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  • Crawl

    Crawl

    ★★★½

    I was just complaining recently about how I missed the horror movies of the '00s, where meat and potatoes, R rated slashers and thrillers ruled the box office. Now, "Crawl" isn't a brutal, rub-your-face-in-suffering deal like "Hostel" or the remake of "Last House on the Left," but it does have the high-craft/low-art feel of the era. Actually, what it most reminded me of was something like "P2" (which "Crawl" director Alexandre Aja co-wrote and produced): it sets up a confined-location…

  • Annabelle Comes Home

    Annabelle Comes Home

    ★★★½

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

    This will sound like a backhanded compliment, but I don't really mean it that way: "Annabelle Comes Home" is the most good-natured, kind-hearted horror movies I've maybe ever seen. Unlike other movies in the "Conjuring-verse," this one is focused on kids and teens, no one gets killed, and it takes great pains to just sort of hang out with the main characters for a while and get to know and like them.

    It works. The movie eventually just turns into…

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  • Notorious

    Notorious

    ★★★★★

    Gorgeous, hugely entertaining and deeply fucked-up, I think there's a strong case to be made that Notorious is Alfred Hitchcock's best film. I'll be going through a bunch of them in the next few months, so we'll see if my feelings change.

    A+

  • Ready Player One

    Ready Player One

    ★½

    I was going to say that it is dispiriting to see Steven Spielberg, one of the all-time great mainstream filmmakers (though an inconsistent one), do something this craven, pandering and terrible. But, you know what? It's kind of fitting. Spielberg's commercial instincts have always been a part of who he is as a director, and he's at least partially responsible for the current state of popular film culture, where product placement now counts as content, and cheap nostalgia is lazily,…