Moore Archives

Histories of Violence

Thank you for another excellent review. I truly enjoy your reviews every month, whether I have seen the films or not. They are perceptive and thoroughly entertaining. I hope when Roger Ebert finally steps down, they will look to you to replace him. You will be a more than worthy successor.
Brenda Balfour
read Miles Moore's article

Histories of Violence-American Gangster

By the way, I'll be very interested in reading your review of "American Gangster" which I hope you will do.
Brenda Balfour

Bloody Hell

Miles David Moore is probably the most intelligent film critic in our country. I am amazed at the overlapping concepts and arcs of meaning he can bridge from film to film, within one article.AND still adhere to theme. The articles show acute knowledge of art and a consummate literary skill. Moore's reviews and the New Yorker reviews are the only ones I'll bother with. And this current review I will reread with pleasure, just for the masterful turning of its language.
Grace Cavalieri

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I like Miles Moore's reviews very much, some of the best articles published in Scene4. But with this one I think he's off-base, or should I say off-sides. Clooney has really grown as an actor and his comedy skills are outstanding, they carry the movie. It's Renee Zellweger that let's it all down. She has the timing of one of those punch doll toys, up and back, side to side and no stops in between. She just cannot be funny. And if she ever stops squinting into the camera, we might find out one day if she has eyes and not glassy little marbles.
Don Merkis
read Miles David Moore's article


Dear Mr. Merkis, Thank you for your comment on my review of "Leatherheads." I find it very gratifying that in general you find my reviews among the best articles in Scene4 . And I certainly don't expect you or anyone else to agree with everything (or anything) I say about any given movie. When you say, however, that I'm "off-sides" in my review of "Leatherheads," and then attribute to me statements that are very different from what I actually said, I'm mystified. By defending George Clooney's abilities as a comic actor, you seem to be claiming that I denigrated them. This is what I said: "As the likable con man aptly named Dodge, Clooney is far and away the most compelling reason to see `Leatherheads.'" I also compare him to Clark Gable and Cary Grant. I did find his direction wanting in some of the football scenes, but I had nothing but admiration for his acting, and expressed nothing but admiration. It's true I liked Renee Zellweger's performance more than you did. Nevertheless, when I say that she should stop scrunching up her face so much, I may be a little closer to your opinion of Zellweger than you suggest.
Miles David Moore
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You're right on the mark, Mr. Moore, as always. This could have been a blockbuster indictment and a masterpiece of a movie if only, as you said, Stone didn't suffer from an "inability to trust the intelligence of his audience." Too bad he blew the opportunity. And your review of "Appaloosa" is beautiful. Thanks for that.

Tim Stein

read Miles David Moore's review

American Cinema's Original Sin

An excellent critique of Griffith's "Birth of a Nation" - probably one of the most balanced I have read. As a movie buff, a theatre arts educator and an African-American, I appreciate that the article acknowledged the filmmaker's art and his contributions to the industry. However, I also applaud the fact that the article does not use that as a reason to excuse the harmful, long-lasting blatant racism of the film. I was particularly interested in the examination of Griffith's process as a thinker versus those of Thomas Dixon and even President Woodrow Wilson. I find it more than a little ironic that February, Black History Month, should be the anniversary month for the release of this film. I wish it were possible next month to show the film in selected venues under the right circumstances so that we could see how far we have come as a country when it comes to racism and also (despite many achievements and recent events) how far we still have to go.

Sandra Camphor

read Miles David Moore's article


The film made my cry and you made me cry. You're a special man Miles. I just wish you had seen that the great Sean Penn wasn't quite right for the role. I don't know who else could have played it better but I just felt he missed that something of a NY Jewish boy gone Gay and finding his mantra in the melting pot of SF. Still, you caught the whole scene beautifully.

Sarah Rogoff

read Miles David Moore's review


Excellent review. Haven't seen a better pov on this heroic and heartbreaking movie. As they say, you ought to be in pictures.


