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  • Life After Beth

    Life After Beth

    ½

    Jeff Baena's Life After Beth is A24's first straight up tire fire of a film. Even their first A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III at least attempted to do something interesting. I guess you could argue that the metaphors underlying the action have the potential to be interesting, but if you dig any deeper, the subtext contradicts itself enough to render it meaningless. This is a dark comedy that has neither comedy nor darkness. I don't think I even cracked a smile watching this, and I'm not a stingy laugher... One of the precious few A24 films to avoid at all costs...

  • The Rover

    The Rover

    ★★★

    Like most a24 films up to this point, David Michod's post-apocalyptic film centers around a simple, singular thematic progression that comes full circle as the protagonist finally sees the error of their former ways when the tables are turned. The best, and possibly worst, aspect of The Rover is the unrelentingly methodical pacing. Michod perfectly captures the classic wester aesthetic pacing wise, but there's just not enough substance to chew on, which makes you really feel that slow-burn. Guy Pearce…

  • Obvious Child

    Obvious Child

    ★★½

    Gillian Robaspierre's Obvious Child made me realize just how steep of a curve I subconsciously judge a24 films on. Compared to the previous seven a24 releases, this film it's pretty terrible, but compared to all indie romcoms, it's decent enough. It subverts the most stereotypical of genre tropes, but in ways that have become bigger cliches than what they're subverting, and unlike films like The Spectacular Now, Obvious Child wants you to know how clever it thinks it is rather…

  • Locke

    Locke

    ★★★★½

    I've never been the biggest fan of single location films, so I scoffed at the idea of Locke transcending that subgenre, especially considering writer/director Stephen Knight's string of offensively forgettable screenplay credits between this and his latest directorial effort Serenity (which, to his credit, is way too bonkers to be forgettable)... I was wrong... Knight's visual direction isn't amazing (though for only having a single car as a set it certainly isn't bad), but his handle of story and how…

  • Under the Skin

    Under the Skin

    ★★★★★

    Jonathan Glazer's Under The Skin is a perfect film.

    ...I really don't think I need to say more, but for the sake of a review, I guess I will. First off, the poetic brilliance of Scarlett Johansson's character's progression is insanely effective. It's simple enough to really delve into the subtle, abstract nuances Glazer thrives in, which are made all the more effective when juxtaposed with the documentary style many of her interactions are captured with. The pervasive sense of…

  • Enemy

    Enemy

    ★★★½

    By all accounts, Denis Villeneuve's Enemy is a film I should adore, but for whatever reason it left me inexplicably apathetic and borderline disinterested both times I've seen it, and I'm having trouble pinning down the reason why... Cryptic films with sparse yet convoluted narratives functioning first and foremost on metaphorical level are precisely what I thought was my wheelhouse, but I think Villeneuve's direction is overly focused on aligning every piece of the allegory so clinically that the more…

  • The Spectacular Now

    The Spectacular Now

    ★★★★½

    James Ponsoldt's The Spectacular Now is the quintessential cliche coming of age dramedy. Eloquent as it may handle them, there's just no getting around the countless tropes covering this film's archetypal structure... That said, The Spectacular Now leans into that familiarity and embraces it instead of fighting it, which gives the characters room to breathe and operate without the strain attempting to subvert genre can create. Usually that room is wasted, but usually that room is in a much lesser…

  • The Bling Ring

    The Bling Ring

    ★★★★

    One of A24's most underrated films, The Bling Ring paints one of the most scathing indictments of modern culture's fame-lust ever put to film... Admittedly, it does take quite some time to get going. Sofia Coppola's tendency to hang on shots and with characters well after most directors would cut that's so effective in Somewhere feels tedious here. Many of her trademarks that are so effective in character studies feel a bit vapid when applied to a thematic exploration such…

  • The Phoenix Incident

    The Phoenix Incident

    ★★

    A film after my own heart. The basic structure of two acts split between the found footage chronicle of the incident and an Ancient Aliens-esque documentary contextualizing the tape's importance and building the world, and a third act spent entirely in the found footage, that's been developed in theory and speculation alone, revealing what actually happened during the incident... I should idolize this film... The poor paths chosen, it's remarkable really, II wasn't sure there this many paths gone poor....…

  • Spring Breakers

    Spring Breakers

    ★★★★★

    I love this film more and more with every rewatch… Ditching the, for lack of a better word, ugliness his films were known for completely, Korine incorporates his directorial and narrative flourishes into the vibrant, supersaturated setting seamlessly. Though toned down, the uncomfortable, voyeuristic atmosphere that makes his films so intoxicating is definitely present, juxtaposing the unsettling dramatic tension with the candy-coated dreamland surrounding it incredibly effectively. Combining the broad cultural study of Gummo and Julien with the personalized thematic…

  • Ginger & Rosa

    Ginger & Rosa

    ★★★★

    Considering that this is one of the precious few A24 films I’ve never heard of before watching it, I think it’s safe to say Ginger & Rosa is one of, potentially the single most overlooked A24 film to date, and that needs to change. The methodically natural way director Sally Potter’s able to create and sustain the looming tension seeping into every orifice of these characters’ relationship dynamics is mesmerizing enough for the incredibly melodramatic, soap opera-esque story beats to somehow…

  • El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

    El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

    ★★★½

    Surprisingly (to me at least) I really liked it. Loved the pacing and performances. The thematic stuff wasn't anything too special, and how the episodic plot structure isolates character actors to 1 or 2 shooting locations/scenes before bouncing to the next vignette felt pretty cheap and televisual to me despite the excellent pacing... Good film though...