Dylan has written 287 reviews for films rated ★★★★ .

  • Set It Up

    Set It Up

    ★★★★

    As good as everyone hyped it up to be when it first released, maybe even better! Two rom coms for the price of one: the first purposely orchestrated to be as shallow and clichéd as they come, a means to an end so that the second couple can slowly fall head over heels to the surprise of absolutely no one. It’s entirely thanks to Deutch and Powell that the moments we anticipate from these movies cut as though we’re seeing…

  • Elvis

    Elvis

    ★★★★

    A bit droopy in parts as is inevitable with a near three hour ride through four decades of music history, yet Baz Luhrmann’s all gas no brakes approach to the material makes even a small moment of exposition feel like it’s coming at you at a 100mph. If you think there’s a better way to show the beginning of Elvis’s career sweeping the nation than with a wave of carefully detonated orgasms in an auditorium, please let Mr. Luhrmann and…

  • The War of the Worlds

    The War of the Worlds

    ★★★★

    Modestly outdated in all of the right ways. Faith, science, and the rule of law versus the unknown; foolish attempts to rationalize what is irrational to good god fearing folks. All of the anxiousness hanging around post war naivety rendered as clear as the fingerprints on the glass domed Martian miniatures. Those good ole wholesome square dances instantly vaporized with the flash of technicolor death ray (very cheeky of them to model the Martian’s spectrum of sight off of the colors associated with the three strip process, very very cheeky move).

  • Top Gun

    Top Gun

    ★★★★

    Alright everyone, say it with me: “they just don’t make ‘em like to used to”. Crackerjack summer entertainment, all hulking machines and glistening bodies going fast and loud making every hour golden hour. Nearly impossible not to get lost in Harold Faltermeyer’s rousing score or Cruise’s short king charisma in this. He may once and forever be Ethan Hunt, but you don’t get the numerous attempts to hone that character and franchise or even the clout to jumpstart a DOA Dark Universe without Top Gun; the crown on which every future box office jewel gets to rest.

  • Men

    Men

    ★★★★

    A literal nightmare from beginning to end and should be treated as such. Seems like a bit of a stretch to say it’s operating on dream logic, but the way in which it sort of peppers in these symbols and huge ideas about human nature into a simple folk horror/home invasion narrative feels incredibly similar to how the brain supposedly catalogs memory while we’re sleeping. The idea of seeing an ambulance zoom by while you’re awake and then dreaming about…

  • After Yang

    After Yang

    ★★★★

    Rules that about halfway through the film, the otherwise earth shattering revelation that one of our main characters is a clone is just treated like an everyday occurrence. The kind of slick offhand exposition most modern sci-fi stories have been missing.

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★★

    Hell yeah, Sams back and totally freaked it with this one. Plunges you in media res from frame one and rockets forward, not a care in the world that it’s spilling vital character beats and defining motivations along the way. It’s a homing missile of a plot with only one prime directive: support as many visually inventive sequences and honest to god PG-13 frights the story can muster before the formula collapses in on itself. There’s a real sense of…

  • Darkman

    Darkman

    ★★★★

    Initially seems like a dry run for Spider-Man with its swirling Elfman score and chunky matte cream computers providing a backdrop for mad science gone amuck until the comic book kitsch gradually blossoms into a whole new world of gods and monsters. Insane usage of green screen rear projection, tortured souls searching for absolution, Neeson working through prosthetics like a coked out Karloff (who wouldn’t pay to see this dancing freak?), identity as a flimsy rubber Halloween mask…sounds like a…

  • A Kiss Before Dying

    A Kiss Before Dying

    ★★★★

    Not a bad way to detox Oscar brain. The demon on the shoulder of 50s melodramas sitting shoulder to shoulder next to Rebel Without a Cause’s angel; a cautionary story about juvenile discontent with its pops of technicolor angled for more sinister purposes. Staged suicide never looked so good. All headlined of course by Robert Wagner’s chilling (perhaps prophetic depending on who you ask) turn as a fledgling killer, he’s a little too good is all I’m saying!

  • Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

    Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

    ★★★★

    I know the academy is weird about letting the other feature blocks (animated, documentary, international) expand into the technical categories, but it still feels like a huge oversight not to recognize the editing here. It pulls off the colossal feat of distilling 40 hours worth of performances into two while giving all sorts of political, cultural, and historic context to the movement without losing its keen sense of propulsiveness or breaking the illusion of being right there in the moment.…

  • The Mitchells vs. The Machines

    The Mitchells vs. The Machines

    ★★★★

    Constantly talks in that grating early 2000s “OMG can haz cheezburger xd rawr bacon narwhal” internet speak that we all want to forget, yet translates it all into a soulful love language with the unlimited power of animation. Captures the entire spectrum of a family from cringing embarrassment to joyful comfort in zany slashes of chaos and colorful tableaus. A worthy competitor against the other tales of familiar acceptance nominated, I have a weird feeling this has a good chance of coming up on top come Sunday night.

  • The Lost Daughter

    The Lost Daughter

    ★★★★

    I just assume some of the alternative titles being floated around were Mamma Mia! or A Bad Moms Summer Vacation

    Utterly bewitching both as a debut feature and as a work of adaptation, fluidly blending aspects that are inherently cinematic and literary to plumb the depths of this central character’s prickly relationship to motherhood. A doll filled with black bile, rotting from the inside out would probably be the symbolic centerpiece of any novel, but here it compliments a fantastic…