Brooklyn-based soul/funk revival

The soundtrack's terrific too

The best documentary I’ve seen this year is Barbara Kopple’s Miss Sharon Jones! (USA, 2015, Starz) Kopple is able to compellingly intertwine the personal tragedy of dealing with cancer with the interpersonal and economic fallout ...

Monty Python meets Clerks

The characters say what I can't outloud.

More than 25 years of bookselling to wonderful souls that eschew the online Prime Deals for the smells of a real bookshop can still wear me out at the end of the day. My moment ...

Val Kilmer never should have stopped doing comedies

Put Real Genius and Wall-E on your list

Real Genius (USA, 1985, TriStar) captures the culture of college nerds better than any other movie I’ve seen. Many characters, anecdotes, and even graffiti come from Caltech students that helped with production. The movie’s also ...

One of the funnest movies of the year was overlooked by audiences

A filmmaker's movie picks

Locke A man driving the same direction for two hours. There are no car chases or big set pieces just one person taking phone calls as he drives along the freeway. The setup sounds boring ...

A Hitchcock protégé + a kissing cousin to Gone Baby Gone

Raymond's slide into horror

The Tall Man I love a convincing scare. Jessica Biel delivers as Julia in The Tall Man (Canada/France, 2012, Cold Rock Productions). Desperate conditions and small-town lore underscore an unknown menace snatching local children. The ...

A fan of magnetohydrodynamics, you say?

Scientifically riveting

The Hunt for Red October Genuine science can appear in the most unexpected places. In The Hunt for Red October (USA, 1990, Paramount Pictures) I was thrilled to see the eponymous sub ran on magnetohydrodynamics ...

A film that stands up well on any size screen

Digital restoration ensures enjoyability for years to come

Thanksgiving just passed and with it my favorite Thanksgiving-ish movies. Woody Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose is essentially a screwball comedy with mobsters, exquisitely filmed in black and white. Thanksgiving elements range from the ridiculous — ...

Brutal takes on reality

Finally available to view in the U.S.

On air finally in the U.S., Gomorrah (Italy, 2014 to present, Sky Atlantic) is an extraordinary TV series that peels off all the glamour of a gangster on a screen. This is a bleak yet ...

Romance, laughs, quirky characters, passion, and classical music

In The Best of Youth (La meglio gioventu) (Italy, 2002, Miramax Marco) Tullio Giordana explores the different seasons of life of characters that develop on parallel paths, as their individual and personal lives become strictly ...

Movies that deliver on chills

Silenty menacing

The Innocents (USA/United Kingdom, 1961, 20th Century Fox) follows Deborah Kerr as a lone governess confronting diabolical forces manifesting power through her young charges (the stakes rival The Exorcist). It gives the sensation of seeing ...

Movie recommendations from a monster maker

Dark masterworks

Why not revisit a Hitchcock classic for October? Psycho and The Birds are amazing, but for me Strangers on a Train (USA, 1951, Warner Brothers) is the most haunting Hitchcock film! Poor polite tennis player ...

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