August 08, 2023



Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.ColeSmithey.comThis ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

It's not called film praise; it's called film criticism for a reason.

There are plenty of ego-stroking bottom feeders who call themselves film critics. These reprobates can easily be discovered by noticing the usual suspects whose names constantly show up in movie ads.

In NYC we call them quote whores.

Frequently, these poseurs hide behind a media entity that masks their identity by usurping it with their brand. Roger Ebert has been dead for years, yet somehow is still getting credit for reviews being written in 2023. Weird, I know.

A film critic is not a brand; film criticism is much more than that.

When film criticism becomes a brand (see, it automatically ceases to be true criticism.

I've been a published film critic for 30 years now. Over that time I've written for dozens and dozens of outlets.

Now that oxymoronic Social Media has driven the final nail of clickbait into the coffin of any editorial oversight anywhere, I don't write for the same reasons that I once did. Nonetheless, I still write because I am a writer.

The death of the alt weeklies was a canary in the coalmine.

Still, I have my reasons for doing my job.

Film criticism is a job.

Professional is as the professional does.

Film criticism is not publicity.

Film criticism is not "content;" it is editorial fact.

You have to be a serious person in order to be a film critic, not that you have to take yourself too seriously; don't do that.

There is no such thing as a "good" or "bad" review, only good or bad movies.

Critical thought cannot be swayed by money. You can pay for a review; you cannot pay for the outcome of the critical analyses that it entails.

Film criticism exists to analyze its subject as a work of art, not commerce.

Film criticism is an individual pursuit, not a group activity. If you care what other people think about a specific movie or film, you're fucked.

Filmmakers Jean-Luc Goddard, Francoise Truffault, and Paul Schrader were each film critics before becoming filmmakers. They worked out their initial film theories by writing criticism. There are rich rewards if you're willing to put in the time. Children without siblings are naturals for becoming critics — less distraction.

Social media is a natural enemy to film criticism, and to rational thought for that matter.

The study and analyses of film/movies requires deep focus and concentration, the exact thing that social media rejects.

The value of Cinema rests with the patience to absorb its importance, not to exploit it.

A commercial cannot be a movie, i.e. "Barbie" is not a movie. Neither is "Black Panther." These are commercials made to move product.

All film is political; it is up to the film critic to draw upon research to define its political subtext.

Film criticism is not a club or a meritocracy.

Film criticism is writing, many hours of writing, for many years, if you're lucky.

Film criticism is a study of global sociology.

And endless study and research; if you haven't seen any of a filmmaker's past films, how can you pretend to contemplate the personal context of their latest movie? You can't.

It's none of our damn business how much money your dumb-ass movie made.

The movie industry teamed up with modern clickbait media to shit the bed of movie-going in America.

It's fine for industry professionals to turn into bean counters on their own time, but insulting the public by waving their huge profits under our noses as a merit badge is beyond the pale.

Money does not equal quality, quite the contrary.

Roger Ebert was an awful example of a narcissist passing as a film critic.

Because of the way Ebert fell into his job as a corporate film critic, he did not properly prepare for the task.

Contrary to Ebert's belief that a critic should write about his, her, or their experience of watching a movie (i.e. did it make you cry?) is bullshit.

Just because a movie makes you cry, does not automatically make it a good movie. There are many people who can make you cry, not all of them are good people.

The minimum requirement for any film critic is that he or she watch, and read reviews of the best 100 movies of all time. "John Kobal Presents the Top 100 Movies" (yes, it's a book) is a great place to start.

A love of international Cinema, the diligence to constantly study various aspects of Cinema, and the willingness to sit down to artfully express to the reader a cogent understanding of the movie at hand, are things that cannot be taught.

You've either got it, or you don't.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole


June 05, 2023


Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!



Over the years of working as a film critic in NYC, I had many opportunities to interview or meet celebrities. Many Cannes and New York Festivals enabled me to see and meet some of Cinema's finest talents. Here I've compiled a collection of photos I took on those special occasions. Some of these talented people are no longer with us, so it's especially touching to revisit them here.


ColeSmithey.comTHE SMARTEST FILM CRITIC IN THE WORLD, or something quite like it.

ColeSmithey.comCannes, Cannes, Cannes!

