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  • Incredibles 2

    Incredibles 2

    ★★★

    Incredibles 2 is charming, clever, and packed with interesting detail -- as are most Pixar films -- but it doesn't have nearly the same clarity of purpose and genius as the first film. The power of the first film to me is how definitive it feels, as if no more superheroes films needed to made. This sequel is disappointing to me for not seeing that.

  • Cape Fear

    Cape Fear

    ★★★★

    A lot more fun than I remembered. Pretty much Scorsese's only straight-up thriller, and I wish he'd do more because he has a lot of fun exploring some of the same cinematic language as De Palma.

    De Niro is brilliant here. Cady is an unstoppable force, but part of his efficiency is knowing how to charm and disarm, giving De Niro a lot of dimensions to play. Scorsese doesn't go deeply into theme or subtext, but there's an interesting Hitchcockian idea presented that Cady is literally trying to help Sam recommit to his family and integrity.

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  • Captain America: Civil War

    Captain America: Civil War

    ½

    For the life of me I can't understand how fans find anything to give a shit about in these films.

    There's no personality, no stakes, no energy on display from either the cast or the directors. In the Russo brothers, I think Marvel have found their ideal directors: artless, visionless servants of an episodic TV structure. The action isn't exactly unintelligible (Marvel films are too insidious to be completely unsound), but it's passionless: hyperkinetic yet perfunctory. The Russo brothers' "style"…

  • Silence

    Silence

    ★★★★★

    Both experiential and texturally rich as well as intellectually alive. Silence is built around a series of religious tests, moral riddles whose consequences grow more and more thorny. Or rather, the film burrows deeper and deeper into manifestations of the same dilemma: the stubborn pride of conviction and the distance between heart and action.

    It's an extremely complex exploration of these ideas, but the film is tactile as well as brainy. Rodrigo Prieto's cinematography beautifully captures the indifference of the…