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  • Leave No Trace

    Leave No Trace

    ★★★★

    “It was a rough year.”

    This sentiment always begins its annual excursion as December comes to a close; in that tiresome week’s span during which Christmas is behind us and the short-lived joys of new year’s resolutions are ahead, there’s little to consider but the disappointments and shortcomings yielded from the last twelve months. And now, after the close of the last year and the birth of the next, that statement seems especially true. Of course, Ecclesiastes 1:9 remains true…

  • Green Room

    Green Room

    ★★★★

    Sound check, one-two one-two: slicing, stabbing, snarling, shooting. These are the defining noises of Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room, reverberating through claustrophobic hallways and secret basements with vitriolic fury. Next door, the guitars and drums pulse and pound their heavy metal anthems, but here in the backstage lounge, the music is decidedly less pleasant. And unfortunately for the Ain’t Rights, this malicious set list is only getting started. 

    The key to any successful thriller, I’d argue, is atmosphere — and Green…

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  • For All Mankind

    For All Mankind

    ★★★★

    I love films about space. A mere glimpse if its inherent beauty and grandeur, and the breathtaking wonder of such a massive expanse seizes me in a grasp of comforting humility, smallness, insignificance. Not in a manner that negates worth or value, but in a way that reveals the reality of things much greater than myself. And that, to me, is a comfort almost as immense as space itself. For All Mankind captures this feeling perfectly — but, more than that, this film understands it. And for that, I love it dearly.

    "We felt an unseen love — we were not alone."

  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

    ★★★★★

    My latest essay for FilmFisher, where I dive in to the tragic complexities of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. While this isn’t necessarily my favorite bit of writing that I’ve done, it’s certainly the one that caused the most hours of internal wrestling beforehand. What I came out with in the end is this: that Jesse James is a revisionist revisionist Western — in that, hidden under the guise of genre deconstruction, this film actually…

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  • First Man

    First Man

    ★★★★½

    My friend was visiting from out and town and neither her nor my sister had seen this, so of course I watched it again. Still just as stellar, heavenly, out of this world. I could go on.

    Also, I love my man Chris Nolan, but dude, you kill me with the constant aspect ratio switcheroos. Take notes from First Man’s landing sequence: that’s how you do an IMAX transition!

  • Synecdoche, New York

    Synecdoche, New York

    ★★★★

    (700th Film / 300th Review)

    A couple weeks ago, I noticed that not only was I fast approaching seven hundred logged films here on Letterboxd, but I was also on track to hit the three hundredth review mark on the very same movie. Almost immediately, I knew Synecdoche, New York would have to be the perfect film for such an occasion.

    As it turns out, that was an incredibly stupid thing to think. For a seven hundredth film, no doubt,…