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  • Room

    Room 2015

    ★★ Added

    Disingenuous, turgid Oscar bait. Its superficial interest in the practicalities and psychological toll of the scenario make for obnoxious viewing, to say nothing of the precocious kid.

  • Mississippi Grind

    Mississippi Grind 2015

    ★★★★ Added 2

    Superb look at a pair of broken men who find a piece of redemption through their friendship. The atmosphere, from the engineered glam of the casinos to the hazy divebars, is surprisingly immersive. For the first time ever, I really liked Reynolds, who hits the right note between cocky and fallible. Mendhelson is fantastic, of course. And it's perfectly dark while remaining entertaining, with a soft ending that's perhaps a little too optimistic but still within the realm of emotional truth.

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  • Live Free or Die Hard

    Live Free or Die Hard 2007

    ★★★½ Watched 27 Jun, 2007 2

    Myopic fanboys largely just complained that this didn't have enough profanity, but as an exciting look at another bad day for Willis' John McClane, this does the trick. Wiseman's competent handling of action scenes is bolstered by Willis' enthusiastic performance, while the pacing makes it feel leaner than it actually is. Serious foul with the fighter jet/semi-truck battle, though, a scene so stupid and unnecessary that it nearly wrecks the climax.

  • Escape from New York

    Escape from New York 1981

    ★★★★ Added

    Kurt Russell always sat on the periphery of the A-list, a charming lead, convincing macho man, and fine actor, a household name yet never the sort of star who put asses in the seats by his name alone. This movie features perhaps his defining performance as Snake Plissken, a gunfighter whose ruthlessness is weighted by a conscience, a dry joker who cares for the decent people who cross his path and yet is content to watch the whole world come crashing down. People are worth saving, humanity isn't, every good anti-hero knows. Expect this role at the top of Russell's obituary, and with good reason.