• Rush

    Rush

    ★★★★

    Exhilarating race cinematography and compelling performances by Daniel Bruhl and Chris Hemsworth elevate a patchy screenplay in desperate need of stronger characterization and removal of standard biopic/sports drama cliches. The subpar and uninteresting score by Hans Zimmer is a disappointment, as a stronger musical presence could have aided the film’s tone, while also giving it more dramatic weight.

    Still Ron Howard’s best film since A Beautiful Mind.


    Ron Howard Ranked - Favorite to Least Favorite

  • Uncut Gems

    Uncut Gems

    ★★★★½

    A superb exercise in anxiety and the excitement of playing the game, whether it be gambling, basketball, love, or jewelry sales. The ending of the film was inevitable and predictable, but didn’t feel lazy or inappropriate to the story the filmmakers had created so far. 

    An obvious and non-controversial observation, but this is certainly the best performance of Adam Sandler’s career.

  • Pride & Prejudice

    Pride & Prejudice

    ★★★★½

    A gorgeous, lush, beautifully-crafted film with a tremendous ensemble of performers, dynamic direction by Joe Wright, and a simple, yet lovely, score by Dario Marinelli.

  • Gaslight

    Gaslight

    ★★★★½

    An intriguing thriller with great performances by Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Joseph Cotten. The plot unfolds at a stately, but not boring, pace, thanks to George Cukor’s directorial touch.

    1944 Ranked - Favorite to Least Favorite

    George Cukor Ranked - Favorite to Least Favorite

  • The Patriot

    The Patriot

    ★★★★

    Despite its shortcomings in the areas of pacing, tonal consistency, and historical accuracy, it is hard not to be entertained by a well-made product of the Hollywood blockbuster machine with great production values, gorgeous cinematography by Caleb Deschanel, a solid John Williams score, and a moving performance by Mel Gibson against a delightfully villainous Jason Isaacs.

  • Where the Sidewalk Ends

    Where the Sidewalk Ends

    ★★★★½

    A great noir with a neatly constructed plot, a good center in Dana Andrews, and one of the most interesting settings for a climax I have seen, plus a very interesting title sequence.

    Otto Preminger Ranked - Favorite to Least Favorite

    1950 Ranked - Favorite to Least Favorite

  • The Lady Vanishes

    The Lady Vanishes

    ★★★★

    Like many of Hitchcock’s later works, this had a nice mix of occasional light humor with mysterious intrigue. This has a stronger ending than The 39 Steps, thus edging the latter out as my favorite of Hitchcock’s British films that I’ve seen.

    1938 Ranked - Favorite to Least Favorite

    Alfred Hitchcock Ranked - Favorite to Least Favorite

  • Lifeboat

    Lifeboat

    ★★★★★

    Meticulously crafted, tightly written, and expertly cast, this is an excellent mid-career masterpiece from Alfred Hitchcock.

    Tallulah Bankhead and Henry Hull were the real standout performances for me, though it’s hard to find a weak link in the ensemble. 

    One of the film’s great achievements is that, though the somewhat happy ending’s inevitability hangs over the entire movie, Hitchcock still managed to up the ante, putting a spectacular action sequence at its conclusion, in a fashion similar to his earlier film, Foreign Correspondent.

    My 20th Hitchcock film!

    Alfred Hitchcock Ranked - Favorite to Least Favorite

    1944 Ranked - Favorite to Least Favorite

  • Freaky

    Freaky

    ★★★½

    With a fun screenplay performed by its ensemble with tongue firmly-in-cheek, this is a great concept that certainly could have been executed better at times, as some character development for the protagonist is greatly needed in the opening of the film to make the Vince Vaughn characterization more funny.

    I’m not a horror fan in any way, but I enjoy genre-hybrids or high concept films in the same vein as Happy Death Day and Ready or Not.

  • The Best Years of Our Lives

    The Best Years of Our Lives

    ★★★★★

    A wonderful achievement by the great William Wyler filled to the brim with sentimentality, emotionally involving performances, particularly from Harold Russell, who gives probably the best non-professional performance I’ve ever seen in a film, and visually exciting cinematography by deep-focus legend Gregg Toland.

    A truly deserving winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture.

    William Wyler Ranked - Favorite to Least Favorite

    1946 Ranked - Favorite to Least Favorite

  • The Little Princess

    The Little Princess

    ★★★

    Solid inoffensive family fare. Nothing really wrong with it, but nothing of highly remarkable quality here either. The plot is quite simple and predictable, but still emotionally involving at its conclusion, while the music and dance numbers, though well-performed, are quite unnecessary. Shirley Temple truly deserved her status as the preeminent child actress of her time.

  • Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza

    ★★★★½

    Not in story or theme, but in terms of feeling and mood, this feels like Paul Thomas Anderson’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood..., just without an insanely violent ending. He presents a tangible world here that I want to inhabit. While the film is about fifteen minutes too long, the moments that are filled with silence and contemplation, particularly the scene on the phone in Gary and Alana’s respective houses, feel interesting, authentic, and necessary. 

    Cooper Hoffman and Alana…