Among the Trumpians

by Categorized: Politix, Uncategorized, Year in Review Date:

IMG_1484 IMG_1488 IMG_1489At Trump events, the press has to stay inside a pen made of crowd control barricades, starting 15 minutes before the speech gets rolling. Prior to the arrival of DOTUS*, we are free to move about the country.

There were three guys — late middle aged, white — lined up along one of the barricades at the Hartford Trump event Friday night, and I chatted them up. Only two were really talkative. They were both contractors. We had a pleasant, sometimes bantering, conversation. One guy, from Waterbury, kept trying to interview me. “What about you? Do you think It’s time for a change? What are you going to do.” I told them the candidate whose views were closest to mine is Bernie Sanders. That didn’t bother them at all. They didn’t think Bernie could get his agenda passed, but they seemed to think he was a good guy. They regard Hillary Clinton as the spawn of Satan, but that’s another story.

Those guys were pretty typical of the dozen or so Trumpians I spoke to on Friday night. They were pleasant. I didn’t have a nasty conversation all evening. (This is a reminder of how much nicer people are in person than they are on social media.) I made it a point to seek out black and Puerto Rican people in the hall, although they are not easy to find at what is, demographically, a Pat Boone concert with signs. People said the same things over and over.  They’re working hard but feel like the country is losing ground; they want a change; this guy is not a politician; he’s the only guy who could go to Washington and not instantly become a new manifestation of the same old beast.

They were not Cult of Personality people, although if I had burrowed my way to the densely packed front of the room, I surely could have talked to people who were. The closest I came was a young black man from Massachusetts who said he had “grown up on Trump.”  Some of them were almost process of elimination supporters. Nobody else makes any sense to them.

I want to emphasize one last time how pleasant all of my encounters were because of what comes next.

Mid-way into DOTUS’s speech, he regularly whips the crowd up against the press, pretty much the way Billy Joel**, mid-way through his set, plays “Uptown Girl.” It’s a hit. People expect to hear it. From his place on the Hartford stage, Trump pointed to all of us in the press pen and shouted, “These are the most dishonest people in the world!”

Immediately, several thousand heads swiveled toward us and several thousand throats opened up with lusty boos.  Including my contractor guys. My guys! We had been having such a nice time! The journo-phobic section of the speech went on for many minutes, with some digressions. (A Trump stump speech is like the “before” in an Adderall commercial. Thoughts begin in one spot and then, like kites in an updraft, go skittering through space. Pitch, roll, yaw.) Trump even pre-accused us of misreporting the crowd size. OK, I’ll play along. I think I’m pretty good at crowd-guessing. I’ve been doing it a long time. I would have said 3500. I’ll go up to 4000, but that’s my limit. Certainly not the 6000-7000 of the official police guess. (On the other hand, as we all departed, late and luckless people were still trying to clear security and get in.)

Trump’s speech was almost entirely about process — that is, the process of running. The press, the other candidates, the protesters, the delegate allocation, the escalator [it came up twice], the crowds he gets, the forces arrayed against him. The only moment that struck me as chilling was his statement that, if he is not nominated, many Republicans will not vote. “Hopefully that’s all,” he added. That seemed to be a variation on a Trump trope of being the one who plants the idea of mayhem in the streets while appearing to disclaim it. He didn’t start the fire.

There were many promises of days to come when we will win again, but startlingly few — even for Trump — specifics about how this will come to pass. Except for The Wall, tangible proposals in a Trump speech are needles in a smokestack. Demanding substance would be like yelling “Where’s the beef?” in a vegan restaurant.  It’s beside the point.

Random observation: I was struck anew by the degree to which vocal folds are destiny for the kind of politician who thrives on whipping up big crowds. Trump doesn’t have a nice voice, but he’s good yeller. He sounds like an especially appealing version of himself when he’s yelling, and he appears to be able to do it with very little vocal hangover. It’s like what Vonnegut said about big penises. You never know who will get one.

We should learn something every day, right? On Friday night, I hope I learned to listen less patronizingly to Trump supporters.  Many of them have poured their hopes and resentments into a badly cracked jug. The shoddy condition of that amphora is not necessarily a comment on the people and what they feel. You know the guy doing work on your house?  The two guys installing a new garage door? The owner of the small business who resurfaced your driveway or worked on the stone wall next door?  Nice people, right?  You always smile and wave at them, and they wave back. They’re Trump guys.

