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  • Devil in a Blue Dress

    Devil in a Blue Dress

    ★★★★½

    Devil in a Blue Dress works magnificently as a film noir, but what truly makes it soar is how it gives us a new prism to look through. It's another 1940s Los Angeles potboiler, but when this movie's femme fatale (Jennifer Beals) tells the private investigator, Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins (Denzel Washington) that her hotel is whites only and to use the service entrance in order to meet her, that's but one example of how deprived the whole detective genre has…

  • Carol

    Carol

    ★★★★★

    A lot has changed in the world since 2015 but Carol still remains the best American movie of this century. Flung from space and into rarified air.

    In a 1950s department store, Therese (Rooney Mara) is stuck working behind the doll counter. Though it’s not in her section, she daily sets up the Christmas train set in a different area of the store before it opens, and then resigns herself to her post. In a sea of housewives frantically shopping…

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  • The Favourite

    The Favourite

    ★★★★

    The first time I saw The Favourite, Yorgos Lanthimos was fighting an uphill battle with me because I very much disliked his last two films. So when I emerged liking The Favourite I still paid too close attention to the blackened corridors of the film's heart because I was conditioned to find it from my previous experiences with the Greek Freak. On second watch, knowing that I enjoyed it, I enjoyed it even more. Particularly the camerawork which I originally…

  • Mom and Dad

    Mom and Dad

    ★★★

    Finally, a positive notice after years of looking into what Selma Blair's been up to since Hellboy II. This is a trashy haha to the extreme. And yes, Cage is fun but it's Blair's disgust and tears—while listening to the radio broadcast imploring her not to go home to her kids due to some unknown craze that's making parents kill their kids—that ground his "motherfucking" lunacy.

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  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    ★½

    When rock critics hear Queen’s impossible hit single “Bohemian Rhapsody” for the first time, Bryan Singer’s film (of the same name) flashes a bunch of dismissive critical quotes. One quote outstretches all the others and ends the sequence, that’s “perfectly adequate” and it perfectly describes the adequate rock biopic of aha musical moments, backstage drama, and 15-year reflections from backstage framing. But the problem is that where it isn't perfectly adequate and vanilla it's actually painfully safe and somewhat erasing,…

  • Unsane

    Unsane

    ★★★★

    A few personal things: In college, I overdosed on some drugs and while I was in the post charcoal haze, I was questioned about my emotional well-being and I remember drifting in and out of consciousness, answering the "do you have suicidal thoughts" question with an affirmative because, if we're all being honest, we all have. I had to sign some paperwork and by the time I fully came out of my adolescent post-drug near coma I asked when I…