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  • First Cow

    First Cow

    ★★★★½

    THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY

    The first word that come to mind when considering director Kelly Reichardt’s marvelous new frontier drama 'First Cow' is *nice*. It is a gentle, unhurried story about a pair of mostly decent people whose loftiest ambition is to carve out a modestly comfortable niche for themselves by touting life’s simple pleasures. This makes 'First Cow' something of an outlier in Reichardt’s work. Even in the filmmaker’s more superficially placid works, an exhausting angst is…

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  • Joan of Arc

    Joan of Arc

    ★★

    TO MAKE ME SUFFER, THE DEVIL HAS SENT YOU

    Given the bland homogeneity that tends to bedevil the vast majority of the world’s cinematic output, one hesitates to criticize a filmmaker too harshly for attempting something bold and eccentric, no matter how questionable the result. Time tends to be kind to even the most misguided experiments, after all. (Heck, even Gus Van Sant’s 1998 'Psycho' remake now has its defenders!) Accordingly, it would perhaps be predictable and a little shortsighted…

  • On the Record

    On the Record

    HBO Max.

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  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters

    Godzilla: King of the Monsters

    If Jet Jaguar isn’t in this, I riot.

  • Little Women

    Little Women

    ★★★★

    Sony Awards Screener.

    I had some reservations about ‘Ladybird’, which was good but seemed a tad overpraised given that it's not all that different from any random American indie about high school from the past three decades. In contrast, ‘Little Women’ is where Greta Gerwig arrives as a powerhouse director, embracing an old-school studio picture classicism, modernizing it without rendering it anachronistic, and turning the source material into a story that's thoroughly her own.

    A splendid, vivacious, and poignant adaptation. I…