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  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★★

    Outside of Phoenix's mesmerizing Arthur, perfect production design, and gorgeous cinematography, all absolutely evocative of "Joker," it is an adequate character study with enough intensity going for it to appreciate but ultimately doesn't meet the level of ambition it strives for.

  • Abominable

    Abominable

    ★★★

    A beautifully animated, entertaining kid flick the whole family can enjoy, managing to deliver plenty of heartfelt moments, endearing characters, and genuinely funny scenes in spite of having an overly simplistic story, routine cartoon antics, and some particularly unimaginative designs.

  • It Chapter Two

    It Chapter Two

    ★★

    "It Chapter Two" is a fitting companion to the first movie when the focus is on Pennywise or the fun group dynamic, otherwise, it feels very repetitive with less emotional weight, an over dependency on visual effects, and unnecessary flashbacks during individual arcs that meander.

  • Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

    Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

    ★★

    Zac Efron is insanely convincing but the movie around him has no real perspective, never deciding what it wants to be: a story told through Bundy's girlfriend? A courtroom drama? A psychological thriller? Its all over the place, not quite capturing the savagery of the murders or how insane the Ted Bundy trials were as it mildly relays information.

  • The Breakfast Club

    The Breakfast Club

    ★★★★

    Hilarious and touching by playing up and tearing down all the High School stereotypes, John Hughes' slow direction and smart writing sensitively explores the internal and external conflicts teens face, realized largely due to the natural performances his memorable young cast delivered who clearly had a mutual respect for Hughes.

  • The Lion King

    The Lion King

    ★★

    Feels soulless. The best thing about this misguided, by-the-numbers retread is also the worst: the photorealistic animation is impressive, but once the novelty is gone, it clearly has too much reverence for the original while stripping it of what made it great: the traditional animation, proving the realistic approach awkward and unnecessary.

  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★★

    Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone shine in Chazelle's ode to dreamers, La La Land, a vibrantly hypnotic technicolor dreamscape reminiscent of old-style Hollywood, a simpler time, about the hard sacrifices aspiring artists must make to fulfill creative ambitions and move with the times in the City of Stars.

  • The Lion King

    The Lion King

    ★★★★★

    A glorious animated triumph, from the awe-inspiring Pride Lands that stir the emotions, to the memorable ensemble of fun characters and famed catchy songs that encompass the Circle of Life, The Lion King powerfully balances rich mythic entertainment and philosophical lessons.

  • Terrifier

    Terrifier

    ★★

    To play Devil's Advocate, the manic theatricality and unpredictability of the scary Art the Clown, as well as effectively lit, disgusting body horror in creepily framed shots weirdly lends this mostly tasteless stalk and maim schlock some artful quality.

  • TRON: Legacy

    TRON: Legacy

    ★★★

    Tron: Legacy offers little character depth, which is never a positive, but I'd argue the reason to watch is for the state-of-the-art visual splendor of "The Grid" anyway, in which director Kosinski delivers unique world building and fun dazzling action.

  • The Lobster

    The Lobster

    ★★★★

    Yorgos Lanthimos' singularly bleak surrealist vision is definitely an acquired taste, one that can easily upset or alienate as it refuses to pander, but the artistic integrity fascinated me and I respect it for addressing the harsh pressure society places on an individual to find a soulmate, as well as acknowledging it is possible to be happily single.

  • Top Gun

    Top Gun

    ★★

    Though it has some of the most thrilling aerial footage ever put to film, Top Gun is a cheesy artifact of the '80s that has lost appeal and become a guilty pleasure for those who fondly remember the corny homoeroticism and tedious examples of masculinity.