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  • Hostiles

    Hostiles

    ★★½

    Honestly, I was expecting worse. The first half rolls adequately through familiar territory, but instead of complicating the setup, the back half meanders into meaninglessness.

    When will America figure out how to make Westerns again?

  • The Insult

    The Insult

    ★★★★

    It builds in a satisfying way, and if the ending feels like a lot is left unresolved, well, that's because it kinda can't be.

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  • Manchester by the Sea

    Manchester by the Sea

    ★★★

    Long stretches of Manchester are laudably sincere, exposing a man crushed by pain but still plodding along. This is a dead end narrative, though, and while the film never quite overcomes this, there's enough nerve-jangling scenes to make the experience satisfactory.

    Some people, myself included, will cringe through scenes where Lonergan tries to artificially heighten the drama with pushy music and quick cuts. These are few and far between, but they're enough to break the realism that Lonergan works so hard to build.

    Manchester is a film that doesn't work as a whole, its parts are just enough to save it.

  • Lady Bird

    Lady Bird

    ★★★★½

    At least the IFJA got supporting actress right.