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  • The Square

    The Square

    ★★½

    Östlund continues to do nothing for me. As with FORCE MAJEURE, another deadpan comedy of trampled social mores and discomfort built around a single unifying idea, here spelled out over a series of tenuously connected scenes that only just hang together as a narrative. Like a distended episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” the film documents the gaping chasm between high-minded ideals—in this instance the world of modern art and specifically the notion of a dedicated safe space (the titular shape)…

  • Thor: Ragnarok

    Thor: Ragnarok

    ★★★

    Fine so far as it resembles a Waititi film as opposed to the third installment in my least favorite MCU franchise. Functions primarily as a soft reboot jettisoning the dour tone and washed out visuals of the previous installment as well as 90% of the supporting cast and setting in favor of something more colorful, impish and with a big ol’ dollop of irreverence that feels directly attributable to the filmmaker in stark contrast to the sort of anonymous competence…

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  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    ★★

    When I was a little kid, growing up solidly middle class, I had a lot of toys. But my parents, mindful of the expanding clutter that comes from the accumulation of “stuff,” presented me with an ultimatum: if I went long enough without playing with my toys then I’d have to get rid of them before I could get any new ones. They didn’t care what I did with them: throw them out, sell them at a yard sale, give…

  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver

    ★★½

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

    A crushing disappointment really*, all the more so as I appear to be out of step with the rest of the internet on its lousiness. Wright’s way too accomplished a filmmaker for this to be a total wash but the film strives for a tricky confection of tones and what it arrives at is curdled. If HOT FUZZ took a comical premise and populates it with deadly serious characters, this tries the inverse, setting the film in a world of…