and even though the trappings are very different, in dramatic terms Cruise has essentially made 'The Color Of Money' again here. Only this time he's not playing the Tom Cruise part, he's playing the Paul Newman part.

    Just like 'The Color Of Money', 'Top Gun : Maverick' makes a thematic virtue of its own belatedness, both movies mining the…