Favorite films

  • Heat
  • Never Let Me Go
  • Odd Man Out
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock

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  • Malignant

    ★★

  • Candyman

    ★★½

  • The Protégé

    ★★

  • Sweet Girl

    ★★½

Recent reviews

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  • Malignant

    Malignant

    ★★

    I understand the dimensions of the positive responses I am encountering online—this idea of Malignant as so -insane- and -retro- and -fun-, and it is James Wan's horror-maestro id writ large, etc.—but the experience did not feel this way to me. Yes, there are a few neat set pieces and shot compositions, and the twist is rather wild and macabre to say the least. But a lot of this film is very dull. So much time, for instance, is spent…

  • Candyman

    Candyman

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I struggle with this film. It has very compelling moments, particularly of a visual nature (the atmospheric and disorienting opening titles; the unconventional staging of certain death scenes), and a fine lead performance by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, but it also plays as disjointed. It occasionally feels overwrought and underdeveloped at the same time. A great beat here, an interesting composition there, but the overall experience is hard to settle into.

    It is never scary, not in the way the original…

Popular reviews

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  • Demonic

    Demonic

    This is an enormously disappointing film. I hold Neill Blomkamp's previous three features in high regard, particularly their signature aesthetic of futuristic urban decay. I will always go to bat for Chappie.

    But Demonic has none of the quote-unquote Blomkamp feel. It just has the texture and rhythm of another low-budget, low-energy run-through of demon-goes-boo and exorcism tropes. And there are so many, maybe hundreds, of better films in this sandbox. I don't even mean The Exorcist here. You will…

  • Sweet Girl

    Sweet Girl

    ★★½

    I highly enjoyed the first 85 or so minutes of this film. Capable performances and a sweet chemistry between Jason Momoa and Isabela Merced as a father-and-daughter duo; an '80s or '90s action-movie feel akin to, say, Eraser (on the run from the FBI -and- hit men); and exciting, brutal- and improvised-feeling action sequences shot by cinematographer Barry Ackroyd (United 93, The Hurt Locker). The hotel fight between Momoa's character and two heavily armed henchmen is simply awesome.

    Then there…