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  • The Favourite

    The Favourite

    ★★★★½

    "This is basically Phantom Thread on meth"

    - Drew Dietzen

  • Outlaw King

    Outlaw King

    ★★★½

    This is a bleak and brutal film that is elevated by a few great performances and some outstanding directing work from David Mackenzie.

    The high production budget pays off in the numerous gory battles, fights, and kills, as well as the sets, costumes, and gorgeous shooting locations.

    However, the characters feel a bit too flat for us to care about their journeys, and the dialogue is painfully simple, uninspired, and exposition-laden, save for a few key scenes. The three main…

  • Creed II

    Creed II

    ★★★½

    There's a moment in this movie in which Adonis tries to make the point that to him, boxing is the same thing as anyone else's passion, i.e. Bianca's singing and music.

    I'm sorry, what?? Your dad died in the ring, and now this is somehow just a regular hobby?? Give me a break.

    I would have loved for a major theme in this movie to be Adonis having to make a choice between boxing and his family. There are hints…

  • Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh

    Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh

    Damn. Sorry for doubting you Sand Man.

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★★

    Somewhere between a film and a TV show, as its characters are between life and death, between the wild and civilization.

    Still letting this sit. It is undeniably gorgeous, mostly shot in the vast openness of middle America. The acting is small, precise, and tragic (or hilarious) throughout.

    Somehow both angry and thankful that Netflix made this available on my TV. One thing's for sure: I don't think the Coens can make bad movies.

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★★★

    What else is there to say... We don't deserve how brilliant this movie is. It baffles me that nearly a year later this movie is somehow underappreciated by online film and Star Wars communities. Not without its flaws, of course. But still, one of the best big budget franchise products of the modern era.

  • They Came Together

    They Came Together

    ★★★★

    I know I gave this film 4/5 stars, but this is a modern masterpiece. The one-star knock is just due to how outright stupid so much of it is.

    But that's part of the brilliance of this gem. Like Wain's 2000 opus Wet Hot American Summer this film relies on established genre conventions on which to build its jokes and layered parody. It revels in the stupidity of the films it is riffing on by augmenting and exaggerating it.

    I…

  • Widows

    Widows

    ★★★★

    Acting Olympics 2018

    This film excels in exactly what I wanted it to: a stacked ensemble flexing their talent in a heist genre, led by a masterful director with bold creativity behind the camera. There is so much to love in all of these performances, and McQueen manages to layer them with thoughtful themes, brutal action, and entertaining flair.

    There are two main story-lines here. One about a local Chicago election, and the central one about the titular widows taking…

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    ★★★

    As much as I want to give this movie credit for having one of the best lead male performances of the year in Malek's Mercury, it is actively failing at every turn.

    Pretty much every decision made here is ill-advised, from the predictable/contrived plot to the lack of character depth and motivations. There are moments of good filmmaking, but too much of this comes across as a botched, watered-down rush job made to appeal to mass audiences. You can take…

  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★★★½

    This film is special. Seldom do we see a filmmaker operating on the farthest reaches of convention, crafting something so beautiful and grotesque with such elegance and artistry.

    Luca Guadagnino's latest is one of the best films of the year, filled with outstanding performances, dynamic camerawork, disturbing/upsetting imagery, and a brilliantly hypnotic score from Thom York.

    This film transfixed and transported me unlike anything else I have seen this year. It is at times a bit tediously slow, but the…

  • Halloween

    Halloween

    ★★★½

    An unfocused attempt to fuse the simplistic artistic genius of the 1978 original and all the modern genre conventions it inspired.

    This film has moments of outright brilliance, most of which are very tasteful nods to that first film, but I was left wanting more. We honestly don't get enough time with JLC's Laurie, now an aged, paranoid, nervous woman ready to fight back at all costs. The story deviates way too much from this core journey, and it seldom…

  • Minding the Gap

    Minding the Gap

    ★★★★½

    From the sweeping, soaring shots gliding behind the skateboarders, to the intricate editing work and the subjects' willingness to really open up, this documentary excels on nearly every level.

    This film is partially a gorgeous trick montage, but quickly begins to dive so deep in to the lives of the three main characters, one of them being the director and cinematographer himself, Bing Liu. His diligence to film his life throughout the years pays off gloriously in this film, as…