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  • Zodiac

    Zodiac

    ★★★★★

    By all accounts David Fincher is an intense, methodical, borderline tyrannical director. But could a gentle, lovely, amiable guy make films like him? Who knows. I suppose we’ll never find out, and when the standard is this good, who really minds? Zodiac is a frightening mystery and famously unsolved. The film is suitably scary but in a foreboding kind of way, and fits the story well. Creepier than most horror and no catharsis. Like real life.

  • Boogie Nights

    Boogie Nights

    ★★★★½

    Paul Thomas Anderson is a great director and he works an ensemble cast better than almost anyone. Keep an eye on the directors that actors kill to work with. They’re onto something. This is his most mainstream film and that’s saying something, given it’s about the 1970s porn industry. It’s not a film you watch with your grandma (well, depending on your grandmother I guess) but it is a captivating dark tale. Burt Reynolds has distanced himself from the film…

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  • Love & Mercy

    Love & Mercy

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A beautiful film about a troubled genius. Is there ever a well-adjusted genius? Probably not, it’s probably why they’re geniuses. Or maybe they’re just not dramatic enough to make films about.

    Brian Wilson was the brains and soul of The Beach Boys, a group of which I confess I only know the hits but enjoy all the same. Wilson struggled with touring and the celebrity of pop music in the 1960s, and was more at home in the studio. His…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★★★

    Nothing I say will really add to the commentary around this film. It is fantastic on a technical and visual level as well as narratively and textually. This film is the reason we all love going to the movies. It probably won’t win Best Picture (although, can you imagine?) but is easily one of the most memorable films of 2015. A bottle of lightning captured. For the whole opening sequence I was literally on the edge of my seat, holding my breath. Not every film can be like this of course and that’s what makes the achievement even greater.