Top Films by Year

The Last Dance – 8.8

A remarkable ten-episode study of Michael Jordan and his championship Chicago Bulls teams – remarkable both for the inside look it offers at professional athletes and the ambivalent picture it provides of the man who offered this access. I was neither a fan nor particular follower of MJ during his career, but this documentary clearly […]

My Brilliant Friend – 9

Brilliant, indeed. Elena Ferrante’s novel, the second of the quartet, is brought to life by the subtlest of expressions on Lila and Lenu’s faces. Lenu, in fact, makes a total of two short speeches in the course of eight episodes, yet we feel we know what she is thinking every moment. Lila, by contrast, is […]

Da 5 Bloods – 7.5

A hit-and-miss affair from Spike Lee–nowhere as polished as BlackKklansman, but provocative in its looks at race, Vietnam, friendship, greed–remarkable in its aspirations if not its execution. First off, I should say that Delroy Lindo should be a lock for an Oscar nomination, at least, for his performance. Next best was having a range of […]

The Painter and the Thief – 3

This documentary is sort of like Normal People, except the people are unattractive, uninteresting, inarticulate and not erotically charged. Barbora is a better painter than interviewer and it’s never clear what she’s looking for or finding in Bertil, who was so drugged he can’t remember why he stole her painting or what he did with […]

Lost Girls – 8

What a relief, after watching soaps that have no ending (most recently, The Restaurant), to watch a 90-minute movie that has a premise and characters, develops them, builds dramatically and has a resolution – even if, as the opening credit warns us, it’s an “unsolved” mystery. Amy Ryan is sensational as the obsessed, albeit very […]

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