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Films Seen 1/1 – 1/29 (including Sundance Film Festival 2016)

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, January 30th, 2016

Horse Feathers (1932), Norman Z. McLeod, A-
The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965), Carol Reed, A-
The Forest (2016), Jason Zada, D-
Francofonia (2016), Alexander Sokurov, B
Eisenstein in Guanajuato (2016), Peter Greenaway, B+
Histoire(s) du Cinema (1988-1998), Jean-Luc Godard, B+
Sympathy For the Devil: The True Story of the Process Church of the Final Judgement (2016), Neil Edwards, B
Chatter (2016), Matthew Solomon, D-
Ride Along 2 (2016), Tim Story, D
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016), Michael Bay, D+
The Land of the Enlightenment (2016), Pieter-Jan De Pue, B
Kate Plays Christine (2016), Robert Greene, A-
Sand Storm (2016), Elite Zexer, B
Lovesong (2016) So Yong Kim, B+
Cameraperson (2016), Kristin Johnson, B
Dark Night (2016), Tim Sutton, D
Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang (2016), Kevin Macdonald, B
NUTS! (2016), Penny Lane, B
Swiss Army Man (2016), Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, B-
Weiner-Dog (2016), Todd Solondz, C-
The Lovers and the Despot (2016), Rob Cannan and Ross Adams, C-
The Greasy Strangler (2016), Jim Hosking, A-
Operation Avalanche (2016), Matt Johnson, B+
The Eyes of My Mother (2016), Nicolas Pesce, B
Love & Friendship (2016), Whit Stillman, B
Trash Fire (2016), Richard Bates, Jr., C
Southside With You (2016), Richard Tanne, B-
Sing Street (2016), John Carney, B+
Weiner (2016), Elyse Steinberg and Josh Kriegman, A
Antibirth (2016), Danny Perez, B
How To Tell You’re A Douchebag (2016), Tahir Jetter, B
Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words (2016), Thorsten Schütte, A-
The Birth of a Nation (2016), Nate Parker, B
Jacqueline (Argentine) (2016), Bernardo Britto, D
Jim: The James Foley Story (2016), Brian Oakes, B-
Equity (2016), Meera Menon, B

Films Seen 11/15 – 12/16

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Out of the Past (1947), Jacques Tourneur, A
The Amazing Mr. X a/k/a The Spiritualist (1948), Bernard Vorhaus, B+
Very Semi-Serious (2015), Leah Wolchok, B+
The Big Short (2015), Adam McKay, A-
Creed (2015), Ryan Coogler, C+
The Secret in Their Eyes (2015), Billy Ray, D
Mediterranea (2015), Jonas Carpignano, A-
Victor Frankenstein (2015), Paul McGuigan, D
Chi-Raq (2015), Spike Lee, A-
The Revenant (2015), Alejandro González Iñárritu, B-
Submerged (2015), Steven C. Miller, D
Mr. Holmes (2015), Bill Condon, B
The Look of Silence (2015), Joshua Oppenheimer, B
Macbeth (2015), Justin Kurzel, B
Far From the Madding Crowd (2015), Thomas Vinterberg, B
The Danish Girl (2015), Tom Hooper, B
Beasts of No Nation (2015), Cory Joji Fukunaga, A-
The Assassin (2015), Hou Hsiao-Hsien, C-
45 Years (2015), Andrew Haigh, A-
Love & Mercy (2015), Bill Pohlad, B+
Joy (2015), David O. Russell, B-
The Hateful Eight (2015), Quentin Tarantino, B+
In The Heart of the Sea (2015), Ron Howard, C
Intimate Bed 1993), Mircea Daneliuc, C+
Dreams Rewired (2015), Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart and Thomas Tode, B+
Wharf Angel (1934) William Cameron Menzies, George Somnes, B+
I Knew Her Well (1965), Antonio Pietrangeli, A-
In Jackson Heights (2015), Frederick Wiseman, B+
Sicario (2015), Denis Villeneuve, A-
Truth (2015), James Vanderbilt, C
Aferim! (2015), Radu Jude, A
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939), Kenji Mizoguchi, B+
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2015), Walt Becker, C+
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), J.J. Abrams, A
Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art (2015), James Crump, B

