• Those Who Wish Me Dead

    Those Who Wish Me Dead

    ★★★

    A solid thriller where the fire plays a smaller part than the marketing would suggest. Gillen and Hoult are stone-cold monsters and ACAB but I’m willing to make some leeway for Betenthal’s character.

  • The Ladykillers

    The Ladykillers

    I remember hating this back when it first came out. Revisiting it 17 years later I’m assured I have an excellent memory.

  • Godzilla vs. Kong

    Godzilla vs. Kong

    ★★★★

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

    There’s no moment of cinema more pure than a 20 story gorilla wielding a primordial axe against a cyborg lizard.

  • Framing Britney Spears

    Framing Britney Spears

    As a capsule view of Spears' career/abuse by the tabloid-entertainment complex, it's good stuff. When it starts wading into the "Free Britney" online movement uncritically, the doc starts to feel like pop Qa*n.

  • The Great Muppet Caper

    The Great Muppet Caper

    ★★★★½

    I may be simple but the "What color were their hands before" bit gets me everytime.

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    ★★½

    Beautifully shot, but was a series of highlights instead of a coherent vision that gives us the broad strokes of Fred Hampton without ever making him a person. Kaluuya's fighting with a really rough accent throughout.

  • Come to Daddy

    Come to Daddy

    ★★★

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

    Wood and McHattie do great work as one stranger trying to connect with another stranger barely tolerating them. This was the most uncomfortable and most successful aspect of the movie.

    Reaches a point of getting so lurid in the last act that it mostly feels silly for its own sake. Also, its use of an an Aphex Twin track will surprise you.

  • Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

    Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

    ★★★★½

    Lotta leg trauma (+2 stars). Gleefully violent and glittery (+2 stars). The wardrobe (+3 stars).

  • Head Count

    Head Count

    ★½

    An hour of preamble before it all goes sideways. So overloaded with last-minute mythology, it never really has a chance to create intrigue.

  • Mary Queen of Scots

    Mary Queen of Scots

    ★½

    Gorgeously shot and utterly cold and distant. There’s a great movie here that gives us insight into Elizabeth and Mary but tends to get mired in the petty scheming of the men if court. Really appreciated the diverse casting.

  • Knives Out

    Knives Out

    ★★★

    Fun, twisty mystery. But I wasn’t wild about its heart requiring a beatific, almost magically moral person of color (dehumanizing her as it tried to elevate her above the greedy white folks).

  • The Nun

    The Nun

    ★★

    Some lovely visual moments (a splash of pink behind a headless crucifix), and a stray evocation of Fulci in the cemetery, but it’s just all kind of... there? It’s not serious enough to evoke dread or gonzo enough to keep me entertained. 

    (Also: Valak, a shapeshifting demon with seemingly no personality, aims, or desires is deeply boring.)