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  • Brawl in Cell Block 99

    Brawl in Cell Block 99

    ★★★

    Loved it until the brawl in Cell Block 99.

  • Strangers When We Meet

    Strangers When We Meet

    ★★★★½

    I'm still trying to figure out Novak's performance: scared, angry, wise, innocent, seductive, bold, cautious, vulnerable. It's a site of emotional collapse, raw humanity and abused womanhood in a film that's all about the fake veneer of 50s middle-class domesticity and cruel masculinity. I think. I need to watch it again. It might be a masterpiece.

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  • Pretty Maids All in a Row

    Pretty Maids All in a Row

    ★★★★

    An America that cares more about football games, the rights of the (male) individual, and rigid notions of identity than it does about the murder of its young women. File alongside The Boston Strangler and No Way to Treat A Lady as one of those morally schizophrenic psychopath films, made in the death knells of the studio era, that somehow points the way to the new 70s cinema of Scorsese and De Palma. A period piece, certainly, with one foot…

  • Pushover

    Pushover

    ★★★½

    I liked how hopeless and claustrophobic this was. MacMurray being too old and slow for the whole affair gave the film an added mood of sweaty desperation. The plot is leaden but, that also adds to the feeling of entrapment, a grim existential wait (and weight) that earned it an extra star for me.