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matt has written 379 reviews for films during 2017.

  • Last Flag Flying

    Last Flag Flying

    ★★★½

    My memory of THE LAST DETAIL is pretty thin, so I have no idea how this does or doesn't line up. As Linklater hangouts go I was surprised to find this one fueled mostly by guilt, simmering resentment, and anger. The three leads are quite good (Carell especially) although they seem to have been left a bit on their own...Cranston in particular keeps enunciating like he's projecting for a stage audience, it's a bit odd. Anyway like a lot of Linklater's movies this is pretty sneaky. The last scene might nail you.

  • Bright

    Bright

    ★★

    For the sake of argument let's say this takes pains to set up a really imaginative premise/backdrop (it doesn't, but still). Not only does it fail to investigate any of it beyond the most superficial circumstances, but it also populates that world exclusively with stuff cribbed from, like, CONSTANTINE (of which I remain a fan), and fills in the rest with endless, barely competent shootouts and fistfights. It's the most boring version of itself possible.

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★

    Don't really have anything constructive to say about this as a piece of queer cinema. As a romantic drama I found it sort of inert, lots of very pretty privileged people dancing around each other in sunny Italy shot like a perfume commercial. To that end it irritated me in precisely the same way that some of Ivory's later films, like LE DIVORCE, do, and it definitely bugged me that the women are mostly nonentities. Armie Hammer is indeed hot.

  • Battle of the Sexes

    Battle of the Sexes

    ★★★

    A lot of the more ostensibly timely material here is pretty boilerplate and frequently clunky, but the focus on personalities and especially King's relationship with her husband and Marilyn Barnett the stylist keeps this humming. It plays the game it's trying to play very well. Stone is way better in this than in LA LA LAND.

  • All the Money in the World

    All the Money in the World

    ★★★

    A BAD YEAR

    Never less than intriguing (if wildly fictionalized), but Scott's second movie this year that isn't really interested in what it's ostensibly about, which is an admittedly toothless message about how capital makes hostages of us all, blah blah blah. What this does have is Ridley's unparalled eye for decadence, holy hell this is gorgeous, but maybe needed someone with a bit more swagger and a lot more politics, like Bonello or someone. There's a cutting, sort of smarmy black comedy in here just waiting to be released from captivity.

  • Infrasexum

    Infrasexum

    ★★½

    Slashes of this are kind of like if Tobalina made a tepid softcore version of SECONDS only without all the cool conspiracy parts and shot for the price of a used car. But mostly it's just sleepy. Look out for the three-minute scene of the main dude just feeding pigeons in the park.

  • Wolf Warrior 2

    Wolf Warrior 2

    ★★★½

    Mileages may very as to the jingoism and colonialism on display here enhancing or detracting from the merits of the constant, endless, elaborately cartoonish action. Either way this is front-to-back bonkers.

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★★★

    I really never thought I'd truly care about one of these ever again.

    All the old myths don't matter. It's just you, me, the tree, the rock.

  • Wormwood

    Wormwood

    ★★★½

    Completely engrossing, and I never fail to get a kick out of Morris' penchant for cheeky, giggling ironies underlining his dark, very tangible points. As far as the reenactments go, I understand why they're there, and I wouldn't argue that they shouldn't be, but I wish I could just watch the straight doc version of this.

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★★★

    Reminds you of what this sort of thing can be with an actual director behind it instead of merely a gang of well-meaning producers. Johnson deploys a few basic narrative and visual tricks that haven't really popped up in a STAR WARS film before, along with his usual precise frames and tight technical craft, and a particular attention to emotional continuity. There's also a welcome preoccupation with collateral damage, both physical and psychic. One thing Johnson's films have never really…

  • Hostiles

    Hostiles

    ★★½

    Mostly on autopilot. Like I was thinking it was weird that Ben Foster wasn't in this and then yep, Ben Foster shows up. Anyway there are lots of guys who shouldn't be taking a pass at THE SEARCHERS and Scott Cooper is definitely one of them.

  • The Florida Project

    The Florida Project

    ★★★½

    Extra half-star just for Dafoe and the birds.