• Possum

    Possum

    ★★★★

    Playing possum / stupid like a fox. The only way to survive.

    For fans of things like THE REFLECTING SKIN, PIN, JACOB'S LADDER, nightmares, abject terror, creeping dampness, sooty darkness.

    Forgoes heavy dialogue to focus on the chilling visuals and awful foreboding, of which it delivers in spades.

    Shame this one never found a bigger audience. It's truly scary.

    The lost A24 film.

  • Violation

    Violation

    ★★★

    Incredibly acted and beautifully shot, but is derailed by its need to excessively shock the viewer. It’s a very real, sobering, and depressing film without all the other...stuff.

  • Fury

    Fury

    ★★★½

    Feels like the cover of an old pulp war novel come to life. The set design and costumes and tanks and weaponry—even the ragtag group we accompany throughout the movie (all of whom I really enjoyed)—look like something you’d find on the thrift store book rack for 10 cents.

    Jon Bernthal, who I’m not normally a fan of, was probably my favorite character—a brown-toothed, dumb-as-shit good ol’ boy who hyuk hyuks any time he thinks of killing Krauts.

    The violence plays…

  • Blood Games

    Blood Games

    ★★★

    A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN meets DELIVERANCE.

    Won’t win any awards for editing, but it’s an enjoyable piece of sleaze. And the slow-motion deaths are a nice touch. Plus, I really dug the score.

    I’m just a sucker for these “let’s go film something at a state park on the weekends” type of movies.

  • Bad Trip

    Bad Trip

    ★★★★

    BAD GRANDPA walked so BAD TRIP could run.

    Tiffany Haddish is GREAT.

  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★★★

    A sparse and poetic Malick-meets-Reichardt docu-style indie that follows a handful of people who have—through force or decision—opted for a nomadic lifestyle, living out of RVs and campers.

    Isn't it ironic how an oppressively capitalist country that treats its inhabitants in such an ugly way can be so full of natural wonder and beauty?

    I hate to use broad and generic descriptors, the kind that is usually thoughtlessly applied to heartstring-tugging indies like these—human, intimate, life-affirming—but in this case, those…

  • The Last Blockbuster

    The Last Blockbuster

    ★★★½

    Fairly informative doc about the rise and fall of the mighty blue and yellow monolith.

    Frontloads all of its historical info, leaving the final hour to focus on the owner of the last remaining Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon, and whether or not corporate will allow them to stay open.

    Fun and easy to digest. Probably the best talking heads in a pop documentary I’ve seen in a long time—the specific details people were able to conjure about their experiences with going to video stores put a giant grin on my face.

  • Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker

    Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker

    ★★★½

    Part Greek tragedy, part Southern Gothic, all sleaze.

    From its opening credits, you know you're in for something special. Not your average '80s thriller/horror film—far more complex and enjoyably deranged than its contemporaries. Best to go into this one as blindly as possible to reap all its loony benefits.

    Everyone is solid in this, but it wouldn't be the movie it is without our two leads, Susan Tyrrell and Jimmy McNichol. McNichol is so passive and easily likable. And he's…

  • The First Power

    The First Power

    ★★½

    "See ya 'round, buddy boy."

    Utterly nonsensical yet undeniably fun horror-action crossover that was a repeat rental during my childhood Mom & Pop Video Shop days, thanks mostly to its creepy masked killer.

    Borrows heavily from movies like THE BELIEVERS, SHOCKER, even A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS, so much so that it becomes a little bogged down by its own mythology. Things get so murky by the third act, you get the sense the filmmakers were eager to…

  • Mud

    Mud

    ★★★★★

    Nichols' Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but with uzis.

    If not the best coming-of-age story I've seen, definitely at the top of the list. Just gets so many tiny details right—about friendships, adults, crushes, and the naive frustration that goes along with being a tween trying to navigate all of those things.

    Such a pure, charming, magical film.

  • A League of Their Own

    A League of Their Own

    ★★★★

    Hadn't seen this one in a while—since when I was a kid, probably. Something I never noticed then but now realize, years later, after having seen many movies and read a few books on filmmaking, is just how lean and fluff-free this thing is. The story keeps moving; every development is important and either advances the story or is used as a callback. It's airtight.

    Just solid writing and direction (both genuinely funny and heart-tugging, at all the right moments),…

  • Synchronic

    Synchronic

    ★★★★½

    Fun, twisty, ambitious, well-acted—so pretty much what you've come to expect from Benson & Moorhead.