Favorite films

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Interstellar
  • Toy Story

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  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence

    ★★★★★

  • Bros

    ★★★

  • James and the Giant Peach

    ★★★

  • The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

    ★★★

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  • The Heartbreak Kid

    The Heartbreak Kid

    ★★★★★

    Me, listening to the Polly Platt series on You Must Remember This: Peter Bogdanovich is a MONSTER! How could anyone ever be so cruel and self-centered and vapid and selfish?! I can NOT imagine anyone EVER abandoning his wife and children like that ...

    Me, watching The Heartbreak Kid: I WOULD THROW MY ENTIRE LIFE AWAY FOR YOU CYBILL SHEPHERD MARRY ME NOW

    And, thus, this is a 106-minute masterpiece of American cringe comedy, a thorough excoriation of male naivety…

  • Vagabond

    Vagabond

    ★★★★★

    Perhaps the perfect representation of Agnès Varda — documentary style in a narrative feature that demonstrates the type of radical empathy that is only possibly through filmmaking. I can't recall a fictional film that shows such deep interest in and careful concern for its central figure — unpacking a life through close observation and conversations with those she came in contact with.

    While the vast majority of those Mona encounters see her as an object, Varda is sharply focused on…

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  • Thirst

    Thirst

    ★★★

    It’s easy to be dismissive of a film for the mere fact of being longer than it needed to be, but that’s truly the case here with a first half that is so patient and contemplative about concepts of faith, obedience, sacrifice, temptation, and guilt, then seems to lose its grasp on those ideas in a second half that leans far too hard into the more wild genre-rooted elements of the story.

    But someone please show Paul Schrader the first 45 minutes of this so we can get Song Kang-ho cast his next Lonely Man protagonist.

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas

    The Nightmare Before Christmas

    ★★★★

    An unsettlingly wondrous demonstration of human creativity, in every frame of every shot and every note of every song, all in service of a story about the perils of being good at something but eventually burning out at the unending demands for more.

    I have no nostalgic attachment to this one, as the mere thought of something full-throatedly forcing All Hallows Eve onto the sacred space of Christmas was an absolute non-starter for my conservative religious father. But it turns…

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  • The Devils

    The Devils

    ★½

    The filmmaking is certainly unrivaled, but most positive reviews on this site seem based on shock value and the film's previous unavailability alone.

    There's a really, really uncomfortable thread here that modern anti-#MeToo critics would lovingly embrace. Accusers, as Russell presents them, are just repressed, needy women who level baseless accusations in an effort to ruin our heroes — mustachioed men who settle down after their previous philandering left a trail of wrecked women but no consequences for them. Other…

  • Toy Story 4

    Toy Story 4

    ★★★★★

    It's impossible for me to objectively assess this film, and I may never be able to, because my first experience with it was one of the most magical moments of my life. Pardon me while I recount the first time my 4-year-old and 2-year-old boys went to a movie theater, because I want to remember this experience forever.

    This franchise has always held a very special place in my heart, and I was absolutely delighted when it became the first…