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Mark Tompkins is a Movie Analyst for a movie-streaming and DVD-rental company. The company assigns him three or four movies per week, and the assignments can be anything — new indie flicks in theatres, foreign films streaming online, obscure 1940s film noir on DVD, etc. No movie is too esoteric for this line of work. The reviews on this site are (mostly) based on his assignments. (For more details, visit the “About” page.)

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Countdown to ‘Twin Peaks’: David Lynch on the big screen

One way to pass the time until Twin Peaks returns in May: Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre is pairing seven David Lynch features with classics by other directors, in double bills that feel just right. If you don't know these movies already, don't read a thing about them beforehand; just come and let them blow your mind. Read more [...]

The anti-Communist hysteria of ‘My Son John’ (1952): not as dated as you might think

In Leo McCarey's My Son John, Robert Walker plays a Communist spy and traitor lurking in small-town America; watching the movie today, you can’t help noticing how many of the traits that render Walker's character suspect in 1952 would also mark him as not 'a real American' in the eyes of right-wing pundits today. Some things about American life have changed very little in 60 years. Read more [...]

‘The Gleiwitz Case’: The black op that ignited WWII

The best East German movie that I’ve seen, The Gleiwitz Case (1961) depicts the undercover Nazi operation that lit the fuse for World War II, on August 31, 1939. Tracking this blackest of black ops from start to finish, The Gleiwitz Case is like a caper movie from hell. Read more [...]

A big devil’s-horns sign of appreciation for Iceland’s ‘Metalhead’

Can a movie inspire head-banging? The too-little-known Icelandic import Metalhead blows away the cliches of movies about music with a deeply felt coming-of-age story — and some inspired wailing on the guitar. Read more [...]

Antonioni’s ‘La Notte’: The death of a marriage has never looked better

Now playing in L.A. in a digital restoration: Seen today, Antonioni's stylish drama about a marriage on the verge of collapse is a welcome reminder that a filmmaker doesn't need a shaky digital camera to convey intimacy or emotional honesty. Read more [...]