Favorite films

  • Jaws
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • Rear Window
  • Alien

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  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    ★★★

  • The Trouble with Harry

    ★★★

  • Scream 4

    ★★½

  • The Big Lebowski

    ★★★★

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  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    ★★★

    Marvel brings something new and different to the super-hero origin story, and the results are fairly refreshing, with some Jackie Chan-level fight sequences and mythology reminiscent of Disney’s own Raya. Some strange decisions, though — Awkwafina’s Katy is very much our audience-surrogate figure, and yet the movie establishes Shang-Chi as such at its outset — along with uneven pacing and an overlong run time limit this to mid-tier MCU at best.

  • The Trouble with Harry

    The Trouble with Harry

    ★★★

    Hitchcock, ranked.

    Perhaps Hitchcock’s strangest film, The Trouble with Harry is an absurdist tableau of life in a rural New England town. When a corpse is discovered in the woods outside of a picturesque Vermont town, it paradoxically brings various residents together as they attempt to navigate the proper course of action in order to properly assign — and avoid — blame.

    The various characters’ lack of empathetic reaction to the corpse, and their possible role in its demise, are…

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  • Soul

    Soul

    ★★★

    Disney-Pixar’s latest effort to literalize abstract concepts is more of a mixed bag than Inside Out: the film is thematically resonant and surprisingly mature in its messaging, but the visualization of its ideas, especially in the “Great Before” sequences, seem simultaneously flat and (paradoxically) like it’s trying too hard. 

    There are wonderful moments here, but in the end it’s a film that has twists but no genuine surprises.

  • Blood Simple

    Blood Simple

    ★★★★

    Blood Simple is the kind of movie that’s so tonally cohesive that it subtly rewires your brain, at least temporarily, causing the everyday and commonplace to take on portentous significance. You go for a run to clear your head after the credits roll, and you’re surprised to find that the slant of sunlight through wind-tossed tree branches now seems meaningful and ominous.

    Incredible, then, that it’s the debut feature from director Joel Coen and writer/producer Ethan Coen (not to mention…