  • * Donald Of The United States
  • ** Billy Joel played at Donald and Melania’s wedding.

 

 

 

Why Is Trump Like the Busway?

by Categorized: Politix, Uncategorized Date:

Because both have used the Manafort family as general contractors.

Politico reports that:

Trump, who handed the reins of much of his campaign this week to strategist Paul Manafort in an effort to shore up his operation before the nomination slips away, was swept out of delegate slots up for grabs at Colorado’s state convention …

…Trump has begun mobilizing for a delegate push in recent days, empowering Manafort, a veteran of past convention battles, to lead his effort, but the 67-year-old lobbyist and political consultant is still playing catch-up.

That would be this guy.  His father was the three-term mayor of New Britain and the state public works commissioner under Meskill. Before that, Manafort Sr. was one of the principals of a huge family construction business. They have always handled lots of state work and have understood what it takes for that to happen. They were big Rowland donors –who wasn’t? — bundling at least $20K into his final campaign and now give to the Democratic party in the modern era, when contributions from contractors have to be pushed through the central committee.  (Periodic reminder: we taxpayers ponied up $33.4 million in “grants” during the election cycle referenced in the preceding link. The purpose of those grants was to prevent a system in which companies don’t do the exact thing they did: pay for political campaigns.)

Courant photo by Patrick Raycraft.

Courant photo by Patrick Raycraft.

The company did some of the major work on the Hartford – New Britain Busway. They are, on balance, fine corporate citizens except when they aren’t.

It’s a small world, is all I’m saying.

 

 

Anything Goes and So Should You (to “Anything Goes”)

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:
Rehearsal photo of DeRosa, Scott, Howes and Harris, all mentioned in this piece. From the Goodspeed site, by Diane Sobolewski

Rehearsal photo of DeRosa, Scott, Howes and Harris, all mentioned in this piece. From the Goodspeed site, by Diane Sobolewski

A few thoughts from not-an-actual-critic.

If you are on the fence about seeing “Anything Goes” at the Goodspeed, get off the fence and go see it. I see a lot of theater and am familiar with the experience of diappointment. Or, for that matter, the sensation currently known as “meh.” But is there anything better than an evening at the theater that tranports you? And is there any less guilty pleasure than a big, gaudy, goofy musical full of attractive, talented people and lovely music? Think hard, now.
Daniel Goldstein’s producton of “AG” starts with an interesting premise: a multi-racial cast. In fact, the first thing you see is a kind of stock Cole Porter character, a bibulous, gouty, amiable 1930s plutocrat named Eli Whitney, frozen
forever in a priapic salute to Mother Yale. And he’s played by the distinguished African-American Broadway actor Kingsley Leggs. After five seconds of cognitive dissonance, you realize this could really be fun, but you have no idea how much fun it will really turn out to be.
For that, you need to get a load of Rashidra Scott as Reno Sweeney, the louche, game-for-anything club singer who is somehow both the star of the play and the second female lead, in its romantic hierarchy. I could go on all day about
Scott. The first thing you notice is what somebody else called her “smoky alto” voice. I can’t improve on that description, but what’s more important is her attack. Keep in mind, this role was first played by Ethel Merman and later by Patti Lupone. That’s tantamount to a license to oversing, but Scott doesn’t. She leans herself into the melody and stays inside it. She lets Porter do the work. She doesn’t need any vocal stunts. She’s got great music and a 5,000 watt face. You can’t take your eyes off it. She has the type of vivid features that make her expressions scrutable from 25 rows back, a must in this business. It really isn’t until the end of Act One, that we find out the other thing. She can dance. Really dance. She leads the big tap number, and she’s large and in charge. (Our experience mirrors that of the Goodspeed itself. I’m told she was hired
for her voice, acting and vibe. She downplayed her own dancing chops, and the theater — this is not uncommon — probably figured whatever she couldn’t do could be covered up with skilled chorus dancers. Not necessary!)
What keeps Scott from putting the musical on her shoulders and running down Rt. 9 with it is Stephen DeRosa as Moonface, the play’s unlikely jester, a criminal who keeps genially offering to help out by killing inconvenient people. The script for this production is essentially the 2011 Sutton Foster revival, and it has been peppered up with Grouchoesque and Pythonian absurdities of the first rank. I think it’s safe to call DeRosa a Marxist. Without ever being in danger of aping Groucho, he channels that particular comic gestalt with his delivery, his physicality and his multi-phasic mood disorder, which allows him to pivot effortlessly into different states of mind. He’s so funny that he got his biggest laugh from me on a flubbed line. “Have you ever been in jail in Cicero?” he asks leading man David Harris. “I’m not talking about the old jail. I
mean the old, old jail!” That’s not how the line goes, but he found something crazy-funny in his mistake. I wasn’t the only one howling. There was a strange, protracted, honking laugh coming from three rows back, and it was emanating from Goldstein, the director. By the time DeRosa does his final number, “Be Like the Bluebird,” which could be kind of a throwaway, I was already laughing during the set-up. He had stripped away all my resistance by that point. Fans of
“Boardwalk Empire” will remember DeRosa as Eddie Cantor, a supporting part he mined for so many interesting shades that I began to think the writers were beefing up his role just to see what else he could do.

