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  • The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

    The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

    ★★★½

    Too obviously an attempt to salvage a much more ambitious project and reduce it to a more conventional Holmes mystery with a two-hour runtime, the result never quite coheres but certainly does have its moments.

  • Decision at Sundown

    Decision at Sundown

    ★★★★

    Not quite a deconstruction of the classic Western, but a remarkably slippery take on some the genre's most familiar tropes, with a surprising number of twists in its lean 77-minute running time.

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  • Man on Fire

    Man on Fire

    ★★★½

    As much as I should (and mostly do) dislike this film, I find myself returning to it time and again, probably drawn in by more than my fascination for Tony Scott's lurid high-contrast aesthetics or yet another powerful but one-dimensional Denzel Washington performance. The whole thing is politically, ideologically, and in most other ways impossible to defend, and yet it has the powerful taste of good, slippery pulp fiction, its many overblown idiocies adding to rather than detracting from its strength as a film. Moth, meet flame.

  • Ready Player One

    Ready Player One

    In hindsight, I would have preferred to spend those 140 minutes pushing a newly sharpened vintage 1980s pencil into my forehead.