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  • The Tree of Life

    The Tree of Life

    ★★★★★

    Becoming a parent doesn't fundamentally reshape you, but it does bring your priorities into focus and invite a new level of introspection. Have I been good to my parents - namely, have I ever fully appreciated them? Have I fully grappled with the way they raised me? Do I know what values I want to instill in my children? But wait, back up - are my values even the right ones? Am I the person I want to be?

    I…

  • Malcolm & Marie

    Malcolm & Marie

    ★★

    I doubt there will be another 2021 film this exasperating. The sour, grueling Malcolm & Marie is a 106-minute shouting match, echoing the ugly toxicity of Marriage Story but none of the empathy or underlying love. Filmed during the current pandemic as writer/director Sam Levinson's "Euphoria" series was sidelined, Malcolm & Marie is shot with a certain beauty. But its exploration of a relationship feels very "jerk store", less a representation of a real argument than the version of an argument Levinson…

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  • Idiocracy

    Idiocracy

    ★★★

    84 minutes is the perfect length for Idiocracy. 85 minutes? I'm checking my watch constantly. 83 minutes? Not even a movie!

  • Possessor

    Possessor

    ★★★★

    A really pleasant surprise. I knew basically nothing about Possessor going in, and I recommend going in as blind as you can. Brandon Cronenberg shares his father's affinity for queasy, twisty sci-fi/horror, and already as a young filmmaker has a striking command of atmosphere and tension. I'm not someone who gets giddy over gore, but something about the way Possessor sneaks up on you with bursts of punishing violence is enormously effective.

    If I have a complaint here, it's that…

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  • Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

    Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

    ★★★★

    You know how "SNL" sometimes cooks up a truly deranged and/or avant-garde idea, lets everyone involved just go for it, but buries it at the end of the show after the second musical performance just in case it doesn't work? And then maybe 30-40% of the time, it absolutely crushes?

    That's Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. I can't fully articulate exactly what the Barb and Star viewing experience will make you feel, but imagine some cocktail of…

  • The Shining

    The Shining

    ★★★★★

    I have seen The Shining north of ten times; it was the first DVD I ever bought and for a while it got played on a loop when I was in middle school. But I haven't watched it in probably a decade or more. It was fun to revisit it with fresh eyes, especially as everyone starts to self-quarantine in the wake of the spread of Coronavirus.

    What made The Shining so scary to me as a kid, I think,…