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  • Isle of Dogs

    Isle of Dogs

    ★★★½

    So there's a lot to unpack here, not the least of which is Wes Anderson's seeming inability to reckon with the cultural tourism he's obviously engaging in. That said, Anderson has never been interested in realism, so to say these are inaccurate representations of Japanese culture may as well be a matter of course. But that, along with several confounding choices about which human characters get to be understood by English speaking audiences, does rub me the wrong way.

    And…

  • Blade Runner

    Blade Runner

    ★★★★★

    Everybody told me to expect the moody, rainy atmosphere. The cold-blooded charisma of Rutger Hauer. And the eternal question: is Deckard a Replicant?

    Why didn't they tell me about the sense of menace that pervades the moodiness? Or the pathos and multi-dimensionality of Hauer's performance? Or the ways in which the film makes the Deckard question null and void, when it defines humanity not by our origin but by the way we live our lives and treat one other?

    This film surprised me in all the best ways. A flawed but deeply felt masterpiece.

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  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    ★★★½

    Okay, so this may be a case where the star rating doesn't properly reflect my conflicted feelings about Martin McDonagh's award season front runner (it's honestly pretty amazing I'm writing those words). On the one hand, it's got everything I love about McDonagh: the masterful plotting, the savage humor, characters who suddenly and beautifully reveal their human frailty just when we think we've got them pegged. And oh, the acting. Frances McDormand doesn't need to remind us all how great…

  • mother!

    mother!

    ★★★★½

    Scrap everything you've heard and watch this as an absurdist comedy in the vein of Beckett or Bunuel; it blooms like a beautiful, terrifying flower.