The rest of cast is a deep bench. Everybody can do his or her job very well. Wrong-footedness isn’t on the menu.
And then in the second act, Benamin Howes, as the foppish British peer, damn near stops the show with a tour de force on
“The Gypsy in Me,” which is a terrific meta-moment. It turns out there’s much more to that character, which is revealed just as we discover there is much more to this performer.
OK. I’ll stop. I should say something negative. The title dance sequence was under-lighted, and Goldstein should take the visual joke out of “All Through the Night,” which deserves to breathe on its own. That’s all I can think of.
Actually, all I can think of right now is whether I should go back and see it again.

 

Scalia: De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum (et Malum)

by Categorized: God, Politix, press criticism Date:

Back in 1994, there was no Twitter. Maybe that’s why the rantings of Hunter S. Thompson, upon the death of Richard M. Nixon, really stood out.

If the right people had been in charge of Nixon’s funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.

That was HST being HST. Nobody was much like him, and he was not much like anyone else. Two weeks before Antonin Scalia died, the NYT published this rather prescient essay.  Because in 2016, we are all gonzos on this bus.

We all know what happened on Saturday night. Twitter erupted in an obituary firefight. Partisans on both sides dug in and began shooting. A typical trope: “In Lieu of flowers, the Scalia‘s [sic] ask that you go out and kick a homeless person tonight.”

Some of the journalists I respect most made eloquent and persuasive-seeming arguments for pumping as many rounds as possible into the good justice before rigor mortis set in. Glenn Greenwald: “The ONLY reason we’re talking about him is because of his political impact. So of course it should be politicized.” Jack Shafer: “It would be particularly strange to withhold our opinions of a man, newly dead, who wrote opinions for a living.” Dave Zirin: “If you are unable to assign ugly truths and actual history to someone’s legacy after they die, you get airports named after Ronald Reagan.”

Yes but.

I love Zirin, but the notion that, if we had only crapped on Reagan harder in those vital 48 hours after his death, Americans would not have named stuff after him, rings false.

Speaking of false, Bianca Jagger or someone tweeting as her offered this: “I have never forgotten this quote ‘Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached’.” This was heavily retweeted. It appears not to be real. Not far from his actual sentiment, but not words that really came from Scalia.

I was frequently appalled by Scalia’s opinions and shocked by the way he talked about his fellow Americans. It would be fair to say that he stoked the very blaze that is scorching his memory now. As we turned into “Animal House,” he was an avid food-fighter.

Yes but.

The counter-argument has less to do with the way we poison the market of expression and more to do with how we poison ourselves. Nobody would argue — especially after the Republican debate that followed Scalia’s death — that we suffer from a surfeit of decorum here in 2016. We have tiny little islands of decency in our stormy, venomous sea. You can argue that those islands just get in the way of what you want to do. Or you can argue for (at solemn moments) swimming toward those islands, hauling yourself up on the sand and taking a little breather. Death, for the dead, is the ultimate caesura. For the rest of us maybe it’s a smaller caesura, a tiny musical moment when we stop our bickering and remind ourselves to be human.

Jesus (I’m paraphrasing) says we can’t give up on anybody, even people like Scalia who appear to have given up on many others. Give yourself a few days to ponder the way you and Scalia are bound by forces more elevated than hate. If you really need to think about it this way: be a little better than he frequently was. Don’t worry. Nobody’s renaming any airports until the cold weather breaks.