ColeSmithey.comLunch with Catherine Deneuve at Cannes — "Persepolis"

ColeSmithey.comGuillermo det Toro & Ivana Baquero in Cannes — "Pan's Labyrinth"

ColeSmithey.comMichelle Monahan & Val Kilmer in Cannes — "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"

ColeSmithey.comRobert Downey Jr. & Val Kilmer in Cannes

ColeSmithey.comJean Reno & Audrey Tautou in Cannes — "The DaVinci Code"

ColeSmithey.comNeil Rosen & Cole at the Fox Searchlight Party

ColeSmithey.comAngelina Jolie in Cannes

ColeSmithey.comPenelope Cruz & Pedro Almodovar in Cannes

ColeSmithey.comPeter Bogdanovich in NYC

ColeSmithey.comJason Ritter & Don Roos in NYC — "Happy Endings"

ColeSmithey.comPaul Thomas Anderson & Daniel Day-Lewis in NYC

ColeSmithey.comRichard Linklater & Eric Schlosser in Cannes — "Fast Food Nation"

ColeSmithey.comDavid Cone

ColeSmithey.comAshley Olsen in NYC

ColeSmithey.comWerner Herzog in NYC — "Grizzly Man"

ColeSmithey.comWim Wenders in Cannes — "Don't Come Knockin'"

ColeSmithey.comBruno Dumont in NYC

ColeSmithey.comSam Shepard in Cannes — "Don't Come Knockin'"

ColeSmithey.comQuentin Tarantino in Cannes 2004

ColeSmithey.comNorman Jewison in NYC — "The Statement"

ColeSmithey.comDoug Jones & Richard Jenkins in NYC — "The Shape of Water"

ColeSmithey.comLee Daniels in NYC — "The Paperboy"

ColeSmithey.comTom Hanks in Cannes — "The DaVinci Code"

ColeSmithey.comRon Howard in Cannes

ColeSmithey.comCillian Murphy & Pádraic Delaney — "The Wind That Shakes The Barley"

ColeSmithey.comMathieu Amalric in NYC

ColeSmithey.comIan McKellen in NYC

ColeSmithey.comMalcolm McLeren in Cannes — "Fast Food Nation"

ColeSmithey.comTom Arnold in NYC — "Gardens of the Night"

ColeSmithey.comMichael Keaton in NYC

ColeSmithey.comKeanu Reeves in Cannes — "A Scanner Darkly"

ColeSmithey.comMicky Rourke, Darren Aronofsky, Marisa Tomei — "The Wrestler"

ColeSmithey.comNeil Cohen ("Chief Zabu") on La Grande Bouffe (The Big Feast)

ColeSmithey.comJim Jarmusch in Cannes — "Gimme Danger"

ColeSmithey.comIggy Pop in Cannes — "Gimme Danger"

ColeSmithey.comEthan Hawke in Cannes

ColeSmithey.comScarlett Johansson — "Girl With A Pearl Earring"

ColeSmithey.comElle Fanning in Cannes — "The Neon Demon"

ColeSmithey.comNicolas Winding Refn in Cannes — "The Neon Demon"

ColeSmithey.comKevin Kline in Cannes

ColeSmithey.comAtom Egoyan in Cannes — "Where the Truth Lies"

ColeSmithey.comRachel Blanchard in Cannes — "Where The Truth Lies"

102_0270Audrey Tautou

ColeSmithey.comSir Anthony Hopkins "The World's Fastest Indian"

ColeSmithey.comEmma  Watson

ColeSmithey.comSarah Polley in Cannes

ColeSmithey.comJim Jarmusch in Cannes — "Broken Flowers"

ColeSmithey.comKen Loach in Cannes — "The Wind That Shakes The Barley"

ColeSmithey.comRoger Donaldson — "The World's Fastest Indian"

ColeSmithey.comErrol Morris in NYC — "Standard Operating Procedure"

ColeSmithey.comPaul Thomas Anderson in NYC

ColeSmithey.comBobby Cannavale in NYC

ColeSmithey.comColin Ferrel in NYC — "In Bruges"

ColeSmithey.comAsia Argento

ColeSmithey.comEllen (nee Elliot) Page — "Hard Candy"

ColeSmithey.comMark Ruffalo in NYC — "In The Cut"

ColeSmithey.comWyclef Jean in NYC — "Dirty"

ColeSmithey.comAgnès Jaoui at the New York Film Festival

ColeSmithey.comStew & Spike Lee in NYC — "Passing Strange"

ColeSmithey.comPaul Bettany in Cannes

ColeSmithey.comFormer President Bill Clinton

ColeSmithey.comRobert Kennedy Jr.

