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  • Bumblebee

    Bumblebee

    ★★★★½

    why did i waste all my time watching awards movies in december when i could have just been watching bumblebee on repeat goddamnit 🐝🐝🐝

  • Cold War

    Cold War

    ★★★½

    Compared to the precision of Ida, Cold War's 15-year spanning narrative can't help but feel like a sprawling curiosity, even though it retains the compact 85-minute package. Full of formal pleasures, but never quite struck me in that special way.

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  • Compliance

    Compliance

    ½

    There are two reasons that Craig Zobel could have decided to make Compliance, both equally wrongheaded:

    1) Zobel simply wanted to expose this case (and, by extension, the others like it) to the world, without any sort of greater message. While I don't buy this as the filmmaker's motivation for a second, some people have argued such, so I'll address it...

    Put simply: text-based reporting, as had already been done extensively in this case (meaning, no further examination was really…

  • Starlet

    Starlet

    ★★★½

    The ending is a sentimental cop-out, but that writer/director Sean Baker is able to craft a mostly believable friendship between an 85-year-old widow and a 21-year-old porn star is enough of a feat for one movie.

    "Starlet" is probably the most realistic fictional portrait of the modern porn industry yet; you never once question the authenticity of lead Dree Hemingway (Mariel's daughter, destined for greatness, hopefully with Woody) and supporter Stella Maeve as people in this line of work.

    But…