About Us

Portland Film Review was founded in January 2017 by two friends and cinephiles from Portland, Oregon and Portland, Maine and emerged from the desire to give our film criticism a formal and public platform. We soon added a third member, and the editorial team has now published close to 200 posts, including film reviews, articles about film theory and the film industry, best-of lists, and festival coverage. In July 2020, the editorial team launched PFR Weekly, a podcast which dives into the cultural contexts and technical accomplishments of individual films.

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Nathan Modlin

Co-founder, editor, contributing writer

Focuses: Film adaptations; international film (German, Austrian, French); Jewish film; film theory

Nathan Modlin (he/him/his) is a writer and critic from Portland, OR. He is interested in international film, especially German, Austrian, and French, and in the intersection between film and literature. In addition to writing reviews of a wide range of films, from Coco (2017) to BlacKkKlansman (2018), Nathan has published critical articles on Scorsese’s auteur theory, Madeline Anderson’s protest films, and why there’s no such thing as “high” cinema.

His favorite films include The Third Man (1949), Rear Window (1954),  Les 400 Coups (1959), The Trial (1962), Dr. Strangelove (1964), Chinatown (1974), Mulan (1998), and Les Intouchables (2011).

Nathan is currently a PhD candidate in German literature at the University of Chicago, and has previously studied at Reed College and the Universities of Vienna, Tübingen, and Oxford. His research has been supported by a Fulbright Grant. He has also published a translation in Plain Sight and is on the fiction board at the Chicago Review.


Jane Vaughan

Co-founder, editor, contributing writer

Focuses: The role of gender; contemporary film; documentaries; interviews with local filmmakers


Jane Vaughan (she/her/hers) is a journalist from Portland, ME. She is interested in studying the role of gender in film and often writes about contemporary films, including documentaries. She is fascinated by how and why stories are told and how experiences and emotions are conveyed, whether that be through art, text, or film. Her reviews include Unbelievable (2019), Midsommar (2019), and Free Solo (2018). In addition, she enjoys conducting interviews with local filmmakers, including Juliette Sutherland and Kendra Smith.

Jane’s favorite films include No Country for Old Men (2007), The Fighter (2010), True Grit (2010), Nightcrawler (2014), Spotlight (2015), Manchester by the Sea (2016), and The Hours (2002).

Jane is a producer at New Hampshire Public Radio. She previously studied at Wellesley College and the University of Oxford.


Devin McGrath-Conwell

Editor, contributing writer, podcast producer

Devin McGrath-Conwell (he/him/his) is a writer and educator from just outside Portland, ME. His academic focus is on the study of masculinity, particularly conceptions of American masculinity, in film and television. On this site, his writing tends to consider that topic as well broader ideas of gender, race, the cinematic lineage that connects old and new film, and a particular fondness for horror movies. He is also the resident writer addressing the inner workings of the film industry. Devin is also a filmmaker in his own right, having written and directed the short film Locally Sourced (2019), and contributed scripts to the web series Lambert Hall (2020-)

Devin’s favorite pieces from his time at Portland Film Review include his reviews of Paddington 2 (2018) and Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2020), as well as his feature pieces Twin Peaks: The Return and the Future of Visual Storytelling (2017) and How NEON Exploded from New Kid to Industry Heavyweight (2020)

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Disclaimer: To the best of our knowledge, all media (including film stills, posters, quotations, and links) found on this website fall under Fair Use guidelines for critical commentary and non-profit educational purposes.

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