Matthew Buchanan

Matthew Buchanan Crew

Co-founder of Letterboxd.
“I’m twelve. But I’ve been twelve for a long time.”

Favorite films

  • The Ground We Won
  • Sunshine
  • Mulholland Drive
  • Love Serenade

Recent activity

All
  • Spaceman

  • Past Lives

    ★★★★

  • Sleeping Beauty

  • When Evil Lurks

    ★★★

Pinned reviews

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  • First Man

    First Man

    ★★★★½

    Grainy, noisy and claustrophobic, and that’s before we even set foot inside a Gemini module. It took me a little while to warm to Linus Sandgren’s extreme close-up camerawork, but it’s a stylistic choice that serves to reframe any mundanity that was present in the Armstrongs’ home life, and to propel an otherwise traditional narrative along in an unexpected way.

    The mostly male cast is teeming with worthy character actors, many of whom are underused, but only so we can…

  • United 93

    United 93

    ★★★★★

    Ruthlessly economical filmmaking that so effectively illustrates just how unexpected and unfathomable the events of 9/11 were for the passengers and ground crews involved.

    Once past the opening hotel-room and boarding-gate scenes, the film never strays beyond the walls of the hijacked aircraft or the military and civilian command centres that responded. Director Greengrass provides no explanation — other than perhaps nerves — for the hijackers’ delayed gambit on board, and deliberately downplays most of the day’s iconic imagery: the…

Recent reviews

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  • Stray

    Stray

    ★★★★

    Set in New Zealand’s deep south, Dustin Feneley’s feature debut is a tender exploration of both interior and exterior remoteness, the former in the shape of a relationship between two damaged ‘strays’ who don’t speak much, and the latter captured through Ari Wegner’s (The Power of the Dog, Zola) distant, patient lens.

  • Out of the Blue

    Out of the Blue

    ★★★★★

    A chilling, artful and sensitive recreation of one of New Zealand’s most notorious acts of violence. I’m fascinated by depictions of historical events and the degree to which a reconstructed reality must be balanced with artifice, character moments and narrative drive. Sarkies delivers here what I understand from written accounts to be an achingly accurate portrayal of an unknowable evil.

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  • Drive

    Drive

    ★★★★★

    The tech writer John Gruber is fond of a Kubrick quote about the truth of a thing being in the feel of it rather than the think of it, a phrase that for me perfectly explains the appeal of Nicolas Winding Refn’s noirish adaptation of the James Sallis novel. Right from the first hotel-room scene, through a near wordless fifteen-minute opening stanza, the foreboding atmosphere of an after-hours, back-streets Los Angeles takes hold. An ambient, minimal score by Cliff Martinez…

  • Poor Things

    Poor Things

    ★★★★★

    Felt like a strange and wonderful amalgam of words by the Decemberists and pictures by early-nineties Tim Burton, punched up to transcendent heights by one of the most accomplished directors in any era, and served to an obliging audience on a baroque silver platter.

    Emma Stone is the heart—and eventually the brain—of this operation, in a risky, career-defining role that will land her, if there is any such thing as justice (or an end to the SAG strike), her second…