It’s around 10 pm or a bit later, let’s say, and I’m looking to wind down. What I’ll often do is put on a comfort movie — a good film I know backwards and forwards that I love to just bathe in, just settle into like steamed mud…yessss. I’ll only half-watch it as I write tweets or research something or fiddle around on Facebook or whatever, but a comfort movie is my friend, my pal, my blankey. A comfort movie obviously can’t be too challenging or antsy or jingle-jangly. It has to give me a nice “all is well with the world” feeling. Make me feel so good and so secure.

Nobody worships sparkling, needle-sharp black-and-white films more than myself so I tend to favor monochrome comfort more than color, but not entirely. Comfort movie visuals have to downshift me and treat me like some kind of cinematic masseuse. They need to make me feel like…I don’t know, like I’ve just dropped a quaalude. That dates me, doesn’t it? Okay, a Percocet.

Favorite comfort movies: John Schlesinger‘s Sunday Bloody Sunday, Kathryn Bigelow (i.e., “Biggy”) and Mark Boal‘s Zero Dark Thirty, Martin Ritt‘s The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Stanley Kubrick‘s Paths of Glory, Irving ReisThe Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer, the VUDU streaming copy (i.e., not the overly inky Criterion Bluray) of Howard HawksOnly Angels Have Wings and Mark Robson‘s The Bridges of Toko Ri, Don Siegel‘s Charley Varrick, Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, Martin Ritt‘s Hud and Alfred Hitchcock‘s Notorious, to name but a few.