Favorite films

  • Nashville
  • Close-Up
  • Pickpocket
  • Underground

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  • I'm Your Man

    ★★★½

  • Candyman

    ★★

  • Old

    ★★½

  • Cry Macho

    ★★½

Recent reviews

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  • Cruella

    Cruella

    ★★

    Screener crapped out at 90 minutes. #Blessed

  • Limbo

    Limbo

    ★★★½

    There’s a thoughtfulness to director Ben Sharrock’s framing, from the pans to the frames within frames, that immediately sets the film apart from so many others obviously indebted to the work of Aki Kaurismäki and especially Roy Andersson. You never quite shake off the artificiality of the presentation, but that encumbrance feels attuned to the characters’ sense of displacement. There’s nothing much to the story, a simple tale of reckoning and atonement in a strange land, but it’s elevated by the intimacy of Sharrock’s blocking, the room he makes for kindness, and humor that feels like sweet dollops of relief from so much melancholy.

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  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★½

    "Exhilarating," "astounding," and "electrifying" reads the quotes on the film's poster, from agents of our culture of mean. Okay, I'll give it "electrifying." Miles Teller is a mean drummer, or maybe it's the jazzy cutting that tricks one into thinking so, but the implausible scenario is pretty low-down in how it tries to milk suspense from an unbridled spectacle of human cruelty. Not even sure Damien Chazelle believes his paltry justification for J.K. Simmons's worse-than-Gordon-Ramsay shtick. Maybe someone needs to throw a director's chair at his head so we can see if he's capable of drumming up a "Casablanca."

  • Timbuktu

    Timbuktu

    ★★★★

    Do not miss this great film when it comes to a theater at a major metropolis near you at the end of the month. It has its imperfections, but they pale in significance to its elegiac sense of will. After what happened yesterday in Paris, and especially for those confused about the ties between Islam and terrorism or operating under the mistaken belief that Charlie Hebdo's provocations weren't necessary, the film's searing, lucid depiction of innocents rightfully, righteously fighting fundamentalism from within will grip you in horrified empathy.