Category: movies

  • Clint to a T The 15:17 to Paris a film by Clint Eastwood.  With Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone, Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer.  *** This review will be loaded with spoilers, but the event which inspired it was well-publicized when it happened, and has been spoken of plenty in the publicity for the movie.  The three men who foiled ... Read more
  • She Got Her Man Phantom Thread a film by Paul Thomas Anderson.  With Vicky Krieps, Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville  ***** It’s tough to like a movie when you can’t stand the protagonist.  But I absolutely loved Phantom Thread.  It’s a candidate for my favorite movie of the year. Reynolds Woodcock—who has a hard name to live up to—is a neurotic, arrogant, ... Read more
  • Sex in Heaven Call Me By Your Name a film by Luca Guadagnino.  With Armie Hammer, Timothee Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar. ****1/2 First the things I don’t like: Everybody is so good looking.  They’re all so intelligent, and talented.  This is the kind of movie where people are lying around their Italian villa in the sun, not doing ... Read more
  • Woman in a Room Full of Men The Post a film by Steven Spielberg.  With Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts. **** There’s something irresistible about newspaper movies, the essentially blue collar guys who work there (they’re writers, but live more like private detectives) with their sleeves rolled up and their ties loosened, the looming deadlines, the whole oldstyle ... Read more
  • Is That a Promise? Ruminations on Star Wars: The Last Jedi a film by Rian Johnson.  With Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega.  ***1/2 For the critics who are now active and influential, the Star Wars movies were their first epics, the movies they grew up on and worshiped.  I’m trying to think of what might ... Read more
  • Ain’t Got One The Shape of Water a film by Guillermo del Toro.  With Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer.  ****1/2 The Shape of Water is a tribute to movies from the fifties, men in suits and fedoras, women in dresses, the Red Menace hovering everywhere, monsters emerging from the deep.  Two of its primary characters, Elisa ... Read more
  • Who You Really Are (You Knew All Along) Coco a film by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina.  With Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach.  ***** I went to this movie as an act of desperation.  Every day I read in the New York Times about the marvelous movies that are arriving for the holiday season and the great reviews they’ve gotten, ... Read more
  • My Elmore Leonard Problem Out of Sight from Four Later Novels by Elmore Leonard.  Library of America.  961 pp. $40.00. I’m coming to the end of my Elmore Leonard period.  I never thought, when I decided to look into his Detroit novels because my son now lives in Detroit and I’ve gotten to know the place a little, that I ... Read more
  • Bitch on Wheels Careens out of Control Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a film by Martin McDonagh.  With Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Lucas Hedges. ****1/2 If I could sue a trailer for false advertising, I would sue the one I saw for Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri, which seems to promise a hilarious comedy in which Frances McDormand releases her ... Read more
  • Mother Battles Daughter.  Both Win. Lady Bird a film by Greta Gerwig.  With Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges, Beanie Feldstein.  ****1/2 I was signed up for this movie as soon as I heard it was by Greta Gerwig.  Gerwig is a fundamentally odd performer: her roles are weird, her characters offbeat; she is slightly awkward physically, though beautiful and winning.  ... Read more