Category Archives: Movies

My Favorite Films of 2014

My Top 10 (more in-depth commentary, and other writer’s choices over at 1. Beyond the Lights, directed by Gina Prince-Blythewood. 2. Boyhood, directed by Richard Linklater. Review here. 3. Closed Curtain, directed by Jafar Panahi. Review here. 4. Force … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | 26 Comments

The Individual Top Tens of 2014 (at

There are 10 main writers over at, and yesterday we published our consensus Top Ten. Today, the editors have published each of our individual Top Tens. (The main contributors are featured, and so are a bunch of other writers … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Leave a comment

Goodbye To All That (2014); directed/written by Angus MacLachlan

No, not the famous Joan Didion essay (strange, to pick such a famous title. Kind of like that recent Vanessa Hudgens’ movie called Gimme Shelter. Although maybe MacLachlan is consciously connecting his movie to Didion’s essay?) I wrote about this … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | 2 Comments

The Ten Best Films of 2014 (by contributors)

The way it worked was: Each writer for the site submitted his/her own individual Top 10 List. The editors then collated the group list into a collective Top 10. Tomorrow, our own individual lists will be published. Each one of … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | 2 Comments

The Crowd (1928); directed by King Vidor

Last night was a really special evening: my friend Farran Smith Nehme has written a wonderful novel called Missing Reels. It’s about a bunch of movie-mad characters in 1980s New York who start on a wild goose chase to track … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | 7 Comments

Millennium Mambo (2001); directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien

A circuitous and depressing film by the Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien, Millennium Mambo takes place in 2001, but, as the exhausted-sounding female narrator tells us, the events in the film happened “ten years ago”, giving a sheen of nostalgia and … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | 2 Comments

“Charlie’s nose is totally broken, blood gushing and all he’s saying on the way down is, ‘That was the greatest punch I’ve ever been hit with. Jesus, what a punch. Perfect. Oh, my god.’”

Part 3 of Kim Morgan’s epic conversation with Elliott Gould, Joseph Walsh, and George Segal, about California Split (which turns 40 years old this year.) So many great exchanges, but this one made me laugh out loud: EG: Ernie Lehman? … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, Movies | Leave a comment

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014); directed by Peter Jackson

Mixed feelings. Thought “Unexpected Journey” was an unnecessarily elongated prologue, loved “Desolation of Smaug” (review here), and the final installment feels like a long-drawn-out closing paragraph. Should have been done in one film. Could have been done in one film. … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Tagged , | 23 Comments

The Passionate Thief (1960); directed by Mario Monicelli

Charlie and I went to The Film Forum last night to check out the restored The Passionate Thief (1960), directed by Mario Monicelli, and starring Anna Magnani, Ben Gazzara and Toto. It’s getting a nice theatrical re-release, and it looks … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Tagged | Leave a comment

Inherent Vice (2014); directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

In Joan Didion’s essay “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” there is a section that reminds me of the vibe that Thomas Pynchon captured in his druggy LA-noir set in 1970. Didion wandered through Haight-Ashbury in 1968, 1969, meeting people, hanging out, and … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Tagged | 18 Comments