Films Seen 10/13 – 11/14

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, November 15th, 2015

Dukhtar (2015), Afia Nathaniel, B-
Field Niggas (2015), Khalik Allah, A
Pan (2015), Joe Wright, D
Le Corbeau (1943), Henri-Georges Clouzot, B+
Seven Psychopaths (2012), Martin McDonagh, C
Jane B. Par Agnès V. (1988), Agnès Varda, A-
Extraordianry Tales (2015), Raul Garcia, C
Censored Voices (2015), Mor Loushy, C+
Mandragora (1997), Wiktor Grodecki, B
Passion (1982), Jean-Luc Godard, B+
Alladin (1992), Ron Clements and John Musker, A-
Rock the Kasbah (2015), Barry Levinson, D-
Steve Jobs (2015), Danny Boyle, B-
The Last Witch Hunter (2015), Breck Eisner, B
Jem and the Holograms (2015), John M. Chu, C
Branded to Kill (1967), Seijun Suzuki, A
The Call of Blood (1964), Seijun Suzuki, B
Youth of the Beast (1963), Seijun Suzuki, A-
Fighting Elegy (1966), Seijun Suzuki, B
Gate of Flesh (1964), Seijun Suzuki, A
Tokyo Drifter (1966), Seijun Suzuki, A-
Pistol Opera (2001), Seijun Suzuki, B+
Out 1 – Nolo Me Tenegre (1971/2015), Jacques Rivette, B+
Sex, Death and Bowling (2015), Ally Walker, F
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015), Christopher B. Landon, C
Spectre (2015), Sam Mendes, C
Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art (2015), James Crump, C
Raging Bull (1980), Martin Scorsese, A
The Peanuts Movie (2015), Steve Martino, B
Crimson Peak (2015), Guillermo Del Toro, B+
By The Sea (2015), Angelina Jolie Pitt, B-
Love the Coopers (2015), Jessie Nelson, C-
Concussion (2015), Peter Landesman, C-
My All-American (2015), Angelo Pizzo, F
The Reckless Moment (1949), Max Ophüls, B+
Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Robert Aldrich, A-

15 Contenders (plus 5 I haven’t seen) for Top 10 of 2015

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, October 12th, 2015

Festival releases don’t count.
NYC theatrical is what makes it qualify as a 2015 release.

I confess that Noah Baumbach having two very good movies this year makes it difficult for me to put either one in the real race for me. Maybe I’ll adjust that down the line. (And if I do, I’m #TeamMistressAmerica.)

I also confess that Experimenter and Stanford Prison Experiment box each other out, too. This is ridiculous, but it’s how I feel. (Frankly, I don’t think either are quite good enough for top ten status, anyway. Maybe Experimenter would make top 25.)

Anomalisa is good but, yeah, that’s top 25 zone, sorry. Same with Room.

Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t on this list and was never a mile near it. You all need to calm the eff down with that.

The contenders for top 10 are:

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Roy Andersson (This has a shot at the #10 slot.)
About Elly, Asghar Farhadi (Love this movie, but I suspect it’ll slip out of the top 10.)
Carol, Todd Haynes (Probably in there.)
Clouds of Sils Maria, Olivier Assayas (I have a hunch this doesn’t quite make it, but we’ll see.)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller (This ends up in the top 5. Top 3.)
The Duke of Burgundy, Peter Strickland (Oh, yeah.)
Eden, Mia Hansen-Løve (I see this coming in around 8 or so.)
Ex Machina, Alex Garland (Has waned a bit for me, but probably still in there.)
The Forbidden Room, Guy Maddin (I dunno. We’ll see. It’s wonderful, but it IS long.)
Heaven Knows What, Josh Safdie & Benny Safdie (This movie only gets more exciting the more I think about it.)
The Kindergarten Teacher, Nadav Lapid (I can’t stop thinking about this movie. But top 10?)
The Martian, Ridley Scott (We’ll see.)
The Nightmare, Rodney Ascher (A lock for 8 or 9. I love this movie, even if no one else does.)
Sicario, Denis Villenueve (Great movie, but top 10? We’ll see. I dunno just yet.)
Son of Saul, László Nemes (Contender for best of the year.)

Plus five possibilities I haven’t seen
45 Years, Andrew Haigh (All signs point to me loving this. I’ll be seeing it very soon.)
The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino (No freaking way. But I did love Inglorious Basterds so let’s give it a shot.)
Li’l Quinquin, Bruno Dumont (By all accounts, I will lose my mind for this. I gotta fit it in before the end of the year to check.)
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams (I’d like at least one movie on my list that’s a big, fat Hollywood movie, and a space movie at that! Will it be this or will it be The Martian? Or neither? Or both!)
Steve Jobs, Danny Boyle (I haven’t gotten off my ass to this yet. Likelihood very low, but keeping an open mind.)

Films Seen 9/22 – 10/12

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, October 12th, 2015

Diary of a Chambermaid (1964), Luis Buñuel, B+
Bad Company (1972), Robert Benton, B+
Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015), Genndy Tartakovsky, C-
The Creeping Garden (2015), Tim Grabham and Jason Sharp, B
The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Earth and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015), Ben Rivers, B
Microbe and Gasoline (2015), Michel Gondry, A-
Don’t Blink: Robert Frank (2015), Laura Israel, C
The Witness (2015), James Salomon, B
The Awful Truth (1937), Leo McCarey, A-
Deathgasm (2015), Jason Lei Howden, B-
The Forbidden Room (2015), Guy Maddin, B+
The Treasure (2015), Corneliu Porumboiu, A-
The Measure of a Man (2015), Stéphane Brizé, C
De Palma (2015), Jake Paltrow and Noah Baumbach, B+
Goosebumps (2015), Rob Letterman, B
Bridge of Spies (2015), Steven Spielberg, B-
Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979), Terry Jones, A
Beyond Zero: 1914-1918 (2014), Bill Morrison, B+
The Gorgon (1964), Terence Fisher, B-
Heart of a Dog (2015), Laurie Anderson, B+
Miles Ahead (2015), Don Cheadle, B-

