Favorite films

  • The Awful Truth
  • All the President's Men
  • L'Eclisse
  • Miami Vice

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  • All the President's Men

    ★★★★★

  • Spider-Man 2

    ★★½

  • To Be or Not to Be

    ★★★★½

  • Die Hard

    ★★★★

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  • All the President's Men

    All the President's Men

    ★★★★★

    This is a movie with a big message and far-reaching story but at heart it's about grunt work, the tedium of nailing down countless little details and sweating each and every one of them late through the night, on twenty cups of coffee. Pakula takes great pains to render this beautifully by emphasizing the protagonists' reportorial techniques and the intricate, beautiful din of the newsroom. It's incredibly mesmerizing, very similar to watching master craftspeople at work except here you feel…

  • Spider-Man 2

    Spider-Man 2

    ★★½

    You’d think that given how exasperated I am by Marvel’s endless onslaught of interconnected nonsense that I would luxuriate in the relative simplicity of this, the widely acknowledged height of the pre-MCU super-hero genre. It is for the most part a legitimately complete movie, even featuring an ending that one could look at as an actual ending and not just a segue to another sequel. But it’s also surprisingly heavy handed throughout, despite its relatively few encumbrances. Raimi here has…

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  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Way, way back in “Episode V," when Darth Vader revealed himself to Luke Skywalker as his father, it felt like an earthquake. Suddenly a deep, telling connection was revealed, and it totally changed the way we understood the story being told.

    In J.J. Abrams’s monumentally stupid “Episode IX,” _everything_ is connected, everyone is related to everyone else, and it couldn't be less surprising, less impactful, because when everything is meant to be important, nothing is. Abrams has perverted the whole…

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★

    I'm so happy that Asian-American cinema is a legit real thing now, and that we have roles like these for Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan. But I'm less happy about how pastiche cinema has become a substitute for genuine invention—I'm not sure I need another genre mashup exercise where the directors wear their influences as conspicuously on their sleeves as this. This movie doesn't even feel like sub-Tarantino fare to me; it's sub-Edgar Wright-ian, really, and that's not a…