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The River Guide

Nick sat smoking, looking out over the country. He did not need to get his map out. He knew where he was from the position of the river.

Blue Ruin

“The violence portrayed in the film is brutal and graphic. It is by no means glorified and its futility resonates as a major theme throughout the story.”

Rebooting the Cosmos

Tyson’s narration meanders back and forth from the local to the cosmic, and spends not a small amount of time biographing members of the scientific pantheon.

The Wolf of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort considers the agents (us, too, over his shoulder) as Denham produces the smoking gun: a yellow note in a clear evidence bag.


I could see the red crowns of the bridge above the tree line. I couldn’t quite figure my next step. I was here. The bridge was there.

From the Polar Vortex

I gunned it up what looked to me like an incline about as threatening as what you might find on, say, the eighth hole of a miniature golf course, though it may as well have been a mountainside.

No Use To Us

We walked a few blocks from the museum to find food (unreasonably passing on a café whose window quoted Jay Gatsby: “Well, he’s no use to us if Detroit is his idea of a small town. . . .”).

Oh, The Horror

It’s for this reason, I think, that horror movies are so difficult to judge. How do you rate something that’s highest purpose is to make you double-check your closet at night, or think about leaving a light on?


Then one night in April Brett called his own bluff and showed up, straight from an Amish farm, with a puppy.

Tuning In

I’ve been struck lately by how difficult it is to communicate in the “communing” sense of that word—how miraculous it is when two or more people actually manage to share an idea, to get excited about the same thing, maybe only for a minute.

Things to Think About

In some ways, that’s exactly what art is—a way of showing the extent to which one understands about people, the world. When we think, for example, of the world’s greatest writers, we list those who have done this well—those who have understood something about people, and put that something into words.