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  • Peninsula

    Peninsula

    Peninsula is packed with ideas, to its detriment. The abundance of unique characters and settings serve to form a world that is always interesting, but rarely cohesive. Several times through it, I wondered if a miniseries format for this story would be better. The action is thrilling, but the characters are either paper-thin or over-the-top in unlikable ways. Yet, I found the film to be compelling until the final ten minutes, probably due to the sheer amount of intrigue it…

  • The Nest

    The Nest

    ★★★★

    The Nest is an incredibly intriguing character drama that offers no easy answers. There's a lot to dissect in this film, but yet it all remains grounded in the two marvelous performances at the center of the film. Jude Law is magnetic and Carrie Coon is indelible as the film slowly devolves into the game of chess that their financially stressed marriage becomes. Durkin directs the film to feel subtly unsettling, and by the end, there are no easy answers.…

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  • The Personal History of David Copperfield

    The Personal History of David Copperfield

    ★★★

    It's hard to judge The Personal History of David Copperfield without knowing much of either its source material or Iannucci's prior work. It's a very charming period comedy, but being unaware to exactly what changes were made to the source material lessens my personal ability to assess it. On it's own, it's got a flimsy structure and far too many plotlines, but as far as I know, this may be a solution to wrangling in a lengthy novel. Dev Patel…

  • Moulin Rouge!

    Moulin Rouge!

    ★★★★½

    Utterly exuberant and a film unlike anything I've seen before, Moulin Rouge! is an utter celebration of love, cinema, and music that all comes together into a marvelous symphony that can come off as both cacophonous and harmonic all at once. This controlled chaos comes from Luhrmann's batty direction and the performances, which despite all odds, remain rooted in being genuine. McGregor and Kidman sell their characters marvelously, and the supporting cast take the opportunity to be goofy while never…

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  • The Nice Guys

    The Nice Guys

    ★★★★½

    The Nice Guys is ridiculously fun. There's no other way to describe it. It's a solid two hours of non-stop enjoyment, even with a couple of flaws here and there. Before talking about those issues though, let's dwell for a bit on what makes this a truly brilliant summer blockbuster - or at least, what would make it so if audiences had embraced it. Instead, it will have to be happy with being an underseen gem.

    The fun of The…

  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★★

    La La Land is a wonder. After a brilliant mainstream debut in Whiplash, Damien Chazelle has matured impressively. He directs with a precision of a orchestra conductor. His films feel like the jazz that they represent, spontaneous, energetic and pleasant. The way he stages the musical numbers never fail to make you smile, and he brilliantly constructs the film to drop out the singing again and again, just making you feel the beautiful music.

    Stone and Gosling are both marvelous…