14 Jan 2017

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

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06 Jan 2017

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 arbitrary, will talk with one another if

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12 Sep 2016

Sully (2016)

Sully is a fine film — a compelling, suspenseful account of a few hours in which one man, who had been responsible and brave and reliable his whole life, made the best decisions under incredible pressure and saved all “155 souls” on US Air 1549 from death. In doing so,

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31 Aug 2016

The BFG (2016)

Once upon a time, a father and son saw Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG.” You won’t believe what happened next.

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22 Aug 2016

Pete’s Dragon (2016)

Attention, parents: If you fed the Hollywood machine a bunch of money for The Secret Life of Pets, making it a blockbuster and guaranteeing that we’ll all have to deal with plenty of obnoxious sequels in the years ahead, how about letting Disney know you also appreciate, you know, really

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13 Aug 2016

The Little Prince (2016)

Last night, I took a break from a stressful week to catch my breath and watch The Little Prince. It seemed like just the sort of fairy tale feature that would rekindle my own storytelling instincts and make me want to… well… make stuff.  And it almost did. A story within a

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26 Jul 2016

The Witch (2016)

This is world-class horror filmmaking. And it illustrates unnerving truths about what happens to community and family when the response to evil is blame and violence instead of soulful repentance and faith.

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15 Jul 2016

La Dolce Vita (1960)

One of my favorite things: Camping out in my home office, putting on a classic film I’ve never seen before, and live-posting my thoughts to the Looking Closer Specialists. Why? They’re a smart, film-literate bunch, and I end up learning from their observations. A few months ago, I live-posted my first-impressions

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15 Jul 2016

Sing Street (2016)

Someday we’ll find it, The rainbow connection — The lovers, the dreamers, and me. – “The Rainbow Connection,” The Muppet Movie  • [This review is dedicated to Laure Hittle, one of the Looking Closer Specialists, whose contributions to keep this website alive made this review possible. Want to become one of

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29 Jun 2016

Finding Dory (2016)

I did feel some trepidation as I took my theater seat. Did I really want a sequel to what I consider to be Pixar’s most beautifully realized film, its most perfect execution of its narrative strengths? Could a follow-up do anything but dilute the formula?

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