Films Seen 9/5 – 9/21 (TIFF 2015)

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Freeheld (2015), Peter Sollett, C
The Dressmaker (2015), Jocelyn Moorehouse, C
Hong Kong Trilogy: Preschooled Preoccupied Preposterous (2015), Christopher Doyle, C+
Parisienne (2015), Danielle Arbid, B-
Evolution (2015), Lucile Hadžihalilović, A-
Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015), Kent Jones, B
Ixcanul (2015), Jayro Bustamante, A-
The Kind Words (2015), Shemi Zarhin, C-
Endorphine (2015), Andre Turpin, B-
Demolition (2015), Jean-Marc Vallée, D
Where To Invade Next (2015), Michael Moore, C+
The Martian (2015), Ridley Scott, A-
Our Brand Is Crisis (2015), David Gordon Green, B+
Schneider vs. Bax (2015), Alex van Warmerdam, B
Legend (2015), Brian Helgeland, B-
February (2015), Osgood Perkins, D+
Thru You Princess (2015), Ido Haar, B
Anomalisa (2015), Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, A-
Black Mass (2015), Scott Cooper, C-
Maggie’s Plan (2015), Rebecca Miller, C+
Desierto (2015), Jonás Cuarón, C+
High-Rise (2015), Ben Wheatley, B-
Spotlight (2015), Thomas McCarthy, B+
Bang Gang: A Modern Love Story (2015), Eva Husson, C
Rabin, the Last Day (2015), Amos Gitai, B
Room (2015), Lenny Abrahamson, A-
The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015), Matthew Brown, C
Septembers of Shiraz (2015), Wayne Blair, D-
Hardcore (2015), Ilya Naishuller, D+

Films Seen 7/28 – 9/4

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, September 4th, 2015

(Dis)honesty: The Truth About Lies (2015), Yael Melamede, B-
Horse Money (2015), Pedro Costa, B
Learning to Drive (2015), Isabel Coixet, B
Straight Outta Compton (2015), F. Gary Gray, C
Ricki and the Flash (2015), Jonathan Demme, B
The Quay Brothers – On 35mm (1986/1991/2000/2015), The Brothers Quay and Christopher Nolan, A-
The Mend (2015), John Magary, B+
Hitman: Agent 47 (2015), Aleksander Bach, D
American Ultra (2015), Nima Nourizadeh, D
Goodnight Mommy (2105), Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, C
WARx2 (2015), The Strasson Group, N/A
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015), Guy Ritchie, B-
Tom at the Farm (2015), Xavier Dolan, B-
When Animals Dream (2015), Jonas Alexander Arnby, C+
We Are Your Friends (2015), Max Joseph, B
Until the End of the World [Director's Cut] (1991/2015), Wim Wenders, A
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015), Stanley Nelson, B-
Meet the Patels (2015), Ravi Patel and Geeta Patel, B
A Sinner in Mecca (2015), Parvez Sharma, B-
War Room (2015), Alex Kendrick, F
The Steamroller and the Violin (1961), Andrei Tarkovsky, B+
Face to Face (1976), Ingmar Bergman, B+
In The Shadow of Women (2015), Philippe Garrel, B
The Cut (2015), Fatih Akin, B
Labrynth of Lies (2015), Giulio Ricciarelli, C+

Films 7/2 – 7/27

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (1964), Pier Paolo Pasolini, A-
Faith of our Fathers (2015), Carey Scott, D-
Chan is Missing (1982), Wayne Wang, A
Chameleon Street (1989), Wendell B. Harris, Jr., A-
Heat and Sunlight (1987), Rob Nilsson, B
Personal Problems (1980), Bill Gunn, C
Seventeen (1983), Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines, A-
Landlord Blues (1988), Jacob Burckhardt, C
The Gallows (2015), Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing, D
Ant-Man (2015), Peyton Reed, B+
Cremaster 4 (1994), Matthew Barney, A-
Cremaster 1 (1995), Matthew Barney, A-
Cremaster 5 (1997), Matthew Barney, B
Cremaster 2 (1999), Matthew Barney, B-
Cremaster 3 (2002), Matthew Barney, A-
Listen To Me Marlon (2015), Stevan Riley, B
Trainwreck (2015), Judd Apatow, B-
A LEGO Brickumentary (2015), Kief Davidson and Daniel Junge, D
The Runner (2015), Austin Stark, B-
The Kindergarten Teacher (2015), Nadav Lapid, A-
Five Star (2015), Keith Miller, B
Unexpected (2015), Kris Swanberg, C+
Pixels (2015), Chris Columbus, D+
Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015), Richard Starzak and Mark Burton, A-
Vacation (2015),John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, C-
Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015), Marielle Heller, A
Paper Towns (2015), Jake Schreier, B-
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015), Christopher McQuarrie, A-
Jenny’s Wedding (2015), Mary Agnes Donoghue, C-
Cop Car (2015), Jon Watts, A-

