Vadim Rizov

Contact: vadim dot rizov at gmail dot com

Favorite films

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  • The Hidden

    ★★★½

  • Funny Ha Ha

    ★★★★

  • The Banshees of Inisherin

    ★★★

  • The White Ship

    ★★½

Recent reviews

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  • White Noise

    White Noise

    ★★★

    I’ve read five DeLillo novels and with each one have eventually hit a wall at the sheer number of times “secret” is deployed as an adjective, most often applied to histories and conspiratorial undertones in American life; the word’s evocative qualities get diluted down to nothing, as if everything were a false flag operation. Still, White Noise‘s central diagnoses—about media oversaturation in American life and the weird effects it has on people’s brains—have aged remarkably well; while the novel ties…

  • The Good Nurse

    The Good Nurse

    ★★

    Unlike Charles Graeber’s source nonfiction bestseller about Charles Cullen, there’s no irony intended in the title of the Tobias Lindholm’s film version of The Good Nurse. Cullen is likely the world’s most prolific serial killer (American exceptionalism at work once again)—his confessed-to death tally was 29, but the real number may be closer to 400—but the title here isn’t an ironic reference to either high-volume performance or any pretensions to mercy slayings. Instead, it unambiguously applies to Amy Laughren, a…

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  • Frances Ha

    Frances Ha

    ★★★★

    This is the kind of movie that causes strongly polarized reactions based on each viewer's capacity to tolerate/recognize/empathize with those on-screen. Some people just can't handle watching 20-/30-something white people undergo minor crises within a basically privileged framework, which is understandable. (That said, I'm not sure why someone with that mindset would ever go watch ANY NOAH BAUMBACH MOVIE and ask afterwards — as some guy did — " if it had any sort of larger social context… besides only…

  • Magic Mike XXL

    Magic Mike XXL

    ★★★★

    Magic Mike XXL is a putatively "modest"/"small" film — $14.8 million budget, 28-day shooting schedule, a shambling road movie meant to showcase extended musical numbers and largely excising the first film's recessionary panic. (Business is discussed, specifically the hustle of running a small business, but it's not the dominant throughline motivating everything as in the first, a line of inquiry Soderbergh pursued in Erin Brockovich, Bubble and The Girlfriend Experience, in ways that increasingly played like a meta-text about his…