The 20 Best Films of 2020 Pt. 5 (#1)

First Cow It opens boldly, with three minutes of credits. Just white font on a black screen. When was the last time you saw that outside of a Woody Allen movie? Movies don’t have opening credits anymore because we don’t have the attention span for it. Or they think we don’t. Next, we get the…

The 20 Best Films of 2020 Pt. 4 (#5-#2)

My ongoing quest to write as many words about the films of 2020 as possible continues. If you’re interested, check out parts one, two, and three. 5. Sorry We Missed You I live in the country, where there’s a lot of space between houses. I also have five dogs who all need to be walked,…

The Subversive Optimism of “The BFG”

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains a discussion of the plot and ending of “The BFG.” Consider yourself warned. For ninety minutes, The BFG is one of the most intimate, apolitical movies Steven Spielberg has ever made. Despite his reputation as a popcorn auteur, Spielberg’s work has always carried at least a hint of politics, even…

What You Missed in the Summer of ’15

Dear Readers, Remember me? No worries if you don’t. It has been a slow summer of criticism for me, and for a variety of reasons. First and foremost is that, as I get older, I have less and less patience for the slew of commercial crapola that Hollywood spews out during the warmer months, and so I’ve…

What You Missed in March/April ’15

March and April are not the most exciting months for movie-going, with a slew of eccentric indies not strong enough for awards season and the season of summer blockbusters is only just getting started. In the last couple months, I did a little introspection on the subject of racial movies, looked back (and forward) at one…

What You Missed in January/February ’15

The highlight of my 2015 was giving a speech at the Smithsonian on the Oscars, but I did a little writing, too. In January and February, I reviewed some terrific independent films and shared my thoughts on the real star of Birdman, negative campaigns in Hollywood, the political controversy over American Sniper, and the feminism…

What You Missed in 2014

Can you handle one more Top 10 list? Instead of a list of my favorite movies of 2014 (which you can find here), these are my favorite articles of the year – written by me. I hope you have enjoyed reading my work this year. Thank you for reading, sharing, and thinking about my writing.…