Films Seen 6/7 – 7/1

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

The Stranger (2015), Guillemo Amoedo, D
Jurassic World (2015), Colin Trevorrow, C
The 11th Hour (2015), Anders Morgenthaler, C-
Live from New York! (2015), Bao Nguyen, C+
Burying the Ex (2015), Joe Dante, D
Gabriel (2015), Lou Howe, A-
Dark Awakenings (2015), Dean Jones, F
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Jim Sharman, B
Dope (2015), Rick Famuyiwa, B-
Ted 2 (2015), Seth MacFarlane B
3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets (2015), Marc Silver, B-
Self/Less (2015), Tarsem Singh, C-
Minions (2015), Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin, C
A Little Chaos (2015), Alan Rickman, C
Batkid Begins (2015), Dana Nachman, D+
Max (2015), Boaz Yakin, D+
Magic Mike XXL (2015), Gregory Jacobs, B+
The Milky Way (1969), Luis Buñuel, A-
Skidoo (1968), Otto Preminger, C-
Terminator Genisys (2015), Alan Taylor, C
A Poem Is A Naked Person (1974), Les Blank, A-
Tangerine (2015), Sean Baker, B+

Wrap-up of Cannes 2015

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Here are links to all the movie reviews (and miscellanea) that I published out of Cannes 2015, separated by outlet.


Inside-Out (loved it!)

Sea of Trees (it’s crap!)

The Lobster (it’s really, really cool!)


Dheepan (it’s okay!)

Amy (it’s really good)

A Tale of Love and Darkness (it kinda blows!)

The Tale of Tales (its’ okay!)

Son of Saul, Les Anarchistes & Afterthought (fantastic, fairly good & good, respectively!)

Embrace of the Serpent, The Fourth Direction, Cemetery of Splendor & Green Room (spectacular, a snooze, interesting & something of a disappointment, respectively!)

    For The Guardian

One Floor Below (it’s intriguing!)

Dégradé (it’s okay!)

Mustang (it’s terrific!)

The Brand New Testament (it’s whimsical and hilarious!)

Mediterranea (it’s topical!)

Lamb (it’s classical!)

    For Mashable

Irrational Man (it’s droll!)

Carol (it’s gorgeous!)

Sicario (it’s sleek!)

Youth (it’s pretentious!)

    For Popular Mechanics

Mad Mad: Fury Road (it’s loud!)

    For Times of Israel

Was Cannes Good For The Jews? (yes!)

Films Seen 5/8 – 6/6 (Including Cannes 2015)

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), George Miller, A-
Pather Panchali (1955), Satyajit Ray, A
Tabu (2012), Miguel Gomes, A-
Mustang (2015), Deniz Gamze Ergüven, A-
The Tale of Tales (2015), Matteo Garrone, C+
Les Anarchistes (2015), Elie Wajeman, B
Afterthought (2015), Elad Keidan, B
Son of Saul (2015), László Nemes, A
One Floor Below (2015), Radu Muntean, B
The Lobster (2015), Yorgos Lanthimos, A
A Tale of Love and Darkness (2015), Natalie Portman, C+
Embrace of the Serpent (2015), Ciro Guerra, A-
Sea of Trees (2015), Gus Van Sant, C-
The Fourth Direction (2015), Chauthi Koot, C
Irrational Man (2015), Woody Allen, B+
Carol (2015), Todd Haynes, A
Dégradé (2015), Tarzan and Arab Nasser, B-
Amy (2015), Asif Kapadia, B+
Green Room (2015), Jeremy Saulnier, B-
Inside Out (2015), Pete Docter, A-
Cemetery of Splendor (2015), Apichatpong Weerasethakul, B+
Sicario (2015), Denis Villeneuve, A-
Mediterrenea (2015), Jonas Carpignano, B+
Youth (2015), Paolo Sorrentino, B-
Oka (2015), Souleymane Cissé, C
Lamb (2015), Yared Zeleke, B+
Dheepan (2015), Jacques Audiard, B
Love (2015), Gaspar Noé, C+
Valley of Love (2015), Guillaume Nicloux, B-
Louisiana (The Other Side) (2015), Roberto Minervini, B-
Interstellar (2014), Christopher Nolan, A-
Heaven Knows What (2015), Josh and Benny Safdie, A-
We Are Still Here (2015), Ted Geoghegan, B-
Spy (2015), Paul Feig, B+
United Passions (2015), Frédéric Auburtin, F
Queen of Earth (2015), Alex Ross Perry, A-
Impolex (2009), Alex Ross Perry, C+

