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matt has written 424 reviews for films rated ★★½ .

  • Spider-Man: Far from Home

    Spider-Man: Far from Home

    ★★½

    Basically fails to reconcile the scope of an Avengers universe with Spider-Man's neighborhood. Gone is the scrappy kid finding an identity; he's been replaced by a guy who saves the world. And if you thought HOMECOMING had a Tony Stark problem, just wait.

  • Brightburn

    Brightburn

    ★★½

    Congratulations it's very edgy.

  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    ★★½

    All this formal rigor in service of what exactly? This 140-minute shrug doesn't remotely support its ambitions of describing self-actualization and peace in the face of grief and trauma and toxic relationships, much less its excessive length, and the ritual at its heart is so self-consciously ambiguous that it could just as easily been an innocuous tradition and still have the same emotional and figurative resonance aside from an overarticulated thread about the men in her life being competitive and/or gaslighting dipshits. At least it's almost constantly intentionally hilarious, and Florence Pugh is terrific.

  • American Beauty

    American Beauty

    ★★½

    Not long after this came out my father became quite enraged with me, shouting at me in a restaurant, because he'd loved it and I, very convinced of my white hot takes as a barely 21-year-old film student, smugly proclaimed that if this was really up to something then Lester would actually have gone ahead and fucked that neighbor girl. Now, I'm not saying I wasn't a little bit full of shit there, but I remain just as smugly proud of both that moment and my assessment. In my defense the movie is just as simplistic and pleased with itself.

  • Road to Perdition

    Road to Perdition

    ★★½

    What if JOHN WICK (or hey, Lone Wolf and Cub, since that was the original inspiration) was still drop-dead gorgeous but also a morose prestige slog straining for class and seriousness at every opportunity?

  • Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

    Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

    ★★½

    I know very little about Dylan and have no real attachment to his work or the mythologizing of it, so for me it's a big fat balloon that didn't really need to get popped. That said it could be about pretty much anyone and I'd still think it's all a little too pleased with itself, a little too cheeky (Michael Murphy as Tanner, opening with Méliès, you get it) for its own good. So mostly an MP not a YP. Great footage though.

  • Men in Black: International

    Men in Black: International

    ★★½

    It's endlessly interesting to me that this series that insists on performing toward the awe, wonder, and endless possibilities of the universe instead centers on a vast, impenetrable government bureaucracy with infinite technological resources that would doubtlessly enrich the lives of billions if not many more yet is devoted to ensuring that everyone and everything remains in its place. In this one you give up Sonnenfeld's keen get-on-with-it sense of pace but you also don't have to put up with…

  • The Legend of the Stardust Brothers

    The Legend of the Stardust Brothers

    ★★½

    I prefer my Japanese pop-infected antics to have more girl gangs on motorcycles, copious bloodletting, and comedic bondage porn scenes.

  • The Crush

    The Crush

    ★★½

    I mean yes she's a burgeoning psychotic genius but Elwes' character gets exactly what he deserves here...it could happen to you!! Looking forward to THE CRUSH 2: A DOCTOR THIS TIME.

    Discussed on Episode 11 of The Suspense is Killing Us.

  • Dark Phoenix

    Dark Phoenix

    ★★½

    Not quite as good as THE LAST STAND.

  • Trapped Alive

    Trapped Alive

    ★★½

    Would be into a side-quel about the one lady's cuckolded husband who apparently just slept straight through the events of the film.

  • The Dark Crystal

    The Dark Crystal

    ★★½

    Obviously an outstanding technical achievement, don't get me wrong, but at times so diabolically slow it feels more like a travelogue than an adventure. And impressive though it may be I just hate the design. Sure, let's build this richly imagined, intricately detailed fantasy world only everything is old and gross.