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  • Annihilation



    Terrifying in every sense of the word, from jump scare to body horror to monsters to existential dread. Better-acted than it has any need to be -- especially by Gina Rodriguez, a very good sitcom actress who somehow transformed into a bulked-up, damaged explorer. (Tessa Thompson does the opposite, unrecognizable from her booze-swigging "Thor" role.)

    But the acting isn't what burrows into you. It's the relentless, dread-filled march, the revelations about what is happening to our heroes, and Garland's refusal to let you decide who the real monster is. (I guess that's his signature, after "Ex Machina.")

  • A Wrinkle in Time

    A Wrinkle in Time


    So many people were rooting for this one not to suck. Who doesn't like Ava DuVernay? Who wasn't excited to see a talented young black actress (Storm Reid) anchor a blockbuster? Who hates Mindy Kaling? (The answer to all of these is "the alt-right," which sort of backs up my point.)

    Too bad, because apart from some cute lessons for kids, and some well-crafted stuff near the end, it's a disaster. The script deserves most of the blame -- it…

Popular reviews

  • The Florida Project

    The Florida Project


    Let Sean Baker do anything he wants. After "Tangerine" and this one, I'm ready to call him America's Ken Loach -- except he knows better than to tie everything together neatly. The secret, I think, is that he asks us to identify with people who can't or don't want to express themselves well, and just runs the movie around them.

  • Kramer vs. Kramer

    Kramer vs. Kramer


    Very above-average melodrama, with some nice character details, but still one of the "wait, really?" Oscar winners. (Meryl Streep bagged her first Oscar for acting the bejesus out of a very underwritten supporting role.) Divorce wasn't especially *new* in 1979 -- divorces in America peaked in 1980, though out-of-wedlock births would peak later. So it's really "My Struggle: A Single Dad's Story," and it does that very well.