Films Seen 3/26 – 5/7

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Rhinoceros (1974), Tom O’Horgan, C
Roar (1981), Noel Marshall, B+
Cheatin’ (2015), Bill Plympton, C
The Longest Ride (2015), George Tillman Jr., D
Going Clear (2015), Alex Gibney, B+
About Elly (2009/2015), Asghar Farhadi, A
A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, A
5 Against the House (1955), Phil Karlson, B
Danny Collins (2015), Dan Fogelman, B
Little Boy (2015), Alejandro Gómez Monteverde, F
Monkey Kingdom (2015), Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill, B
The Dead Lands (2015), Toa Fraser, B-
A Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did (2015), David Evans, B
Orion: The Man Who Would Be King (2015), Jeanie Finlay, C-
In Transit (2015), Albert Maysles, Lynn True, Nelson Walker, Ben Wu and David Usui, C-
Among the Believers (2015), Mohammed Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi, C+
Gored (2015), Ido Mizrahy, B
Thought Crimes (2015), Erin Lee Carr, B+
Adult Beginners (2015), Ross Katz, C-
Scherzo Diabolico (2015), Adrián García Bogliano, C
Being 14 (2015), Hélène Zimmer, C+
Dirty Weekend (2015), Neil LaBute, C-
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Joss Whedon, A-
Age of Adaline (2015), Lee Toland Krieger, B+
Meadowland (2015), Reed Morano, B+
Maggie (2015), Henry Hobson, C
Anesthesia (2015), Tim Blake Nelson. B
Ride (2015), Helen Hunt, B
Gerontophilia (2015), Bruce LaBruce, D
Testament of Youth (2015), James Kent, B
Hunting Elephants (2015), Reshef Levi, C-
That Hamilton Woman (1941), Alexander Korda, B+
Hot Pursuit (2015), Anne Fletcher, B-
Piku (2015), Shoojit Sircar, B-

Films Seen 2/22 – 3/25

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Regarding Susan Sontag (2014), Nancy Kates, B
Sleeper (1973), Woody Allen, A
Love and Death (1975), Woody Allen, A+
Focus (2015), John Requa and Glen Ficcara, B
The Lazarus Effect (2015), David Gelb, D
Faults (2015), Riley Stearns, C
The Cobbler (2015), Thomas McCarthy, D-
Strange Days (1995), Kathryn Bigelow, B+
Blue Steel (1990), Kathryn Bigelow, B+
K-19: The Widowmaker (2002), Kathryn Bigelow, C-
Creative Control (2015), Benjamin Dickinson, B+
Uncle Kent 2 (2015), Todd Rohal, D-
Dr. No (1962), Terence Young, B
From Russia With Love (1963), Terence Young, A
Wanda (1970), Barbara Loden, B
Woman in Gold (2105), Simon Curtis, C+
La Collectioneuse (1967), Éric Rohmer, A-
Jauja (2015), Lisandro Alonso, C+
Félix et Meria (2015), Maxime Giroux, B-
The Spiral Staircase (1946), Robert Siodmak, B-
Do You Believe? (2015), Jon Gunn, D-
Skyfall (2012), Sam Mendes, A
5 to 7 (2015), Victor Levin, B+
Cupcakes (2015), Eytan Fox, B-
Fasy & Furious 6 (2013), Justin Lin, C
Ex Machina (2015), Alex Garland, A

Films Seen 2/6 – 2/21

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, February 21st, 2015

The Last Five Years (2015), Richard LaGravanese, B+
Iris (2015), Albert Maysles, B
Hard to be a God (2015), Aleksei German, B+
Deep Red (1975), Dario Argento, B-
Samsara (2011), Ron Fricke, B
Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), Woody Allen, A
Fifty Shades of Grey (2014), Sam Taylor-Wood, B-
Jimi Hendrix: Blue Wild Angel – Live at the Isle of Wight (1970/2002), Murray Lerner, B
Rally Round The Flag, Boys! (1958), Leo McCarey, B-
Old Fashioned (2014), Rik Swartzwelder, F
Kumiko, the Bounty Hunter (2015), Nathan Zellner, C+
To Rome With Love (2012), Woody Allen, B
The Trip to Italy (2014), Michael Winterbottom, A-
The Duff (2015), Ari Sandel, B+
McFarland, USA (2015), Niki Caro, B
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015), Steve Pink, D-
It’s Alive (1969), Larry Buchanan, C-
Welcome to Blood City (1977), Peter Sasdy, C
Divergent (2014), Neil Burger, D

Films Seen 1/16 – 2/5 (including Sundance Film Festival 2015)

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Most of these titles have been reviewed at The Guardian but some at the New York Daily News, Vanity Fair or at Popular Mechanics.

