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  • Lights Out

    Lights Out 2016

    ★★½ Watched 24 Jul, 2016

    There is some genuinely great stuff at play here. First, an awesomely creepy-looking demon-creature-thing—I use this term in the generic sense out of a desire not to spoil who "Diana" is here—that never elicits unintentional laughter, as they often do in even the best of horror movies. Second, superb general ambiance: even though the interior production design is kinda slapdash (that perfectly scotch-taped Avenged Sevenfold poster in the protagonist's living room!), the filmmakers make the most out of shooting the…

  • Hillary's America: The Secret History Of The Democratic Party

    Hillary's America: The Secret History Of The Democratic Party 2016

    ★½ Watched 24 Jul, 2016

    Perhaps the biggest disappointment of Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party is that it's very light on the "Hillary's America" and very heavy on the "Secret History of the Democratic Party." Which is to say, more than half of the movie consists of Dinesh D'Souza's, well, let's just say... intriguing... re-readings of the history of Jacksonian Democracy, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement (oh, I'm sorry, I mean both Civil Rights Movements).

    Outside of a…

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  • Compliance

    Compliance 2012

    ½ Watched 11 Jan, 2013 27

    There are two reasons that Craig Zobel could have decided to make Compliance, both equally wrongheaded:

    1) Zobel simply wanted to expose this case (and, by extension, the others like it) to the world, without any sort of greater message. While I don't buy this as the filmmaker's motivation for a second, some people have argued such, so I'll address it...

    Put simply: text-based reporting, as had already been done extensively in this case (meaning, no further examination was really…

  • Take Shelter

    Take Shelter 2011

    ★★★★★ Added 1

    The best film of 2011 is also the most criminally under-seen. Blue-collar, Midwestern father Curtis LaForche is either developing paranoid schizophrenia or accurately prophesizing the apocalypse — a binary that could have all too easily become fodder for hokey metaphor. But with writer/director Jeff Nichols and actor Michael Shannon at the helm (their second film together, following 2007’s Shotgun Stories), Curtis becomes one of the most authentically human characters in the history of cinema. He may be the symbolic fulcrum…