Favorite films

  • Apocalypse Now
  • Sorcerer
  • Twin Peaks: The Return
  • Barry Lyndon

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  • Nightmare Alley

    ★★★★

  • The Witch

    ★★★★

  • Doctor Sleep

    ★★★½

  • Skin

    ★★½

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  • The French Dispatch

    The French Dispatch

    ★★★½

    Wes Anderson’s new movie takes sure-footed right turns into the style he is known for, leaning into quirky literary flamboyance, comical eccentricity, and fabulous visual flair. It takes all things “Wes Anderson” and runs with them, so if you don't like that style, The French Dispatch isn’t going to change your mind. Actually, it might drive you crazy. The film is (knowingly) excessive, but since it is composed of three distinct stories, you never get stuck in any one place for…

  • Halloween Kills

    Halloween Kills

    ★★

    David Gordon Green's second entry in the new trilogy is something approximating hot (and bloody) garbage made with studio money and genre formula, and not much else. Think of it as a 105-minute highlight reel of Michael Myers kill scenes held together (barely) by some words and objects and lighting and angry townsfolk chanting “evil dies tonight!” So, what does it have to offer? They get Michael's look and mannerisms right. Tons of gore and brutality (half an hour in,…

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  • Nightmare Alley

    Nightmare Alley

    ★★★★

    A grim, unique, dark as hell, oddball noir gem. The film has fate, destiny, tragedy, swindling, hubris, evil, and deceit. Alcoholism, psychology, and spirituality are all tackled in compelling ways. Two great lead performances, with Tyrone Powers cast out of type as a loathsome charlatan in the performance of his life (think a dark mirror reflection of Eddie from The Hustler), and Coleen Gray as Molly — the good woman in love with a bad man. There is also a terrific…

  • Doctor Sleep

    Doctor Sleep

    After hearing good things and trying to sit down and watch this several times but not getting through the first 10 minutes, I forced myself to watch with focus, all the way through. It is good, and when it connects with the mythology of the original, Danny, Jack, and the ghosts of the Overlook Hotel — which isn’t really until the last hour — it gets fascinating and is at its most engaging for fans coming from the Kubrick film. What…

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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★★½

    Excellent cinematography (Claire Mathon) and a powerful sense of place and time create an impressive backdrop for this love story between a female portrait painter (Noémie Merlant as Marianne) and the lady of the house (Adèle Haenel as Héloïse). Terrific performances memorably etch two strong-willed personalities, equally stubborn and intelligent, in the mind. Set at the end of the 18th century (the time of Jane Austen, whose style of romantic literature this film feels part of), the manners and behavioural…

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★★

    Villeneuve's long-awaited science fiction space adventure, coming more than half a century after Frank Herbert’s novel with a couple failed attempts in between (a cancelled production by Jodorowsky in the 1970s, and a disastrous effort by Lynch in 1984), manages to be both deeply flawed and a movie that doesn’t disappoint. There are two films in there, and I think it will split audiences. It puts on the screen a spectacular and extremely cinematic version of a fascinating and imaginative…