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matt has written 793 reviews for films rated ★★★★ .

  • Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

    Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

    ★★★★

    Turn the holy pictures so they face the wall

  • New York, New York

    New York, New York

    ★★★★

    Don't have a ton to add to the discourse on what does or doesn't work about this, except to say that it's a hell of a big swing, especially since once you strip away the astounding artifice and Hollywood metadata and those heavily improvised performances, this is a simple story about a woman struggling to escape an abusive relationship.

  • Dark Waters

    Dark Waters

    ★★★★

    Not without its issues (pacing, occasional histrionics, a little too much digital teal & orange), but I'm totally on board for all of it because this is some classic auteurist gun-for-hire smuggling. Exactly how you do this stuff.

  • The Cotton Club

    The Cotton Club

    ★★★★

    Just can't get my poor self together

    A relatively radical recut doesn't necessarily change the film but definitely clarifies its focus. More musical numbers and less gangster stuff, more blackness and less whiteness, more spontaneity less structure. Whether it's closer to what Coppola wanted to make in the first place is unknowable; there's too much coke and legacy and ambition in the way. But like the majority of his best work it seems strikingly modern, and in this case moreso than ever.

  • The Ipcress File

    The Ipcress File

    ★★★★

    Presented as such though it may have been, this never feels like an answer to Bond but more of a noir story, and I love that the implicit denial of authority isn't just a cheeky character trait but is completely baked in here. And Furie's shot selection is esoteric enough to make you wish he'd actually done a Bond film; so much here is in shadow or a frame in a frame, it's deliberately moddish and continuously surprising.

  • Uncut Gems

    Uncut Gems

    ★★★★

    Elevated horror.

  • Little Women

    Little Women

    ★★★★

    This could easily have settled for modernizing Alcott's novel with some contemporary feminist platitudes and still remained eminently memeable, but instead it's transcendent, a story about owning your story, an unabashed and old-fashioned melodrama, a loving and meticulous object of art.

  • Kundun

    Kundun

    ★★★★

    Nothing

  • The Cotton Club

    The Cotton Club

    ★★★★

    This may mostly miss its emotional targets but it's still a spectacular pastiche and a huge swing, and the relative backgrounding of the black characters' stories in that context seems less to me like an oversight or function of cinematic racism (though it certainly also has to reckoned with on those terms), and more of a subtextual keystone. Either way the final number gets me every time. MVPs: Woody Strode as the door guy, John Barry's gangster Bond score. Drop me off in Harlem.

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★★

    Yesterday is over, tomorrow's on its way.

    Scorsese's FORREST GUMP.

  • Mooch Goes to Hollywood

    Mooch Goes to Hollywood

    ★★★★

    Once upon a time...

  • Cruising

    Cruising

    ★★★★

    We own the night