 

Hang By Your Thumbs: Bye-Bye Bob Elliott

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:

This is going to sound a little name-droppy, but I was interviewing Paula Poundstone Wednesday, and we got on the subject of Bob and Ray. We both grew up as comedy nerds and we both owned copies of a book of B&R scripts which we read obsessively.

bobNeither one one us was aware that the death of Bob Elliott had just been announced, but producer Betsy Kaplan typed that news onto my screen and I shared it with Paula. (You’ll hear this interview — which sprawls all over the place — the week of the 15th.) So we had a moment to digest that news together.

The spoken material of comedians often doesn’t look that good on paper, but Bob and Ray were sublimely readable. One reason for this, of course, is that they never relied much on delivery. Someone once wrote that they looked like bank presidents. Their occasional attempts to do other voices sounded pretty much like their own voices. Contrast them to, say, Jon Stewart, the most vocally virtuosic comic of his generation, with that arsenal of whispers and screams and everything in between. The other reason is that Bob and Ray’s premises, when described, are intrinsically hilarious. To wit:

Among the hundreds of memorable characters Bob and Ray have created is Farley Plummer from Tulsa, one of their ”hard luck cases” who is 10 1/2 inches tall and has spent his life savings to come to New York to have his ”tiny little teeth” fixed. Bob and Ray give him a deluxe racing bike and Plummer complains. Bob cuts him off with, ”No thanks are necessary, sir. Just seeing the smile on your little face is enough. And now back over to Ray at our main anchor desk.”

Another B&R trope contained in that description was incompletely contained indignation. One of their bits involved a man who kept wild boars in his New York apartment and took them out into Central (a name he struggled to remember) Park to look for truffles. When the interviewer calmly raised the possibility that it might be cruel to keep wild boars in such a small space, the gentleman blustered, “I didn’t come here to be insulted!”

None of us do. The night before the news of Bob’s death came, I happened to be watching the PBS special on Mike Nichols, and Nichols said this amazing thing about comedy: There are two reasons to say something. One is that it’s funny. The other is that it’s you. By “you,” he meant universal. The best comedy scrapes against some bare wire in the human experience. Bob and Ray kept walking us into these hilarious dungeons in which somebody was impossibly inept or didn’t get it or was missing some giant piece of life’s puzzle. And the thing is, we live in these dungeons. Think about your week. I can almost guarantee you ran into one of their characters. We really do feel, a lot of the time, like a 10.5-inch man being given a deluxe racing bike.

Nichols is the right guy to quote because he and Elaine May were another important doubles team in the 1960s. Both duos did the opposite of today’s smash-mouth comedy. They made you do a little of the mental work. My father, another Bob, loved them for that reason. It hardly needs to be said the Bob and Ray did not traffic in profanity, sex or anything else that smelled cheap. They perfected the soft, placid tennis stroke that Garrison Keillor, at his very best, would later lob for game-winners.

Many of Bob and Ray’s bumbling characters seem to have arrived at the wrong place at the wrong time, which was a little bit of their own vibe as performers. Elliott famously said, “By the time we figured out we were introverts, it was too late to do anything about it.” They often seemed mildly perplexed to find themselves onstage.

They also kept at it, right up to Ray’s death. Their 1980s NPR show was full of treasures including, as I recall, a “name that song” contest. The song was always “Begin the Beguine,” but the characters who called up never seemed to know that. One week a man (Ray) called in and asked if it was the Star-Spangled Banner. No, said Bob, it was “Begin the Beguine.” How could the caller have confused the two? “I work in a machine shop,” said Ray. “It’s very loud here, and I couldn’t hear what you were playing, but there were some people across the way who seemed to be standing at attention, so I took a guess.”

Some of the Elliotts live, off and on, in Old Lyme. I’m always hoping I run into one, so I can thank them, on behalf of myself and Bob McEnroe, for stuff like that. And now…

Bulletin! NYT Publishes Most Confusing Graphic Ever

by Categorized: Politix, press criticism, Uncategorized Date:

moreconfusing

This was on Page One of the Times today. If you think you can make sense out of it, more power to you. Here it is in higher resolution.