ColeSmithey.comJennifer Connelly

ColeSmithey.comClive Owen — "The International"

ColeSmithey.comGreg Kinnear in Cannes

Mai Masri2Mai Masri ("3000 Nights") on La Grande Bouffe (The Big Feast)

ColeSmithey.comNick Stahl — "The Door In The Floor"

ColeSmithey.comStephen King — "The Mist"

IMG_1263Tom Wolfe

ColeSmithey.comCarice van Houten — "Black Book"

ColeSmithey.comKeira Knightley — "Atonement"

ColeSmithey.comJames McAvoy

ColeSmithey.comTalia Lugacy & Rosario Dawson

ColeSmithey.comMichael Pitt

ColeSmithey.comBrady Corbett

ColeSmithey.comSam Rockwell

ColeSmithey.comDanny Boyle

ColeSmithey.comDev Patel

ColeSmithey.comJonathan Waxman

ColeSmithey.comTony Visconti

ColeSmithey.comLeee Black Childers

ColeSmithey.comMatthew Fox & Dennis Quaid

ColeSmithey.comTaylor Sheridan, Chris Pine & Ben Foster in Cannes

ColeSmithey.comChris Pine & Ben Foster in Cannes — "Hell or High Water"

ColeSmithey.comHarvey Pekar in Cannes — "American Splendor"

ColeSmithey.comGeraldine Chaplin in Cannes

ColeSmithey.comRichard Schickel & Geraldine Chaplin

ColeSmithey.comNick Cave — "The Proposition"

ColeSmithey.comWilliam Friedkin in Cannes — "Bug" Hector Babenco in Cannes — "Carandiru"

ColeSmithey.comOlivier Assayas

ColeSmithey.comNatalie Portman in NYC — "V For Vendetta"

ColeSmithey.comUma Thurman in NYC — "My Super Ex-Girlfriend"

ColeSmithey.comDonnie Wahlberg in NYC

ColeSmithey.comJet Li in NYC — "Unleashed"

ColeSmithey.comTony Jaa in NYC

ColeSmithey.comRobert Forster in NYC

ColeSmithey.comMichael Caine in NYC

ColeSmithey.comChristian Bale in NYC

ColeSmithey.comAaron Eckhart in NYC

ColeSmithey.comDaniel Day-Lewis

ColeSmithey.comCatherine Zeta-Jones in NYC — "No Reservations"

ColeSmithey.comDaniel Radcliffe in NYC

ColeSmithey.comAlly Sheedy

ColeSmithey.comMichael K. Williams & Ally Sheedy — "Life During Wartime"

ColeSmithey.comChristopher Sherwood ("All Is Vanity") on La Grande Bouffe (The Big Feast)

ColeSmithey.comCole with Jason Ritter & Don Roos — "Happy Endings"

Screen Shot 2023-10-01 at 5.34.12 PMMichael Somerville on La Grande Bouffe (The Big Feast)

ColeSmithey.comMichelle Williams at the New York Film Festival — "My Week With Marilyn"

ColeSmithey.comHeath Ledger in NYC — "I'm Not There"

ColeSmithey.comDon Cheadle & Emayatzy Corinealdi — "Miles Ahead"

ColeSmithey.comRick Crom ("Oh, Rick") on La Grande Bouffe (The Big Feast)

ColeSmithey.comMandy Moore & Justin Theroux in NYC

ColeSmithey.comJustin Theroux in NYC

ColeSmithey.comMandy Moore in NYC

ColeSmithey.comMandy Moore in NYC

ColeSmithey.comJohn Cusack

ColeSmithey.comMatthew Fox in NYC — "Vantage Point"

ColeSmithey.comVal Kilmer in NYC


ColeSmithey.comMicky Rourke — "The Wrestler"

ColeSmithey.comVincent Gallo in Cannes — "Brown Bunny"

ColeSmithey.comGuillermo del Toro in NYC — "The Shape of Water"

ColeSmithey.comJohn Doe in Portland, Oregon

ColeSmithey.comIan Hunter in NYC

ColeSmithey.comElvis Costello, Nick Lowe & Robyn Hitchcock in NYC

ColeSmithey.comPete Thomas in NYC

Steve NaiveSteve Naive

ColeSmithey.comMartin Scorsese — "Shine A Light"

ColeSmithey.comKeith Richards & Charlie Watts in NYC — "Shine A Light"

ColeSmithey.comMick Jagger in NYC

ColeSmithey.comCharlie Watts

ColeSmithey.comDaniel Craig in NYC — "Layer Cake"

ColeSmithey.comKimberly Pierce — "Stop-Loss"

ColeSmithey.comCuba Gooding Jr. in NYC — "Dirty"

ColeSmithey.comLeonardo DiCaprio in NYC — "The Departed"

ColeSmithey.comForest Whitaker in NYC — "Panic Room"

ColeSmithey.comGretchen Mol in NYC — "The Notorious Bettie Page"

ColeSmithey.comGael Garcia Bernal in Cannes — "Babel"

ColeSmithey.comAlejandro G. Iñárritu in Cannes — "Babel"

ColeSmithey.comPierce Brosnan at The Essex House

ColeSmithey.comJeremy Workman — "The World Before Your Feet"

ColeSmithey.comOn the Red Carpet in Cannes!

Cozy Cole


May 20, 2023


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