• The Card Counter

    The Card Counter

    ★★★★

    Dark, intense movie, that depicts the emotional, human toll of American war atrocities. William Tell is a guy haunted by a past life and seems like he’s running away from something. 

    While he’s a person who was complicit in evil, he was a cog in a much larger, more evil machine. Seems like the movie is about how a man like William Tell can move forward and leave that past behind him. Ultimately, the answer seems to be that you…

  • War of the Worlds

    War of the Worlds

    ★★★½

    Absolutely terrifying, and wild depiction of just pure chaos and destruction. Excellently choreographed, gigantic set pieces, as to be expected from Spielberg. 

    Feel like ultimately this is a metaphor of the power that human kindness and compassion can have, smushed up against the brutality humans can inflict on each other in difficult times. 

    For me, the ending feels rushed- it kind of comes out of nowhere, and doesn’t feel as satisfying as it should.

  • The Handmaiden

    The Handmaiden

    ★★★★½

    A film about repression, longing, class, eroticism and sex, all filmed so elegantly and lushly. Love the way the camera glides around dynamically- adds to this like fantasy-like feeling the whole movie. There’s something always a little off from the start, like the movie is hiding something. It’s a film about double-crossing, and hiding your real intentions, and the film itself is trying to pull off a similar trick to the audience the whole time. 

    Also there’s some incredibly clever plotting,…

  • RRR

    RRR

    ★★★★½

    Probably one of the most fun, exciting, bold blockbusters I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s got everything you want- insane action, tense drama, and a sprinkle of romance. 

    Some of the craziest action scenes you’ll ever see. I was laughing with glee the whole time.

    It’s just so great the whole way through, and that’s saying something for a 3 hour movie, but this movie really understands how to keep you invested! It’s also just refreshing seeing a…

  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★★½

    Very dark and unsettling. 

    A deep dive into how isolation and reverence for violent “heroes” in our media and society can lead a misguided loner down a path of violence and hatred. Travis kills multiple people at the end and is called a hero by newspapers. 

    This is a man who hyper fixates on everything except himself to explain his failures- women, “scum,” etc. The only way he can see a path to ease his pain is to burst out…

  • Starship Troopers

    Starship Troopers

    ★★★★

    The power of propaganda!! 

    Pretty wild movie, with such a strong satirical core, where every performance, every shot is dialed up to an 11. 

    The whole movie has the energy of like an infomercial almost, which makes the extremely gory violence even more jarring. 

    State-sanctioned propaganda can meld minds into thinking that oppressive violence is just, and that a group of thinking, feeling creatures are simple “bugs.” 

    The stroke of genius about this film is that by the ending, you realize the entire movie was a propaganda piece for the Citizens army. So good!

  • Sorry to Bother You

    Sorry to Bother You

    ★★★★

    This movie is wild. A true capitalistic nightmare. 

    At once surreal, satirical, yet still grounded. Has a lot to say about a lot of things— I’m not sure they all nail the landing, but the overall warning this movie is issuing hits hard; corporate and structural exploitation is destroying us, and class solidarity, and unionizing are the first tangible steps in fighting back. 

    I think the direction here is very unique! It’s captivating seeing things done in different ways, and…

  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★★★½

    Somber, and crushing vision of an even scarier, darker, hyper-capitalist future than the original film, that centers around the idea of hope, and how we find meaning for ourselves in a bleak world. 

    Incredible direction— multiple scenes where I was just trying to figure out how it was filmed. 

    Cinematography here is gorgeous- striking colors, against the cold, steel infrastructure of the future. Love the world that’s created here- it’s visually so interesting. The sound design is great too— loud…

  • Looper

    Looper

    ★★★½

    Kinda neat how this is a time travel movie that you think is about changing the past, but it’s actually about the ways you can alter your future in the present, in good and bad ways. 

    Starts out much stronger than it finishes, I think. Wish it kept the momentum of Joseph Gordon-Levitt battling it out with his future self in Bruce Willis. Those moments shined, and felt the most emotionally charged.

  • Gattaca

    Gattaca

    ★★★

    Interesting concept, that simply stops short of exploring how terrifying this future could be.

    This movie hyper focuses on the genetic identification piece, but this future introduces the idea that certain races or identities could just be completely eradicated?? Something about this world that’s presented just feels hollow in its presentation. 

    Found the movie a little underwhelming. Becomes a perfunctory murder mystery after creating so much intrigue with the opening 30 minutes— which is so good! The actual mystery itself, and the drama that ensues after it’s introduced just feels so flat.

  • Election

    Election

    ★★★★½

    Brilliantly written and directed movie that presents as a twisted story about a high school election but ends up being a tale about power, politics, life choices and more. Those in positions of power often preach about “ethics and morals” but go against these ideals the minute it suits their goals.

    Great performances— Matthew Broderick really taps into the spirit of a guy who appears cheery, upstanding and righteous, but is actually brimming on the inside with resentment and jealousy.

    This…

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★★½

    For some reason on rewatch, this connected so much more for me.

    Pretty masterful how Villeneuve plays with otherworldly levels of scale to not just shock us, but to also tell the story— how the story we’re being shown is only a small fraction of a much much larger and more unfamiliar world than we realize. Scale is also used to convey who holds power in a scene, which I felt was clever. 

    Love the cinematography also— the dramatic, moody…