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  • The Sixth Sense

    The Sixth Sense

    ★★★★

    It's hard for movies like these to hold up on repeat, ones that are so defined by its surprise ending. But Shyamalan chose to focus on the poignancy and thematic simplicity of this story and deliver what is primarily an emotional payoff rather than a "twist". While it does cheat big time in order to keep its surprise hidden from the audience (using tricky editing by simply cutting to new scenes to avoid specific character interactions), the film still works…

  • Unbreakable

    Unbreakable

    ★★★★

    "In a comic, you know how you can tell who the arch-villain is going to be? He's the exact opposite of the hero."

    Shyamalan's third feature (yes I'm including Wide Awake) is a duality between two men seeking purpose, using superheroes as an analogy for middle-aged awakening; one of them succeeds, while the other succumbs to his tragic obsessions. How appropriate that each main character's respective arc mirror their "superhuman" abilities; Dunn is no longer a broken man, Price remains…

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  • The Wife

    The Wife

    ★★★

    I may actually like this more than my star rating suggests, for multiple reasons. More specifically, the performances by Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce are SO strong, especially Glenn Close, who by the third act may actually give the best leading actress performance of the year so far. There’s also the incredibly complex depiction of their relationship, one that questions the moralities of artistic creation, deception of fame, and familial authority. Sometimes married couples rely on each other’s successes, even…

  • Eighth Grade

    Eighth Grade

    ★★★★½

    Fact: this is a better horror movie than Hereditary.

    A time machine movie with a time machine performance; I was taken back to a past life of innocence and deep insecurities, when school cliques dominated the world. Now, it's school cliques and Instagram.

    For a directorial debut, Bo Burnham could have fooled me; it feels like he has making movies for years. And at the center is Elsie Fisher, who despite her gender forces you to relate to her desire…