A temporary goodbye

Thanks for the movie memories

I’ve decided to step away from film reviewing, at least temporarily. It’s been a tough year for everyone, especially the film industry, and it’s my hope that an extended hiatus will allow me to reflect on where I’ve been and where I’m going. Though I hate overly dramatic, pretentious farewells — especially when the person saying goodbye might return in just a few months — I don’t want to disappear without at least saying something.

By the time the Telluride Film Festival rolls around in September, perhaps I will be fully rejuvenated. Or maybe I will have decided on a longer recess, or even a permanent one. In the coming months, I plan to rest, travel, address some minor health issues (I’ll be OK) and continue my work as vice president of Paul Meier Dialect Services and executive editor of the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA).

I’d like to thank those of you who have supported my writing, particularly my parents, friends and those at The Orlando Weekly. I’ve written for the Weekly (and other Euclid Media publications, such as the Detroit Metro-Times) on and off for the last 21 years, and that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Jessica Young, Justin Strout, Erin Sullivan, Thaddeus McCollum and Steve Schneider.

Let me also thank everyone at the Florida Film Critics Circle, of which I’m still a proud member, and at Rotten Tomatoes, which archives my reviews.

It’s fitting that my last big article was about the Florida Film Festival, as that’s the event that has provided me with the greatest enjoyment as a film critic. From my interviews with Sam Rockwell, Sissy Spacek, Bob Balaban and others, to my hundreds of festival reviews over the years, the FFF has been a highlight of my career over the last decade. Everyone at the Sarasota Film Festival, the Love Your Shorts Film Festival and the 48 Hour Film Project also deserve a shout-out for supporting my work and valuing my opinion.

If — and more likely when — I return to reviewing, I will continue to write for MeierMovies while possibly exploring other opportunities. I might write a book. I might make a film. Who knows what the future will bring.

In the meantime, I hope the film industry (and film critics) can fully bounce back from the pandemic and continue to support variety and diversity: not just of culture and ethnicity, but of subject, style, and political and social viewpoint. Most importantly, let’s continue to embrace not just equality in filmmaking – but quality. As Ernest Hemingway said, “There is no Left and Right in writing. There is only good and bad writing.” And while the world certainly needs more kindness, it needs something else even more: honesty.

Let us also not forget that, while filmmaking is meant to enlighten, inspire, provoke and inform, its equally important objective is entertainment. It’s my wish that, in difficult times, filmmakers can set aside virtue signaling to provide old-fashioned enjoyment and escapism – for adults (fewer giant lizards and monkeys, please.)

Though I’ll be taking a break, this website won’t. You can still access my old reviews, feature lists and short lists (which I will continue to update), photographs, blogs, interviews and historical musings. And you can also find my reviews in their original form at OrlandoWeekly.com. And I can’t think of a better sign-off than revisiting 10 of my favorite reviews, below. These are the ones that are the most personal for me, the most memorable, the most original, the funniest or the just plain weirdest. Enjoy!


April 2021


Alice Through the Looking Glass, 2016

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, 2020

Carol, 2015

Dunkirk, 2017

Finders Keepers, 2015

First Reformed, 2018

The Great Gatsby, 2013

Inside Llewyn Davis, 2013

Love & Friendship, 2016

The Only Living Boy in New York, 2017


Image courtesy iStockPhoto (#173573801, by KLH49)