Top Films by Year

One Love – 7.5

The charisma and warmth of Kingsley Ben-Adir’s face and Bob Marley’s reggae music make this film a joyful experience, even if the dialogue is hard to decipher and the plot rarely goes beyond this-happened-then-that-happened. The supporting characters are colorful and convincing, but it is the songwriting and performing that carry the day.

Perfect Day – 6.5

Even a mundane, uneventful life can contain mini-dramas seemed to be one takeaway from Wim Wenders’s portrait of a veteran Tokyo Toilet employee. Then there’s also a reflection of the Japanese ethic: even the humblest job can be performed with diligence, as an art. And maybe the lack of greed and ambition that keeps Japanese […]

Zone of Interest – 9

Disquieting, thought-provoking, beautifully filmed and acted. “Is this what it was really like?,” is only the first of many questions. How would the revelation that this was Auschwitz have hit us if we hadn’t known ahead of time, from the reviews? How did German actors feel about portraying their history as told by a British […]

Taste of Things – 5

A paean to French cuisine, featuring a cast straight out of 19th-century paintings by Fantin-Latour, Manet, Caillebotte, Cezanne, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec (you get the picture). Unfortunately, it is as devoid of plot as any film I can remember. Identifying ingredients and cooking methods can only go so far, and when another meal starts it’s time to […]

The Promised Land – 6

A Danish version of Shane, without the subtlety. There wasn’t a character, plot development or scene that offered any surprise. Mads Mikkelsen is a pleasure to watch, but he joined the class of Joaquin Phoenix and Adam Driver for fewest facial expressions in a role. I couldn’t count the number of movie cliches that piled atop […]

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