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No I agree with Miles Moore. Sean Penn's performance is one of his best. Like every great actor, he disappears into the character and gives us a Harvey Milk we can understand. Brolin was also impressive as Dan White, though he is far too good looking for the little pinched twinkie man.


read Miles David Moore's review


Funny how "Milk" just disappeared from the scene. So much other news I suppose and I guess it did well at the box office. Or maybe its story is just too touchy for audiences who are already very confused. Here today and gone tomorrow. At least you have a bold film critic who steps "out" and keeps his perspective. Nice.


read Miles David Moore's review


Excellent review! Michael Sheen is a better David Frost than David Frost! Though I think Frank Langella does a marvelous job and is a wonderful actor, he doesn't somehow quite get the physicality, the quirky way that Nixon moved as Anthony Hopkins did in his film. I missed that quality.

Terry Braitough

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"Duplicity" Where's the movie?

Underwhelming? You're more than kind Mr. Moore. They should tie rusty cans to the tail of Tony Gilroy and put dunce caps on Clive Owen and Julia r-r-Roberts and drag them through Hollywood on a very sunny day. You should get a G. Globe or something golden for even bothering to sit through and review this waste of time and money. Is there a word like "nonwhelming?"

C. Gerrif

read Miles David Moore's review

Taking of Pelham

Absolutely agree with Mr. Moore's insightful review and comparison of the two films. The original definitely has a superior script. And for me the first "Pelham" also had the actors, especially the great Robert Shaw who was one of the most underrated actors of his time and a brilliant writer too.

Terry Braitough

read Miles David Moore's review

Bright Star is Fabulous!

Bright Star is one of the best dramas I've seen all year! The cast was amazing, and the music haunting. Here's a great interview I found with Abbie Cornish talking about her character in the film, and how she turned to Keats' original poetry to answer questions during filming. You can find it here: Jane Campion is truly one of the most influential female voices in film today, and I don't think anyone else could have captured the essence of Keats' story like her!

Lana Larekin

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Why Conservatives Should Fear the Market

Michael Bettencourt's essay, "Why Conservatives Should Fear the Market," is painfully insightful and true. It points up the dirty little secret of the past 30 years: that so-called "Reagan conservatives," with their devotion to "trickle-down economics," are in fact as fanatically revolutionary as any Leninite. And, as it turns out, their dogma has been just about as beneficial to the common folk as Bolshevism. Our current state of growing poverty, unemployment and community dislocation is, in its own way, a Gulag.

Miles David Moore

read Michael Bettencourt's column


"Emma takes one bite--and the movie suddenly comes into focus." It is so refreshing to read cinema reviews by a critic who not only understands the art and the industry but also can write with the "touch of a poet." Thank you Miles David Moore for your steady stream of collectible critiques. A book of them is coming, yes?

Reed Harrison

read Miles David Moore's reviews

Reply to Reed Harrison - re: "Contrasts"

Dear Mr. Harrison,
Thanks so much for your extremely kind words about my review of "I Am Love." In reply to your query about a possible book of my reviews, all I can say is, "From your lips to God's ear!" (Or, more to the point, a publisher's ear.)
Best always,

Miles David Moore

Biutiful reviewing altogether

Several people I know feel the way I do:  Miles David Moore's movie reviews are the best around. I remember his  review of Polanski's "Ghost Writer" as if I had read it yesterday (well, I also agreed with every word in it). As for "Biutiful", I have not seen the film but read half a dozen reviews (including the New Yorker) trying to decide if it would be worth a one-hour drive to see it. I could not tell. Nothing in these reviews stirred my imagination. Switch to Scene4 and Miles David Moore, where the psychologically thoughtful, elegant writing instantly takes me into a visual, sensual "experience" of the film and connects me. I am told what that experience was like from the "inside", filtered through a critical perspective. There is enough information on every level to keep me reading with interest -- and make up my mind.

