Favorite films

  • Shadow of a Doubt
  • The Bridges of Madison County
  • All the President's Men
  • Zero Effect

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  • Killing Them Softly

    ★★★★

  • The Last Duel

    ★★

  • A Hero

    ★★★★★

  • Adventureland

    ★★★★½

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  • The Heartbreak Kid

    The Heartbreak Kid

    ★★★½

    When I was 28, I lived in Portland, Oregon for a year, working on a U.S. Senate campaign. I didn't know anyone in town, so I ended up rooming with a guy who worked on the Obama campaign. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but we were both working a lot and socializing with our respective campaigns, so we didn't see each other all that much. After a few months, I realized I'd never had a proper conversation with…

  • Breakdown

    Breakdown

    ★★★★

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

    I grew up in the suburbs in a house filled with women. There were very few adult men around. I never learned much about cars. In fact, my wife, who grew up in rural Iowa, knows way more about them than me. Even now, when I know I'm going to have to go to the mechanic, I get anxiety just thinking about how little I know, what that mechanic will think of me, and and whether or not I should…

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  • Killing Them Softly

    Killing Them Softly

    ★★★★

    James Gandolfini's performance, particularly in that second scene in his hotel room, is the most haunting, terrifying portrayal of middle-aged ennui that I could possibly imagine. And what's worse? It'll probably come true.

  • The Last Duel

    The Last Duel

    ★★

    In which Matt and Ben spend a hundred millions dollars and waste a lot of talented people's time so that they can try (and fail) to apologize for being Harvey Weinstein's frontmen all those years ago.

    This is one of the most unpleasant experiences I've had at the movies. And not in a good way. If they'd had any balls, they would have cast Affleck as the rapist.

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  • CODA

    CODA

    ★★★★½

    The only reason tear-jerkers are considered low art is because we are all broken inside.

  • Being the Ricardos

    Being the Ricardos

    ★★½

    I know how problematic it is for me to comment on a woman's appearance. It's especially uncouth for me to criticize the appearance of a middle-aged actress who has endured years of plastic surgery and Botox to keep a career going in a business that has historically cast its women aside at the first wrinkle.

    But film is a visual medium, and its stories are usually about people. People who need to show emotions through facial expression, especially when the…