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  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

    Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

    ★★

    Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides takes the two primary reasons the first three films in the franchise are legitimately special blockbusters: strong ensemble work and Gore Verbinski's wonderful mix of strong worldbuilding and innovative action. This go-around, Jack is the only interesting character, with Barbossa feeling horribly out of character for the entire first half of the movie, with a very poor explanation why when the film finally comes around to explaining it. McShane and Cruz are both…

  • Prometheus

    Prometheus

    ★★

    Prometheus is a tremendously silly film. The unfortunate thing is it doesn't recognize this until the last half hour of the film. Up until that point, it's painful to watch thanks to its moronic characters making constantly stupid decisions and unearned self-importance while dealing with heavy themes at a high school level of understanding. Only Michael Fassbender's scenes are watchable, as he embodies David with an alluring enigma that truly captures the audience's attention.

    However, once the last half hour…

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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…