I will provide ongoing commentary on all things "movies". Please feel free to add your comments if you like.

Recent Reviews

My favorite films of 2019!

My top 20 for 2019. Located at: https://letterboxd.com/garyjbjr/list/my-top-20-2019/. This was an excellent film year, particularly in the international film arena; international films occupy several of the top spots. Parasite (Korea): The story of a poor family infiltrating the lives of a rich family tells a very contemporary and universal story that is expertly directed. Marriage Story: A powerfully acted story of divorce that ranks with A Separation and Kramer vs Kramer as among the best. The argument scene is one that I will remember for a very long time. Adam Driver and Scarlet Johansson give the performances of their careers, …

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Best of 2018

Favorite Films of 2018 2018 was a defining year for film in so many ways. In the U.S., I cannot recall any year where there were so many films from African-American directors and involving African-American actors. The stories were diverse – from Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, based on an unbelievably true story, to Sorry to Bother You, one of the most original films in many years that reminded me of Charlie Kaufmann movies. Then there were all of the others – Black Panther, the largest grossing Marvel Comics film of all time and a breakthrough in its central story from a …

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The Year for African American Directors and Actors!

This looks like the breakout year for film for Black and African American themed films, actors, and directors. Early in 2018, “Black Panther”, broke so much new ground with its almost total Black casting and its strong African influences. It is the first comics film to be grounded in African and African-American culture and experience. Its director, Ryan Cooglier, also directed the great Fruitvale Station several years back. Next to arrive was “Sorry to Bother You”, a debut by Boots Riley that is great social satire on race and race relations. Where it is its most hilarious and inspirational is …

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2018 Best Actors, Actresses, Director, and Ensemble

I never try to predict who will win, but here are my favorites for 2017. I also include a section at the end for ensembles, because this year, more than others I recall, films were great because of the combination of superb acting and directing. Best Actor: I loved Timothee Chalamet’s performance (Call Me by Your Name), but his best (and IMHO most stunning) scenes came at the end. Gary Oldman’s performance was solid (Darkest Hour), but the movie felt scattered and left me mostly uninterested. I felt similarly about Denzel Washington’s performance (Roman J Israel, ESQ) as a lawyer …

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My Favorite Films of 2017

Several films clustered right at the top for me, making it challenging to pick what I thought was the best. I rated the best as 4.5 or 5 Stars, and my final decision on the top 15 rests on how much of an impact the film made on me. Exemplary acting, music, screenplay, cinematography, are essential and taken for granted in these selections; however, movies I thought about days, weeks, and even months afterward are what topped my list. So, here are my favorites: Phantom Thread: Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis again team up to create a surprising, weird, …

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