Favorite films

  • Star Wars
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Dances with Wolves
  • Braveheart

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  • Malignant

    ★★★★

  • The Guilty

    ★★★

  • The King of Staten Island

    ★★★½

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    ★★★½

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  • Hugo

    Hugo

    ★★★★★

    A glorious all-ages delight about cinematic storytelling and the magicians behind those stories, Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" finds the director shelving his expected trademarks in exchange for warmth, heart, and a look at the things built to make life worth enjoying. Even without De Niro, DiCaprio, or the violence, the master weaves a meaningful and stirring filmic tapestry that stands with his best work.

    Adapting Brian Selznick's novel, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," Scorsese's film finds Asa Butterfield's orphaned Hugo eking…

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  • Malignant

    Malignant

    ★★★★

    With "Malignant," James Wan crafts an amped-up and electrifyingly fun piece of horror. Built on icy thrills, prickly violence, and throwback energy, the film is another success for one of the contemporary genre's favorite voices.

    Starring Annabelle Wallis as a woman shrouded by a mysterious past and more than one current curse, "Malignant" finds its lead at the center murderous mayhem and a haunting presence. The narrative twists a dark path on its way to revealing its secrets, and that…

  • The Guilty

    The Guilty

    ★★★

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

    A solid thriller carried by Jake Gyllenhaal and a collection of disembodied voices, Antoine Fuqua's "The Guilty" finds its protagonist working to save a woman in distress as his own life and career are in the process of falling to pieces. The woman may offer Gyllenhaal's demoted police officer some kind of salvation; but, as Fuqua's drama ticks down, things are learned about the woman and the busted-down cop, and those things are not as they seem. A single-room drama,…

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  • Inception

    Inception

    ★★★★★

    "Inception," at its most basic, is two things. It is a heist film dressed in science fiction conventions; and it is a study of a man trying to free himself from a near-suffocating past. "Inception," at its more complex, is a cerebral pop-masterpiece. It is an enthralling combination of thought-provoking, layered story-telling and sumptuous aesthetics enhanced by near-flawless editing, sound design, effects, and musical score. Driven by a pitch-perfect cast and the confident directorial hand of Christopher Nolan, "Inception" is a brilliant and unrivaled piece of filmmaking.

  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★★

    "Whiplash," Damien Chazelle's 107-minute-long ode to mentors, musicians, and motivation, is a taut and mesmerizing piece of filmmaking. A quick-moving and engrossing drama that explores the roles of teacher and learner, parent and child, Chazelle builds a film that brims with energy and emotion, bursts with authentic character beats, and soars with a percussive and narrative brilliance.
    With its powerful performances, crackling direction, and riveting story, "Whiplash" is a truly great piece of work.

    Chazelle's story is built around Miles…