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  • The Shape of Water

    The Shape of Water

    ★★½

    Guillermo del Toro's idea of a contemporary fairy tale is often lovely and occasionally touching and his creature design is aces, as usual. But the Cold War trappings are banal, Michael Shannon's character and performance a forceful distraction, and the protagonist's status as horny-single-seeking-same a little problematic in context; instead of developing a credible relationship between the two characters, del Toro settles for signalling to the audience that, look, this lady is really, really horny but she's damaged goods and…

  • I, Tonya

    I, Tonya

    ★★½

    Tonya Harding’s may well be an American tragedy worth revisiting — whatever her role in the Nancy Kerrigan “incident” that will forever be the fulcrum of her life’s story, she was also a victim of institutional classism, misogyny, domestic violence and bad parenting. “Look, Nancy gets hit one time and the whole world shits,” Margot Robbie’s Tonya complains at one point. “For me it was an all-the-time occurrence.” That glimpse at Harding’s resentful mindset (which is to some point justified)…

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  • Neighbors

    Neighbors

    ★★★

    At 44, I sometimes feel like I've been growing up for decades while popular culture has been standing still. Radio stations I hear in grocery stores and coffee shops play the same songs that were popular when I was in high school. The comic books and fantasy novels that I read in the 1970s and 1980s (or their derivatives) have become the blockbuster TV and film franchises of the 2010s. Saturday Night Live has been on the air, in sickness…

  • Side Effects

    Side Effects

    ★★★

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

    Soderbergh is as Soderbergh does, and his putative farewell performance at the helm of a studio feature film is the usual tasteful Soderbergh fare, finely directed, with a slightly jazzy achronology to it and its almost pastel color schemes smelling lightly of perfume. For all that, the Manhattan doctor-and-patient tale that unspools here feels overly familiar, but Side Effects makes a case for its existence early on by slyly painting itself as a satire on pharmacological culture. Emily (Rooney Mara),…