Project Almanac (2015), Dean Israelite, B-
The Boy Next Door (2015), Rob Cohen, C-
Sudden Death (1995), Stephen Mertz, A-
Lionheart (1991), Sheldon Lettich, B
Knock Off (1998), Tsui Hark, C+
Hard Target (1993), John Woo, B
Manny (2015), Leon Gast and Ryan Moore, C-
The Forbidden Room (2015), Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson, A-
James White (2015), Josh Mond, B+
The Amina Profile (2015), Sophie Desraspe, C
Best of Enemies (2015), Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville, A-
The Wolfpack (2015), Crystal Moselle, A-
Entertainment (2015), Rick Alverson, B
Take Me To The River (2015), Matt Sobel, C+
The Witch (2015), Robert Eggers, A
The Bronze (2015), Bryan Buckley, D-
What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015), Liz Garbus, B
Chuck Norris vs Communism (2015), Ilinca Calugareanu, C-
True Story (2015), Rupert Goold, B-
The End of the Tour (2015), James Ponsoldt, A-
Mississippi Grind (2015), Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, A-
Z For Zachariah (2015), Craig Zobel, B
The Overnight (2015), Patrick Brice, D
Mistress America (2015), Noah Baumbach, A-
The D Train (2014), Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel, C-
I Smile Back (2015), Adam Salky, B-
Experimenter (2015), Michael Almereyda, A-
Last Days in the Desert (2015), Rodrigo García, B+
Hot Girls Wanted (2015), Ronna Gradus, Jill Bauer, D-
The Nightmare (2015), Rodney Ascher, A
Brooklyn (2015), John Crowley, B+
Digging For Fire (2015), Joe Swanberg, F
I’ll See You in My Dreams (2015), Brett Haley, B
Slow West (2015), John Maclean, A-
Zipper (2015), Mora Stephens, D+
Dope (2015), Rick Famuyiwa, W/O
The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015), Kyle Patrick Alvarez, B+
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015), Mike Mitchell, Paul Tibbitt, B
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Michel Gondry, A
Jupiter Ascending (2015), Lana and Andy Wachowski, D
Seventh Son (2015), Sergei Bodrov, C-

Films Seen 12/5/14 – 1/15/15

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, January 16th, 2015

Inherent Vice (2014), Paul Thomas Anderson, A
The Pyramid (2014), Grégory Levasseur, D
Selma (2014), Ava DuVernay, B+
A Most Violent Year (2014), J.C. Chandor, B
The Knick (2014), Steven Soderbergh, A-
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (2014), Mary Dore, C-
Free the Nipple (2014), Lina Esco, F
Hooper (1978), Hal Needham, B+
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), Matthew Vaughn, A-
The King and The Mockingbird (1941/1980), Paul Grimault, B
Inherent Vice (2014), Paul Thomas Anderson,A
The Interview (2014), Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, B+
1941 (1979), Steven Spielberg, C-
Captains Courageous (1937), Victor Fleming, B+
Million Dollar Mermaid (1952), Mervyn LeRoy, B
Santiago Violenta (2015), Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, D
A Christmas Horror Story (2015), Matthew Kister, C-
Son of Kong (1933), Ernest B. Shoedstack, B
Deli Man (2015), Eric Greenberg Anjou,B-
White Christmas (1954), Michael Curtiz, C-
Let’s Get Lost (1988), Bruce Weber, A
Apocalypto (2006), Mel Gibson, C+
The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death (2015), Tom Harper, C-
Farewell Herr Schwarz (2015), Yael Reuveny, A-
The Babadook (2014), Jennifer Kent, B+
The Secret of the Grain (2007), Abdellatif Kechiche, B+
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Wes Anderson, A-
For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism (2007), Gerald Peary, B-
The Valley of the Bees (1967), František Vláčil, B+
Still Life (2015), Uberto Pasolini, C-
Blackhat (2015), Michael Mann, C

Top 11 Films of 2014

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Did I see everything? Sure, for the sake of argument, let’s say I saw everything. I saw 300 or so new movies this year. There were a lot of good ones. I don’t know how many great ones. Last year my top 4 (Her, Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years A Slave and Inside Llewyn Davis) were all truly great. This year, maybe only the top 2 are great.

But let’s stop pussyfooting around and get to it. First, some special awards.

Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance in an Otherwise So-So Movie

Brendan Gleeson as the “Good Irish Priest” in Calvary

Special Jury Prize for Sticking the Landing (aka ‘The Reverse Damon Lindelof’)

Frank, a terrific movie that is tied for 12th place on my list. Part of what makes this film so great is that its ending really knocks it out of the park. I strongly endorse seeing the whole movie, but if nothing else watch the ending, which has been illegally uploaded to YouTube.

The Marion Cotillard Award for ‘Nostalgie de la Boue’

And this year there’s a tie!!!

