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Classic Reviews

A cinephile’s cheat sheet with reviews of the most essential movies from the best directors of the last century, including Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Sergio Leone, Francis Ford Coppola, Akira Kurosawa, and Woody Allen.

Used Cars Review

Used Cars Review

RATING: (3 STARS) For his sophomore effort, following the lively and delightful I Wanna Hold Your Hand, director Robert Zemeckis went a little darker. Used Cars has the same manic energy that defined his feature film debut, but it’s applied in a satire of American capitalism that’s at times as biting and uncomfortable as it […]

I Wanna Hold Your Hand Review

I Wanna Hold Your Hand Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Robert Zemeckis films are a little like those of Steven Soderbergh in the sense that he’s a director who seems to be interested in a lot of different themes and applications of his medium. He’ll swing from Cast Away to The Polar Express without blinking an eye and later in the opposite […]

The Piano

The Piano

RATING: (4 STARS) If you subscribe to the notion that the greatest movies transport you to a place you’ve never been and introduce you to people you’ve never known, The Piano is one of the greatest movies. Not your m.o.? Fine, but anyone who loves rousing melodramas, who appreciates impeccable acting, or who swoons over […]

An Angel at My Table

An Angel at My Table

RATING: (2.5 STARS) There’s nothing inherently cinematic about the story of Janet Frame’s life. She experiences indescribable tragedy, undergoes infuriatingly inappropriate mental health treatment, and ultimately turns these hardships into inspiration for a literary career that would make her known throughout the world. It is a life fully lived, but even putting it as simply […]

Sweetie Review

Sweetie Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Sweetie is the debut film from writer-director Jane Campion, and to be totally frank, it completely shocked me. Its content is bizarre. Its composition is stunning. And its themes are both brutally heavy and totally mysterious. I can’t say I totally wrapped my head around the thing – it loses the literal […]

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) Review

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) There’s something about a film knowing exactly what it is and, just as importantly, exactly what it isn’t. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is a grimy 70s thriller – nothing more, nothing less. But because it doesn’t try to do too much, it can focus on trying to be the […]

Deja Vu Review

Deja Vu Review

RATING: (4 STARS) It takes Deja Vu a long time to get where it’s going, but once it’s driving down a New Orleans highway with one eye in the present and one eye three days in the past, you’re all the way in. This is by far Tony Scott’s highest-concept film ever, and while I’m […]

Domino (2005) Review

Domino (2005) Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) While not the last film in Tony Scott’s filmography (and thank goodness for that because there’s some gold to come), Domino feels like the movie his entire career has been building toward. Ironically, it’s also one of his least successful films financially, and it was largely panned by critics. Let’s get this […]

Man on Fire Review

Man on Fire Review

RATING: (2 STARS) Man on Fire was the first Tony Scott movie I ever saw. I was in high school and just getting into film. Denzel was the man, and this film cranks his badassery up to 14. I couldn’t have loved it more, and it was a film I couldn’t wait to revisit for […]

Spy Game Review

Spy Game Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Spy Game is a film that carries over Tony Scott’s interest in the people who watch us from Enemy of the State, but it does so in a much different way. I had assumed going into this film for the first time that it would be a close sibling to Scott’s previous […]

Enemy of the State Review

Enemy of the State Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Going into this Tony Scott marathon I’ve been on, I had a strong appreciation for both the front end and the back end of the filmography and a lot of question marks in the middle. It was fun, then, to see the transition he made between his two best films, True Romance […]

The Fan Review

The Fan Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) A few films back in my Tony Scott marathon, I wrote about the opening scene of The Last Boy Scout, which saw a star football player get told that he must score a touchdown and win the game or else. As the opposing defenders swarm on him, he pulls out a gun […]

Crimson Tide Review

Crimson Tide Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Tony Scott’s 1995 submarine film has one of the most clever titles in movie history. It most obviously references the name of the ship where most of the film’s action takes place – the U.S.S. Alabama. Crimson is a color that also evokes imagery from the Soviet Union, and while Crimson Tide […]

True Romance Review

True Romance Review

RATING: (4 STARS) True Romance is a fever dream. Who knew that combining the sensibilities of Quentin Tarantino the writer with those of Tony Scott the director would result in something that most closely resembles a 70s Terrence Malick movie? And what if that movie had one of the strongest, deepest casts of any movie […]

The Last Boy Scout Review

The Last Boy Scout Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) It’s easy enough to look at The Last Boy Scout and assume it’s a close relative of 48 Hrs. or Lethal Weapon. They’re all action comedies to one extent or another. They feature an interracial pair with contrasting and clashing styles investigating a crime or larger criminal conspiracy. And in the case […]

Days of Thunder Review

Days of Thunder Review

RATING: (3 STARS) The rap against Days of Thunder (or case for it, depending on your speed) over the last 30 years has been that it’s nothing more than a remake of Top Gun with race cars. In Roger Ebert’s review of the film, he outlined all the ways this film fits squarely into then […]

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