It does seem like a play the Panthers might run on Sunday.
And here it is, just as circles.
most confusing

 

 

 

 

At that level, we begin to see the tremendous debt to Calder. Here is the artist’s depiction of voters who could vote for Sanders or Trump, but not Clinton or Cruz.

calder

Did The Conard Mascot Argument Just Get Uglier?

by Categorized: sports, Year in Review Date:

conard[UPDATE: I now have confirmation from multiple sources that these obnoxious t-shirts exist. So you can ignore the tentativeness at the start of this post.] The title is in the form of  a question, because I’d need to see more verification of this article.  (Bad word trigger warning.) I’m not questioning the reporter’s work. I’m just uncomfortable re-posting, as settled fact, stuff from the Internet. (Not that it matters, but I always thought that symbol meant “up yours” as opposed to what is cited in the article.)

If true, it’s certainly an extra (repulsive) wrinkle in the story that ran yesterday. And what sort of “parent” would, in a parental capacity, introduce that kind of posturing into his or her kid’s school environment?

An oft-repeated canard in these debates: “Native Americans don’t care about this issue. Only PC white kids do. There’s a guy at work who’s 1/16 Lakota Sioux, and he’s fine with teams like the Redskins. He said so in our break area.”

That really won’t cut it. The NCAI, probably the largest and oldest organization of First Nations people, has waged a 50-year battle against these mascots. A tour of their site will introduce you to many publications and posts such as this one. 

Another claim — you can see it in the comments on the Courant article — is that the whole argument is superficial. You can hear Native American activist Rochelle Ripley rebut this in a November 2015 interview with me here (the comment starts around 33:25).

It’s also not superficial because, if you can be flip, crude and reductive about Native Americans, you can transition pretty easily to Mexicans, Muslims, refugees. You have abandoned the position that all human beings deserve some kind of minimal respect. Even sadder, you sold that profound ideal for the sake of high school sports, the proverbial mess of pottage.

But please don’t take refuge in the idea that this doesn’t offend anyone. It does. If you don’t care, if you want to buy offensive, denigrating t-shirts because that’s the only way you can fully express your school spirit, at least own that.

 

 

What’s The Matter With Enfield?

by Categorized: theater, Year in Review Date:

AIHoward Sherman, who once upon a time held major posts at three Connecticut theater institutions, now watches the landscape like a protective mother hawk, wary of incursions upon artistic freedom, especially in American high schools.

This week his raptor head swiveled toward Enfield, where some kind of parental pressure group appears to have muscled out a high school production of “American Idiot,” the Green Day musical.  Sherman even got Billy Joe Armstrong himself to enter a plea on behalf of the show, although Armstrong’s communication muddies the question of whether the high school was planning a version of of the script custom-modified by the faculty director or the toned-down  “high school version” which apparently already exists for just this kind of use. [Added thought: that very inconsistency makes me wonder if there’s some other version of this story, but Sherman has not been able to pry it out of the school leaders so far.]

No matter. The theater group seems to have folded its cards.

What remains is the question: why is it always Enfield? In 2011, the town made national news when its politicians forced the cancellation of a library showing of Michael Moore’s documentary about American health care. From 2010 to 2012, the town, um, made national news and engaged in a protracted battle with civil rights groups suing over Enfield’s practice of holding its public high school graduation ceremony in a Bloomfield church. The case was settled when the town agreed to stop using the church. 

So is Enfield some kind of undeclared First Amendment laboratory?

Those who read Sherman’s story may notice a sly little dig from Armstrong. Enfield High’s team name and symbol are the Raiders, depicted with the face in profile of a First Nations person. You know, because of the way those Indians used to raid all the time. [UPDATE: I’m told Armstrong probably wasn’t making a dig. He’s from Oakland. Of course, their Raiders are pirates.]enfieldlogo

Animadversion Journal: Mid-January 2016

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:

Film Easy Rider STARRING PETER FONDA AND DENNIS HOPPER

I consider myself lucky.

I don’t have as many haters as I did from 1992 to 2008 when I appeared daily on WTIC-AM, pretty much coinciding with its transition into a hardcore conservative radio station. Consequently, a lot of its listeners despised me, every day.. That does strange things to you, over 16 years.

Now, not so much. Public radio listeners can be prickly, but, by and large, we all get along.

Trying to keep track of animadversion in the old days would be like trying to chart individual raindrops in a monsoon. Now, it’s more manageable.

