Movie Reviews (Chronological)

Movie Reviews

A Quiet Passion (2017)

The brilliant Terence Davies cast — Cynthia Nixon in — A Quiet Passion as the great — Emily Dickinson. The poet’s played by Emma Bell — In the opening scenes — Where Emily embraces doubt — And authenticity. But then — the wonder of the sight — family portraits...

Personal Shopper (2017)

Just as Olivier Assayas’s new film Personal Shopper keeps shapeshifting from horror movie to socio-economic commentary to erotic thriller to paranormal murder mystery… so this review keeps shifting as I write it. I haven’t published my comments until...

Get Out (2017)

Earlier this month, my students wrote film reviews of Ava DuVernay’s film Selma.  I pulled sentences from each of them and projected them onto a screen, asking the class to help each other repair grammatical errors in some of the weaker sentences. (This is a...

Paterson (2016)

1. It’s as if director Jim Jarmusch heard about the year that I just survived and somehow decided to bless me, so he studied the movies that have given me particular blessings in the past, and then he went and made a movie that makes make me laugh and cry and...

Cameraperson (2016)

[UPDATE: Cameraperson is now streaming on Amazon Prime.] “Things means things.” That’s what my high school poetry teacher used to say as I blinked at seemingly unrelated elements of a poem. Now I know what he means. The details of our lives, however...

Manchester By the Sea (2016)

Twice now I’ve walked into a movie on a dry cold Seattle day and then emerged to become immediately enchanted by a change in the weather — to be specific, heavy snowfall. And both times, the discovery of the weather made me wish I’d spent the time...

Arrival (2016)

Reader, I confess: I clicked “unfriend” last month. Several times. Understand, I wasn’t ending friendships. I was respecting them — by refusing to let Facebook’s limitations do them further harm. It troubled me to see conversations we might have enjoyed in person go...

Doctor Strange (2016)

It’s easy to see why director Scott Derrickson’s adaptation for the Marvel movie super-franchise is such a success. First: Marvel is a machine that makes blockbusters. Second: Strange boasts standard-setting special effects. (Many say it’s inspired by Inception, but...

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