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  • We Are What We Are

    We Are What We Are

    ★★★★

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

    PROS

    + Bill Sage and Julia Garner. The former trembles, mumbles and stalks his way into the demented father figure hall of fame and the latter plays the scream queen role like a seasoned veteran. She gets to contribute her own version as a daughter paralyzed by the clash between her familial devotion and longing for a better life. The Shining haunts everyone with regular on-screen text informing the viewer which day of the week it is, thus reminding us…

  • Lady Bird

    Lady Bird

    ★★★★

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

    PROS 

    + One of the most fully realized, realistic, compelling mother-daughter relationships ever put to film. Gerwig and her excellent cast present a heartbreaking tapestry of all the subtle, complex ways in which a parent can interfere and instill anxiety into their kid over time. Motherly love becomes emotional abuse. A teenager’s selfishness pushes her mother to a breaking point. Whenever an exchange between Ladybird and Marion deteriorates into hostility, Gerwig refuses to flinch. She stares into the domestic tragedy…

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  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    ★★★★½

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

    PROS

    + In which it’s perfectly fine that Eggers pushes aside the awesome prospects of Lovecraftian squid creatures, evil mermaids and killer seagulls in favor of a sailor's version of The Shining/Persona, because everyone in this movie BRINGS THE MAWFCKN RUCKUS and therefore can do whatever the hell they want.

    + The sheer technical accomplishment of filming this movie in that horrible weather, with the wide variety of equipment they used, along with having to build all of the houses…

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★★★

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

    PROS

    + In which the director who made the notoriously unfunny and widely-panned Road Trip gets to film someone screaming that humor is subjective before gleefully murdering a main figure from the industry. That had to feel good.

    + Phoenix’s sweet dance moves. Oh and his incredible acting performance too I guess. He and his writers do a fine job of carving out a Joker who's original and distinct from previous incarnations, thus eliminating the “who played it better?” debate. It’s…