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  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★★★½

    Watching this film in 2017 feels like what I imagine it was like to have seen Blade Runner in 1982, an awe-inspiring, profoundly detailed dystopia rendered with breathtaking visuals, a thundering score and a distinct lack of heroes.
    It is unfortunate then, that it falls down on the one area that seemed so easy for it to outshine the original. The representation of women in Scott's film is pretty problematic by today's standards, and Villeneuve's sequel only marginally improves on…

  • Icarus

    Icarus

    ★★★★★

    As someone who was only peripherally aware of the Russian doping scandal when it unfolded, this film does a fantastic job of delving into the topic, not only outlining the incredible scope of the operation but also how it works as an effective synecdoche of the entire Russian state.
    The remarkable right-place-at-the-right-time luck that the filmmakers had (something that underscores so many great documentaries) allowed them unbelievable access to the investigation, to the point that the film plays out more like a high-stakes thriller than a traditional documentary. One of the year's highlights.

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  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

    ★★

    To Sparrow:
    - (vb) To put little or no effort in, to phone in.

    Etym: From the main character in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, in which Johnny Depp's once great performance got steadily more terrible with each film.

    Example: "I really sparrowed that exam, just wasn't bothered studying for it."

  • The Young Offenders

    The Young Offenders

    ★★★★½

    Comfortably the funniest film I've seen this year, the balance between utter nonsense and moments of genuine sincerity can so often be fumbled (I'm looking at you, The Stag), but here it seems completely effortless. Some minor pacing issues and PJ Gallagher's misjudged antagonist aside, this is one of the most enjoyable homegrown productions in a long time.