• 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.)

  • Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    ★★★½

    Straightforward and exactly the “finding my distant space dad” movie it’s billed as. But Pitt’s narration and sad, lonely face carry the thing.

  • It Chapter Two

    It Chapter Two

    ★★

    Oddly... tedious? Imagine a game where they’re constantly tutorializing/explaining precisely WHAT is happening up until the last minute. 

    “Scary psychic clown that eats your fear” was more than enough to build a film on. Trying to translate some of the more digressive cosmic ideas from the novel (with magical Native nonsense thrown in for flavor) made the whole film feel like it was searching for SOMETHING to differentiate itself from the clarity of the first.

  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★

    You (new cinema) kids get off my lawn: the movie. 

    It’s the first time I’ve ever thought of Tarantino as an old man.

  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    ★★★

    The framing story lacks the meanness/bite of the stories themselves, but gotdamb each of the creatures is appropriately nasty (and likely traumatizing for the generation of kids lucky enough to get it in their eyeballs).