The Cotllard Award, which is given to the actress who best makes economic despair look glamorous is shared between Marion Cotillard, for her work in The Immigrant, and Marion Cotillard, for her work in Two Days, One Night. Both Ms. Cotillard and Ms. Cotillard will wear the Marion Cotillard crown well!

The Wood-Wiseau-Breen Award for “So Bad It’s Good”

The Identical,”a Jews-for-Jesus Elvis Ghost Musical that truly must be seen to be believe.
Read my review on The Guardian for more, but fair warning – you will see a picture of Seth Green when you click.

Special Jury Prize For “I Can’t Believe The Is An Actual Movie”

A Most Violent Year, which, while not bad, per se, is a tense two-hour look at a rich guy trying to get a loan.


Only slightly less strange absurd is River of Fundament a five-hour-and-fifty-minute film that features, among other things, Maggie Gyllenhaal getting sprayed with urine, Paul Giamatti shouting (in basso profondo) “My Stool!” and Dick Cavett making small talk at a party where there is an enormous decaying pig. You can read more about it in my review on The Playlist.

The Top 11

11) Whiplash, Damien Chazelle
To quote Ed Norton (the REAL Ed Norton) “Why oh why was I blessed with this musical talent!”

This is a great, dark look at the curse of being driven. Something I wish I knew more about firsthand. While I don’t like breaking ranks with my two fellow jazz-loving critics Glenn Kenny and Richard Brody, both of whom disliked the film (and both of whom I hold in higher regard than they may realize) I just gotta be me. I was with this movie for every beat. It’s simple and straightforward but just snaps together right. And while I know full well the Jo Jones story is bullshit, it’s still cool to see a movie where they talk about Jo Jones.

10) The Great Flood, Bill Morrison
A collaboration between Bill Morrison, the avant-garde archaeologist of lost and often fortuitously decayed film, and Bill Frisell, one of the galaxy’s most exciting instrumentalists and composers. Together they do what mankind has always done – they tell a story they heard from their elders about something terrible that happened, in this case the 1927 Louisiana flood. I don’t know if this is documentary or non-narrative experiment or a prolonged music video for people of peculiar taste. All I know is that it is gorgeous and haunting and altogether human and important. The biggest question is why there aren’t more movies like it? I’ve seen the film three times – twice on DVD and once “live” with Frisell and his band performing the score as the picture was projected behind them at the Museum of Modern Art. In my review from January 9th I was so bowled over by the music that I hardly wrote about the film. The images Morrison selected are so harrowing (and, occasionally, funny) that it seems almost inappropriate that they play against such a gorgeous score. The Great Flood is a benediction back through history and you owe it to past generations – and yourself – to pay attention.

9) Under The Skin, Jonathan Glazer
There’s far-out and then there’s far-out. Maybe I’m just an idiot, but I didn’t know that she was an alien until the director’s Q&A. And I certainly didn’t know about the unorthodox shooting method until after-the-fact, either. That it didn’t matter is proof that there’s something happening here, even if I am Mr. Jones. When I first saw this movie in September of 2013 and reviewed it I gave it a mere 7 out of 10. This says two things. One, that “grading” films is retarded, and I only do it because my editors make me. Two, that sometimes we can be wrong. My then-roommate at Toronto Film Festival, David Ehrlich, was able to convince me that I liked the movie far more than I realized. Believe me, it’s bad enough to admit to yourself that you may have botched something, but to admit it to David is a hundred times worse. Luckily, I am a great and mature individual.

8) We Are The Best!, Lukas Moodysson
This works as a nice diptych with Moodysson’s Together, an unpretentious and true celebration of non-conformity. It’s so sharp, so funny and so wise. Hate the sport. Hate the sport, forever.

7) Boyhood, Richard Linklater
I don’t know that Boyhood is any “better” than We Are The Best!, which similarly beats the pants off of 99% of all other movies about “the kids.” But credit where it is due – the sheer chutzpah of Boyhood is remarkable. It is simply a rich experience. My oddly favorite (or is it heartbreaking?) aspects of the movie is something I haven’t shut up about since I saw it at Sundance in January – so I apologize if you are hearing this again. In the very early scenes, young Lorelei Linklater, the older sister, is just a comedy whip. As she gets older, she kinda loses it. Not to diss the kid, but her silly streak is gone. Now, had this been a “traditional” movie, a casting agent would have been at that first screening, grabbed her cell phone and shouted “this kid’s a star! Get her in the next Miracle on 34th St. remake stat!” But that can’t happen now. BEACUSE TIME BULLDOZES US ALL AND THAT GIRL NO LONGER EXISTS.

My other not-too-impressive insight: some have suggested that Boyhood kinda-sorta leads right into Mason becoming Jesse from the Before films. I don’t see it that way. Mason is the ultimate observer, a great stand-in for the audience. The last few scenes are basically “heavy, man” walk-and-talks. Not outrageous ones, but not too dissimilar from what populates Slacker. Linklater’s career has basically gone full circle. He can stop now, if he wants, but please don’t.