Renate Stendhal

read Miles David Moore's review

Two things about the May issue

First, I feel incredibly pleased and gratified by Renate Stendhal's kind and generous letter about my reviews. To receive such praise from a writer of her stature is an honor indeed. Second, I loved Nathan Thomas' appreciation of the great Sir Derek Jacobi. I hope Mr. Thomas enjoyed Sir Derek's performance as Lear (I can't imagine otherwise). I myself have been fortunate enough to see Sir Derek four times in the flesh: on stage in "Cyrano de Bergerac," "Breaking the Code," and "A Voyage Round My Father," and as himself at a speaking engagement at The National Press Club. Sir Derek was as charming, witty and self-deprecating as one could wish. He spoke of just barely losing the role of Hannibal Lecter in "The Silence of the Lambs" to Anthony Hopkins: "Tony was brilliant, damn him, but I should have liked to have a go at it!" He also told the tale of being approached meanicngly by an extremely intimidating U.S. Customs official. The official's demand? "Show us your limp!"

Miles David Moore

read Nathan Thomas' article

David Alpaugh

Many thanks to Scene4 for bringing us the eminently sensible, wise and salutary poetry columns of David Alpaugh. I find myself in almost total agreement with everything he says about poetry and the current poetry scene. Above all I agree with what he says in his current column: that poetry is an art, not identical but closely allied to song, that is meant to enchant and enlighten us. It is not supposed to be a credit on a resume, or a sacred mystery to be guarded zealously by the few hundred keepers of the flame.

Alpaugh's latest column reminded me of an argument I had a few years ago with two poet friends. I argued that a poem should reveal something of itself, but not all, on first reading; they insisted that a poem must be absolutely opaque the first five or six times you read it, and that anything less was a sacrilege.

Needless to say, these same friends regard the name "Billy Collins" as being in the same class as "Paris Hilton." The real tragedy is that my friends--whatever our differences in esthetics--are no more of the academy than I am. How deeply the poets have drunk of the Kool-Aid!

Miles David Moore

read David Alpaugh's column

The Iron Lady

Miles Moore's review rightfully pinpoints the massive failure of this film: "misshapen, wrongheaded and vague". It's the script. I've just seen another Abi Morgan penner, "Shame" and it's the same vague meandering mess. And she's an award-winning playwright to boot. However does she come to write such porridge? And however do they come to ever produce it?

Pel Porter

read Miles David Moore's reviiew

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

It is a pleasure to see great actors and a great director collaborate on a fine piece of filmmaking. As critic Miles David Moore notes it has more magic than all the CGI in the universe. Charm depicted like this is wonderful, isn't it. Thanks to Mr. Moore for his charming review.

Pel Porter

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The Marigold Hotel

Not one of Madden's best films, but still a good one and as usual masterfully directed. It's becoming difficult these days to see quality, "charming", high-farce on the screen. The Brits rule!

Michael Aptrow

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"Z" and all

Thanks Mr. Moore for the excellent cross-review of three great movies. And especially your citation of "Z". It's a movie that should never be forgotten.

Andy Juerine

read Miles David Moore's review

Babylon Revisited

I have not viewed any of the films that Mr. Moore so carefully and forcefully reviews in this issue of Scene4. He has convinced me to make the effort and I am certain I will enjoy doing so. I have followed his reviews over the past years and excellent film critic that he is, I have followed along with his recommendations. It has been rewarding to do so and I thank him for it.

A.S. Waterson

read Miles David Moore's review

Babylon Revisited

I wish I could agree with Miles David Moore's review of "The Great Gatsby". He's such a damn good critic and I respect his opinion and his writing. But this is "not" a great film. Luhrmann demonstrated magnificently the range of pure cinema and pure visualization in his "Moulin Rouge". Since then, he's been trying to find a sequel and has failed, miserably. "Romeo+Juliet" is a good example of how far he's willing to self-indulge himself. It's not only a serious insult to Shakespeare, it's a sadly laughable insult to good fimmaking. I agree that in "Gatsby", Leonardo DiCaprio is great, and Catherine Martin's design work is great but Luhrmann fails to find Fitzgerald as he wallows in the current trend of over-the-top media-mashing. "Revisiting Babylon" is an apt description for this film in more ways than one.

Louis Laird

read Miles David Moore's review

Blue Jasmine

The review of Blue Jasmine is a penetrating look at a good film and the filmmaking style of Woody Allen. Mr. Moore is especially insightful in his detailing Allen's weak depiction of the male characters. Woody loves his women and his men only when he plays them on the screen.

