Matthew Buchanan

Matthew Buchanan


Co-founder of Letterboxd.
“I’m twelve. But I’ve been twelve for a long time.”

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Pinned reviews

  • First Man

    First Man


    Grainy, noisy and claustrophobic, and that’s before we even set foot inside a Gemini module. It took me a little while to warm to Linus Sandgren’s extreme close-up camerawork, but it’s a stylistic choice that serves to reframe any mundanity that was present in the Armstrongs’ home life, and to propel an otherwise traditional narrative along in an unexpected way.

    The mostly male cast is teeming with worthy character actors, many of whom are underused, but only so we can…

  • United 93

    United 93


    Ruthlessly economical filmmaking that so effectively illustrates just how unexpected and unfathomable the events of 9/11 were for the passengers and ground crews involved.

    Once past the opening hotel room and boarding gate scenes, the film never strays beyond the walls of the hijacked aircraft or the military and civilian command centres that responded. Director Greengrass provides no explanation — other than perhaps nerves — for the hijackers’ delayed gambit on board, and deliberately downplays most of the day’s iconic…

Recent reviews

  • Little Women

    Little Women


    I’m with Demi. Florence, Saoirse, painting and printing presses/publishing houses kept me in this, but … barely. I liked Timmy’s crazy-fool dancing but it is clear that he cannot ice skate—did my eyes deceive me or did they replace him with a CGI skater for the middle-distance shots where his back was to the camera? (For the record, I was fine with the carriage ride.)

  • The Way Back

    The Way Back


    Clear eyes, full glass, can’t lose. I have a soft spot for Ben Affleck in these types of roles. Hopeless, paunchy Ben. Tearful, drunk Ben. Dishevelled, untucked, sweary Ben. Here he does a decent job of conveying the broken, addicted everyman whose former glory on the basketball court a quarter century prior makes him the unconventional first choice to lead his alma mater’s team of disorganised but competent players, when they find themselves suddenly without a coach.

    The Way Back

Popular reviews

  • Drive



    The tech writer John Gruber is fond of a Kubrick quote about the truth of a thing being in the feel of it rather than the think of it, a phrase that for me perfectly explains the appeal of Nicolas Winding Refn’s noirish adaptation of the James Sallis novel. Right from the first hotel room scene, through a near wordless 15-minute opening stanza, the foreboding atmosphere of an after-hours, back-streets Los Angeles takes hold. The ambient, minimal score by Cliff…

  • Les Misérables

    Les Misérables


    Golden boy director, hot off earnest 2011 Oscar winner The King’s Speech, cashes in open-slather offer for next project by committing to film universally adored hit musical about love at first sight and the redemptive power of student uprisings.

    Loses drunken bet over which member of the Master and Commander cast will play the pivotal role of Javert, and is forced to cast vocally-challenged Aussie rocker, only to have him murder ‘Stars’ and be thoroughly upstaged by pint-sized unknown Daniel…