Here’s an unusual one: two listeners announced that they are parting ways with me forever over ….well, see for yourself:

EVAN: I was listening to your interview with Illeana Douglas and was shocked when you announced the ending of “Easy Rider.”  I have never seen that movie–and now it is ruined for me.  You are such a putz.  That was the last time I will ever listen to your show.  Why you are on NPR, I will never understand.  You are top to bottom a commercial radio show.

SAM:  It has depressed me for days, as the movie will never be the same experience for me.  I listen to you show (or listened) every day. I changed my radio settings the next day.

Evan dislikes me and my show, generally. He needed to find something else to listen to.  Sam is more troubling. I wrote back and told him that, in a free-flowing conversation, it’s not always possible to think about whether the ending of a 45-year-old movie is fair game. I told him I was sorry. I also told him — and this is true — that the ending of “Easy Rider” is not the point. The point is everything that leads up to it. One might say the same about any Shakespeare tragedy.

Anyway, it turns out Sam does not give out second chances. Here’s the Illeana show.

 

Oscars vs. Movies

by Categorized: Moon Pitchers, Uncategorized Date:

Like most of you, I’ve seen a bunch of 2015 movies. A fairly complete list sits below. And I’m trying to catch up with the ones I’ve missed. For Academy Award purposes, I’ve seen 6 of the 8 Best Picture nominees. I’m a little weaker in some of the other categories.

Let me first declare my passion. “Creed” was my favorite 2015 movie (so far). I’m not claiming it’s the best. It moved me; it thrilled me. I thought it was a fabulous example of the basic thing that movies can do which is use sight and sound to call forth from us emotions that mostly lie buried. “Creed”s version of the French national motto is “Identite, Paternite, Mortalite!” That’s pretty much where I live too. Michael B. Jordan is, for my money, the most exciting young actor in the U.S. I loved the way Ryan Coogler and Maryse Alberti moved the camera around — asymmetrically in a way that suggests the chaos of boxing. I hold no license to say such a thing, but several times, in the scenes between Jordan and Tessa Thompson I thought:  “I bet young black adults recognize these interactions in a way that is real and rare.” So, you idiots the Academy, you have a good movie by a young black director with a young black star. creedWhat did you do? Nominate the old white guy. You deserve to be raped by a bear.

Three overlooked performances I thought were special: In August, we talked on the radio about “The End of the Tour,” and I said then that I regarded Jason Segel’s version of David Foster Wallace as jaw-droppingly good. Acting that doesn’t feel like acting. I had similarly strong feelings for Paul Dano’s portrayal of the fragile young Brian Wilson in “Love and Mercy.”  loveandmercyLastly, what about Ian McKellan in Mr. Holmes? I may be the only person who remembers this movie, and it suffers, perhaps, from the current surfeit of Sherlock reimaginings. So what? McKellen as Holmes at 93, facing the loss of his fabled faculties, was a wonder to behold. I’m sorry all of the preceding were dudes. A pleasant (but lesser) surprise was Naomi Watts showing off swell comic chops in “While We’re Young,” a movie you may not have seen because there is no couple on earth in which both people want to go see a Noah Baumbach movie. Charles Grodin, also, was effortlessly good in that one.

revleobear“The Revenant” is going to divide people. (Dress warmly. This movie makes you feel cold. It should have been released in the summer.) I’m Team Inarritu. I really liked this rough, drunk-on-nature fable, but I totally get the people who say: “Really? Two and a half hours for a boilerplate revenge fantasy?”  You either feel it or you don’t. The same could be said of your legs and feet by the end.  I’m interested to know how 2015 looks, overall, to you.

OK, here’s what I remember having seen. Maybe I’ll try to rate them on a 1-10 scale.

Carol 7

Ex Machina 8

I’ll See You in My Dreams 6

Meru 7

Love and Mercy 8

Mr. Holmes 8

Avengers Age of Ultron 5

Trainwreck 6

Mad Max Fury Road 8

The End of the Tour 9

Bridge of Spies 8

Black Mass 5

The Martian 7

Spectre 7

The Walk  8

Listen to Me, Marlon 6

Going Clear 7

Timbuktu 9 (N.B. The release year of this movie is the subject of some disagreement.)

The Wolfpack 5

Creed 10

Spotlight 8

What We Do In the Shadows 6

While We’re Young 6

The Force Awakens 7

The Big Short 9

The Revenant 10