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  • A Hidden Life

    A Hidden Life

    ★★★★★

    For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light... everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light."
    - Ephesians 5:8-14

    What is the meaning of the darkness?
    At the core of this question in A Hidden Life, Terrence Malick’s latest film, is that familiar visual sense that has come to define his style. Here he weaves darkness and light as both literal cinematic functions and metaphorical…

  • The Rider

    The Rider

    ★★★★½

    An unconventional film that uses the raw performances of its non-actors to underscore a potent spiritual core. The Rider is not afraid to dig into the human experience without the glamour and the polish, and what surfaces are some deeply rooted questions about what makes life worth living.

    There are a few ways in which The Rider could compare to another recently released and well received indie film with untested performances and an unconventional narrative style- Eighth Grade. I bring…

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  • The Hitcher

    The Hitcher

    ★★★★

    Where has this film been all my life. Not sure how I sped right past it when it released, but super glad I was able to catch up with it all these years later. On paper it would seem like standard action thriller stuff. But don't underestimate the ways in which ths film is able to turn these action/thriller elements into an opportunity to really play around with the antognist-protagonist relationship. There is an ebb and flow to how this…

  • Judgment

    Judgment

    ★★★½

    A suprisingly effective, bare bones exploraiton of the first successful trial that resulted in a Catholic Priest being found guilty for sexual abuse. It set the precedent for subsquent trials to follow.

    This isn't flashy, but it has a grassoots level attentiveness and commitment to its story that never clouds the emotional stakes. None of the elements stand out above the other, with moderate performances, baseline direction, and very little in the way of cinematography and visuals to note, and…

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  • Soul

    Soul

    ★★★★½

    This film is everything that we need right now during these tough times.

    Or maybe its everything I need. It finds a way to break through the clutter of these pent up feelings and emotions and offers a simple message of hope amidst all the potential for anxiety and depression and exhaustion.

    Just don't mistake that simplicity for a lack of depth. This is a film about complex emotions. Topics like purpose and meaning are not necessarily the kind of…

  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    ★★½

    Thank you Kaufman for aptly tricking me into sticking with a story that appears interested in the early going in exploring smart and intuitive existential questions about life, death, aging, purpose, and then succinctly pulling the rug out from this essential exploration for the sake of giving us one of the most dire, depressing, hopeless and purposeless stories I've seen in a long, long time.

    Succinct might be the wrong word altogether, because nothing in this film happens abruptly. I…