Ev Meredith

read Miles David Moore's review

Blue Jasmine

This film critic goes right to the heart of the matter. Allen, like so many directors today, has to screw with the material, has to put himself above the great work he has in his hands. Cate Blanchett is the great work. Just leave her alone and let her act. She's what makes this movie worth seeing and remembering.

Tim Willets

read Miles David Moore's review

Ralph Fiennes

Excellent review of the work and status of this top of his form actor. Not only an actor that audiences love to hate, but also one audiences love to love. I have seen Mr. Fiennes in some second rate films but I have never seen him give a second rate performance.

Barry Morrics

read Miles David Moore's review

The Death Penalty

(Miles David) Moore's portrait of Ruth and Judd's "cinematic afterlife" is a stirring, well-written article, particularly the note about the "tabloid sensationalism" in showing a photo of Snyder's exceution on the front page of a newspaper. I would suggest that there should be more of this today. We should see actual photos of the so-called "humane" lethal-injection executions, even videos. The Death Penalty has been proven not to be a deterrent, which is why it has been discarded in most civilized countries. Are State executions "cruel and unusual" punishment? If they are then they should be public events shown in all their gory detail and then maybe, just maybe they may prove to have some deterring impact on crime. They used to be staged like circuses in England, France and even the USA. Ever wonder why they stopped doing that?

Barry Hazellof

read Miles David Moore's article

Different Drums

Miles Moore's observation about Birdman losing its steam in the final half hour was confirmed as I checked my watch, for the first time, toward the finale of the film. The ending actually made me feel wonderfully alive! I think the movie is one of the best I've seen in a while. The percussion accompaniment was exquisite and at the end when it slowed down it was the human heart beat. Whiplash is in my Netflix queue. I only hope I can watch it through because I've experienced some "Fletchers" in the music world and elsewhere. Thanks for the superb reviews!

Nancy Allinson

Read Miles David Moore's reviews: "Different Drums"

Stealing 'Big Eyes'

I enjoyed Miles Moore's always astute and sensitive film reviews in this issue but...
Talk about stealing! Gertrude Stein's artist friend Marie Laurencin (so-called girl friend of poet Guilliame Apollinaire) was the first to do those big eyed kids.

Karren Alenier

Read Miles David Moore's review: "Paths to Glory"

La La Land

Taking umbrage with Miles David Moore's excellent review, this movie (not a film) is a mega social media style block n' buster. The two "stars", Stone and Gosling, can't sing, can't dance, and are truly limited actors which is okay for this piece of overdone cake. The fact that the movie has so many accolades, even an incredible and outrageous sisterly hug with the masterpiece, "Singin' In the Rain", tells us much about the flight of talent, taste, and perspective that travel bans won't ever correct.


Miles David Moore's Review: "Dreams and Disappointments"

I Am Not Your Negro

As the critic says, this is an important and powerful film. But it leads me to wonder what Baldwin would make of today's rise of white, right-wing populism. Would he find it depressing, disgusting or would he throw up his hands, as he does in the photo, and throw in the towel?

Tyman Bassett

Miles David Moore's review: "The Indians Were You"

"First Reformed"

Thank you to Miles Moore for his excellent, insightful review of "First Reformed". I have only one concern, and it is not over anything Mr. Moore wrote. It's more to do with what was not written and has not been written in any review of this movie I have read. One of Ingmar Bergman's bleakest movies, I've always thought, was "Winterlight" about a rural minister who is facing a crisis of faith, and who is visited by a parishioner and his wife. The parishioner is in despair over the fate of the world, particular the nuclear bomb. The minister is unable to help him in his despair, and the man is found soon after dead by suicide. No one has mentioned these similarities to "First Reformed". And I don't think Paul Schroeder himself has acknowledged them. I found that a little disturbing.

Bill Derge

read Miles David Moore's review: "Matters of Conscience"

About Moore

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to RECENT LETTERS in the Moore category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Meiselman is the previous category.

Renaud is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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