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  • Testament of Youth

    Testament of Youth

    ★★★★

    Bummer this thing was forgotten. It meets the extraordinary tasks established by the book, only occasionally slipping into triteness. Plus these sweeping British period pieces are just beautiful.

  • Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!

    Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!

    ★½

    Gross in such a common way that's it's mostly boring.

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  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Solo: A Star Wars Story

    ★★★

    Leans on its serial influences much more than recent Star Wars entries. Is appropriately lighthearted, but it should've been a half hour shorter.

    Fun but immediately disposable.

  • 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.