• Lilies of the Field

    Lilies of the Field

    ★★★½

    Creeps up on you. Poitier’s performance transcends the somewhat antiquated narrative by imbuing it with complex cross-cultural implications ahead of their time.

  • What's Up, Doc?

    What's Up, Doc?

    ★★★★½

    In any era the idea of a screwball comedy by way of Looney Tunes would’ve sounded bonkers. Minor miracle how well all the gags work here. Could any pop star today pull off the comedic brilliance of Bugs, er, Babs? Lady Gaga oughta think about it.

  • Hud

    Hud

    ★★★★★

    A definitive take on The vanity of the American west, a dark void of toxic masculinity thru Newman’s piercing stare.

  • History of the World: Part I

    History of the World: Part I

    ★★½

    Sketches are astonishingly hit or miss, but Caveman epilogue and Inquisition musical are brilliant enough to sustain films of their own. Bring on part 2, dammit!

  • Anna and the Apocalypse

    Anna and the Apocalypse

    ★★★

    Dig the SEAN OF THE DEAD meets GLEE vibe. Scrappy and uneven but lots of promising young talent with a few bangers.

  • Krampus

    Krampus

    ★★★

    Slept on this 5 years ago but really appreciate the GOONIES/GREMLINS vibes with a spiky finale straight out of INVADERS FROM MARS. Works in fits and starts, drags on, but adore the practical effects. Mad points for ambition! More “PG-13 horror with bite” pls.

  • Sankofa

    Sankofa

    ★★★★

    Like DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, essential 90s cinema woefully ignored as such for decades. A harrowing and often kaleidoscopic immersion into the roots of white supremacy and Black consciousness.

  • Swept Away

    Swept Away

    ★★★★★

    Good lord. A more brilliant and transgressive satire of classicism, misogyny and tribalism at the root of all Western civilization does not exist.

  • Seven Beauties

    Seven Beauties

    ★★★★★

    One of the best Holocaust movies ever, far shrewder than SCHINDLERS LIST. Positions wartime guilt as an outgrowth of pure narcissism. Fernando Rey, holy shit. Wertmüller needs to be a permanent fixture of the classroom.

  • The Battle of Algiers

    The Battle of Algiers

    ★★★★½

    The synthesis of verite realism and agitprop is unparalleled to this day. Only mild qualms about the summary-like quality of its coda. Remains a timeless playbook for revolutionary cinema.

  • Ugetsu

    Ugetsu

    ★★★★★

    Incredible to think of this as a ghost story about patriarchal assumptions — men who want to provide for women who aren’t asking for it. Such a beautiful bitter pill of a wake up call at the end.

  • Sweet Smell of Success

    Sweet Smell of Success

    ★★★★½

    Every generation has its JJ. If remade today he’d probably be Tucker Carlson. In retrospect the moody gravitas is so extreme is borders on camp — is NYC really so joyless? — but good lord is the tempo and the cynicism timely as all hell, with an empowering ending for the ages.