Mission: Impossible – Fallout – 2018 McQuarrie

More than anything I appreciate the brashness of it—from Cruise probably first and foremost and from Chris McQuarrie as well- they went for it in terms of degree of difficulty and stunt and set piece

Paths of Glory – 1957 Kubrick

It has aesthetic connective tissue with Ophuls (again The Shining) and a spirit of middle-finger cinema related to Luis Bunuel- a film of the highest artistic quality and I’m leaning towards masterpiece status (first time

The Social Network – 2010 Fincher

It’s a masterpiece that may combine the best work of both David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin Hard to top Travers: “The Social Network lights up a dim movie sky with flares of startling brilliance. Director

Atomic Blonde – 2017 Leitch

Very impressed with Leitch’s exercise in style 80’s Berlin-chic, drenched in neon in every scene—nods to Refn’s Drive Strong supporting cast but it’s Charlize Theron’s show- she’s impeccable- nods to Delon in Le Samourai and

Leave No Trace – 2018 Granik

Another very solid film from Debra Granik (Down to the Bone in 2004 and Winter’s Bone in 2010)- clearly she can create atmosphere and gets strong performances (whether it is Vera Farminga, Jennifer Lawrence or

Romeo + Juliet – 1996 Luhrmann

Cinematic opulence- Baz would do it all better in 2001’s Moulin Rouge!, his masterpiece, but this is more than just a flawed rough draft—it’s a gorgeous and inspired precursor The opening is a jaw-dropper—Luhrmann showing

Carol – 2015 Haynes

It’s one of the more beautiful 16mm films (blown up to 35) I’ve seen. It has Haynes penchant and skill for gorgeous framing, lighting, and overall mise-en-scene From Patricia Highsmith’s “price of salt” as source

Chinatown – 1974 Polanski

One of the greatest pure narrative films in the art-form’s history A meditation on power, corruption—an intelligent labyrinth that updates (and improves upon) the best detective films of the studio system Hollywood era (superior to

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? – 1993 Hallström

It’s a family portrait with a bittersweet tone that is in the archives largely on the basis of the two performances from Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio The rest of the ensemble is strong as

Sorry to Bother You – 2018 Boots Riley

With a second watch I’m not sure if some of the flimsier connective tissue will meld—or float apart—but either way it’s a wildly innovative, intelligent, and aspiring film While being wholly original (excited to see

The Guardians – 2017 Beauvois

A slow-burn period epic (sometimes romance) with great photography and a meditative approach based in realism Great photography of the countryside, wheat fields—Van Gogh or Monet paintings—photography by Caroline Champetier—worked on Holy Motors Never shows

I’m Not There. – 2007 Haynes

The narrative storytelling is fascinating—a collage, kaleidoscope—impressionistic biopic that avoids the dry conventional biopic like the plague (sort of the anti-Ray or Walk the Line) Haynes sets it up early with a montage of his

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