• Mean Streets

    Mean Streets

    ★★★★

    A solid prototype if ever there was one

  • Bad Lieutenant

    Bad Lieutenant

    ★★★★★

    Pretty rad lieutenant

  • Nixon

    Nixon

    ★★★★★

    Can’t believe how much I dug this. Such frenetic shifting of formats and bizarre one-off choices ironically in service of a slow burn rise and fall, whose high point is still pretty miserable. It also seems to be the only sensible way to house Oliver Stone’s brand of direct, explicit criticisms coming from everyone in and out of Nixon’s circle. Some of the most pointed cuts I’ve ever seen, to an almost petty degree if they weren’t taking jabs at…

  • Something's Gotta Give

    Something's Gotta Give

    ★★★★

    Didn’t buy for a second that Keanu Reeves was a doctor, but I believed without hesitation that he was in love with Diane Keaton.

  • John Tucker Must Die

    John Tucker Must Die

    ★★★★

    Tight script

  • Napoleon Dynamite

    Napoleon Dynamite

    ★★★★

    I’d seen the first ~15 minutes and all the famous scenes and random clips on tv, but I never sat down to actually watch it in full. I think it can rightfully be called an impressionistic portrait of the Midwest, and it’s surprisingly sweet. I have a weird time dilation thing with this movie where to me it’s always been around, but I remember Nacho Libre coming out. In my mind’s eye this is what my older brother’s high school was like.

  • The Black Phone

    The Black Phone

    ★★

    There’s nothing here

  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

    Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

    ★★★★

    Shits on Paddington I’m sorry folks

  • Nope

    Nope

    ★★★★

    I don’t think this is “less metaphorical” than Peele’s other films or “dropping the commentary to make way for spectacle” when the commentary is directly about image capture and who spectacle comes at the cost of. If anything, I’d say Us is the one that drops its acute metaphor to play out genre antics for its middle chunk. Even if that were the case here, Peele is finally at the level of constructing set pieces that his scripts have always…

  • Black Swan

    Black Swan

    ★★★★

    Been putting this off for years because I wanted to watch some prerequisites first, but I never did. I was finally held at gunpoint, and it’s good!

    A fascinating artifact between the two Suspirias. I always thought of Guadagnino’s film as “Suspiria if it actually focused on the dancing,” but this movie made me realize that his camera is still pretty distant from the world of dance. Black Swan engages with the choreography on a camera-blocking level and displays a…

  • Broadway Danny Rose

    Broadway Danny Rose

    ★★★★

    For a film that never seems to top any Woody Allen list, it’s crazy how effortlessly it still breathes gold. Mia Farrow is unrecognizable, Gordon Willis is doing some of his best work, and Nick Apollo Forte should’ve been a star. I could’ve lived in the Carnegie Deli framing device. Also, I know this is a silly comparison because it’s just history, but this blows through pretty much the entire scope of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in about 10 minutes, and of course with much more tactility (and tact).

  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller

    McCabe & Mrs. Miller

    ★★★★

    Not Altman’s highest rate of windows shot through (by the camera, at least), but considering this movie has some of the most pristine images I’ve ever seen shining through prefog, extensive filters, rain and snow coming down in addition to snow and steam getting kicked up by wind, and a ton of grain that’s only accentuated by restoration, I think he makes up for it. And there are still a lot of window shots!

    Like every other Altman film I’ve seen it’s probably a 5 but I’m giving it a 4. Arbitrary I know, but if I don’t qualify it, it’ll kill me