• Top 100 Films of the Decade: 2010-2019

    If you asked me in 2010 which studios’ films would be amongst my favorites over the next ten years, I probably would have answered two correctly: Fox Searchlight (11) and Sony Pictures Classics (7). Those are two independent shingles of big Hollywood names that have been pumping out quality pictures for decades. Next up would […]

  • Online Film Critics Society Ballot 2019

    Below is my December 26th ballot for the 23rd annual Online Film Critics Society Awards honoring movies released domestically in the United States during the 2019 calendar year. Group winners were announced on January 6th, 2020 and are highlighted in red. Best Picture #1Parasite #2Portrait of aLady on Fire #3Marriage Story #4Knives Out #5Us #6Uncut […]

  • REVIEW: Portrait de la jeune fille en feu [Portrait of a Lady on Fire] [2019]

    “Don’t regret. Remember.” An eighteenth century Italian countess (Valeria Golino) still residing at the French estate of her late husband has decided she’d like to return home. The best way to accomplish this is marrying off one of her daughters to an affluent Milanese suitor since doing so would secure both their futures while also […]

  • REVIEW: A Hidden Life [2019]

    “We lived above the clouds” With notoriously long post-production periods due to his uniquely poetic editing style, Terrence Malick‘s three-hour WWII romance A Hidden Life may have actually benefited from its three-year delay as far as thematic relevance to current events is concerned. As a rising tide of fascistic totalitarianism takes hold of world governments […]

  • REVIEW: Marriage Story [2019]

    “The pie was just a pie” It’s crazy how love changes the way we see things. Ambition can look like genius when we’re there as a supportive cheerleader and narcissism when we begin to recognize our sacrifices in seeing it get fulfilled. Success can be construed as a mutually beneficial byproduct of a union when […]

contact me:
[email protected]

film reviews

REVIEW: Judy [2019]

“What if I can’t do it again?” Playwright Peter Quilter has stated that the original play (“Last Song of the Nightingale”) on which “End of the Rainbow” was modeled upon found its inspiration from an alcoholic male singer met while traveling with his partner on a cruise ship wherein the latter was also a performer. […]

REVIEW: Monos [2019]

“The Organization is our family” A scene of kids having fun playing a game of blindfolded soccer at night turns into a day of boot camp with an unknown man (Wilson Salazar) berating them like a drill sergeant to run faster, look meaner, and stand straighter. These child soldiers are hiding high up in the […]

REVIEW: Hustlers [2019]

“We were like hurricanes” What’s a better hustle than declining the price tag a Hollywood studio offered for your life rights to wait until the film is a hit and then sue the production for defamation? Samantha Barbash pretty much bet on the story—I’m hypothesizing that this was her intent based solely on her characterization […]

REVIEW: Harpoon [2019]

“We need to promise not to kill each other” Writer/director Rob Grant wastes zero time getting us in the right frame of mind with Brett Gelman‘s perfectly sardonic voice narrating an auspiciously violent collision of three close friends caught in a lovers’ misunderstanding. Harpoon‘s first scene provides effect—a stranded yacht in the middle of the […]

REVIEW: Ad Astra [2019]

“Most of us spend our entire life in hiding” In our quests for more, many of us forget that which we already have. This is true on a micro (sacrificing family for career) and macro (domination no matter the collateral damage) level. Space exploration can often become a rather direct example of this as a […]

REVIEW: Zeroville [2019]

“Your head precedes you” An autistic architecture student at a seminary in Pennsylvania watches his first ever film (A Place in the Sun) and has an experience akin to hearing the voice of God. This new world is opened to Jerome “Vikar” Isaac and he decides he needs to be a part of it. So […]

REVIEW: Low Tide [2019]

“You ready to go exploring?” Just because writer/director Kevin McMullin‘s debut feature Low Tide centers on a trio of locals stuck in a New Jersey banks vacation town and forced to watch rich kids come every summer to treat them like one of the attractions with which to entertain themselves doesn’t mean it’s an “us […]

REVIEW: Así habló el cambista [The Moneychanger] [2019]

“Enjoy every penny earned and spent” Mr. Schweinsteiger (Luis Machín) ran a good game in Uruguay by helping unsavory folks launder money through him for a percentage. He was smart too, refusing to work with politicians knowing they’d eventually screw something up and drag his name down with them. Unfortunately, however, the man he willingly […]

REVIEW: The Goldfinch [2019]

“I lost something that should have been immortal” Theo Decker (Oakes Fegley) lost a lot one fateful day at The Metropolitan Museum of Art when an unexplained terrorist bombing took his mother, home, stability, and, most importantly, his childhood away. One second he’s stealing a glimpse of the young girl (Aimee Laurence‘s Pippa) beside him […]

REVIEW: Depraved [2019]

“You brought the war home with you” So much of what we do in our lives comes down to a matter of could versus should. Many of us want to prove ourselves worthy by doing something nobody has ever done before, yet the hubris of such a desire often leaves us paying a price we […]

REVIEW: Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice [2019]

“So I started looking for other things” Upon sitting down to Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman‘s documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, I had to ask myself why I knew her name. She’s obviously one of the biggest chart-hopping women to ever grace a stage and record music, but I couldn’t think of […]

REVIEW: It Chapter Two [2019]

“We all need to remember” When last we left Derry, Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgård) had fallen to his presumed death after a brawl with the Losers Club in his sewer lair. What we didn’t see as he slipped out of view were the Deadlights extinguishing—those bright beacons of insanity that caused countless children […]

REVIEW: Jauja [2014]

“The desert devours everything” Colonialism, Manifest Destiny, and any other act by a foreign nation to claim the land of an indigenous people as its own are performed with a desire for power and prosperity. It’s about ego and entitlement—the search to create a mythology that glosses over genocide for the “heroism” of a brute […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: This is Not a Movie [2019]

“This is where the match was lit” The reason Yung Chang picked This is Not a Movie for the title of his documentary on renowned journalist Robert Fisk stems from his subject’s inspiration for pursuing that line of work. Fisk talks about watching Alfred Hitchcock‘s Foreign Correspondent as a boy and thinking its lead led […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: Pelikanblut [Pelican Blood] [2020]

“I’m the lucky one” Writer/director Katrin Gebbe is not messing around with her latest film Pelikanblut [Pelican Blood]. What starts as a psychological drama about a mother desperate to provide her new daughter the love necessary to free her from the demons of a traumatic past gradually escalates into a supernatural thriller augmenting what science […]