6) Omar, Hany Abu-Assad / Bethlehem,Yuval Adler / The Green Prince, Nadav Schirman
What good is a top ten list without one pain-in-the-ass cheating entry? I lump these three movies together because they are, strikingly, the same basic story. One is told a smidge more from the Palestinian side, another from the Israeli side and the third is a documentary with recreation. (I won’t be so bold or naive as to call it the truth, though.) I guess that’s how intractable the current conflict – we need three different version of the same story, which, in this case, is about the relationship between an Israeli security agent and his Palestinian informer. The truth of the matter is, I remember loving all three of these movies, but they have gotten completely crossed in my mind. Scenes from one intermix with the other, and if that isn’t symbolic of something I don’t know what is.

You can read my further review of Omar on The Dissolve, of The Green Prince on the Times of Israel and a very short review of Bethlehem in the New York Daily News.

5) Particle Fever, Mark Levinson
What could be more fundamental than an inquiry into what we are. I don’t mean as a society, I mean, like, as stuff. WHAT ARE WE? What is the fucking floor? What is the air we breathe, what is between galaxies or in interdimensional phase-space, if you believe in such a thing. In a very real sense Cosmology is, kinda, the most important vocation in the world(s). Or, maybe we should just say fuck it and jam out to Zeppelin, I dunno. No! No, I do know! We must take long walks along finely tailored rock gardens in Princeton and try to figure this stuff out. This movie shows how that’s done, mostly by those lunatics at CERN with that big underground tube no one understands. I had the great fortune to speak to one of the big theoretical physicists of our day and you should probably read that.

4) Only Lovers Left Alive, Jim Jarmusch

For more, read my review at, may she rest in peace.

3) Mr. Turner, Mike Leigh
Beauty can come from anywhere. This is the summation of Mike Leigh’s career. He’s made a lot of great movies, but this is far and away his best. “Not since Deadwood have we seen so many unwashed people use such dainty language.” More in my review on

2) Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson
I watched this on a standard def screener and said “interesting.” Two weeks later I watched this projected with a hip crowd at the Alamo Drafthouse and now it was, like, discovering which end of the zig-zag had the glue.

1) Ida, Pawel Pawlikowski
Not too much of a surprise if you know me IRL. I’ve been screaming and yelling about this movie since I saw and reviewed it at TIFF 2013 and once again when it played in New York this spring. I spoke at length with the director but what I didn’t include in that interview was me just prostrating myself and thanking him. The cinematography, the riffs on Jewish identity, the sad failure of Communism, the costumes, the John Coltrane’s Naima and Equinox.

“This Jesus of yours loves people like me,” is, perhaps, the greatest line of dialogue we’ll get in this or next year.

Films Seen 11/6 – 12/4

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Another busy month of seeing (mostly) new movies. I’m trying to make use of that Netflix account, trying to watch and re-watch more older films. It is strangely difficult when you’re in my line of work. When you have downtime, the last thing you want to do is pop in DVD. Going to rep houses is another thing. God bless Museum of Moving Image. God bless Film Forum. God bless Anthology Film Archives and MoMA Film. And Lincoln Center and even BAM even though I never go to BAM because it is far away from me.

Anyway, of the new movies listed below, 95% of them were reviewed either on Guardian Film or New York Daily News.

Butter on the Latch (2014), Josephine Decker, B+
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014), Ana Lily Amirpour, B+
Wrong is Right (1982), Richard Brooks, C
Overlord (1978), Stuart Cooper, A-
Applause (1929), Rouben Mamoulian, B+
Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1931), Rouben Mamoulian, A-
Actress (2014), Robert Greene, B-
They Came Together (2014), David Wain, D
Dumb and Dumber To (2014), Peter and Bobby Farrelly, B-
Beyond the Lights (2014), Gina Prince-Bythewood, B+
Extraterrestrial (2014), Colin Minihan, D
Spawn (1997), Mark A.Z. Dippé, C-
Mysterious Object at Noon (2000), Apichatpong Weerasethakul, B
The Sleepwalker (2014), Mona Lerche, B
V/H/S Viral (2014), Multiple Directors, C-
The Gambler (2014), Rupert Wyatt, B+
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014), Francis Lawrence, C
The Gambler (1974), Karel Reisz, B+
Life Partners (2014), Susanna Fogel, C-
Cloud Atlas (2012), Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, B
Big Eyes (2014), Tim Burton, B+
Into the Woods (2014), Rob Marshall, C+
Penguins of Madagascar (2014), Simon J. Smith and Eric Darnell, B
Comet (2014), Sam Esmail, C-
Citizenfour (2014), Laura Poitras, B-
Zero Motivation (2014), Talya Lavie, B+
Unbroken (2014), Angelina Jolie, C+
Pioneer (2014), Erik Skjoldbœrg, C-
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), Ridley Scott, C-

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