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  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    ★★★★½

    Patient with its meandering story, affectionate with its characters, a pitch perfect period piece without being showy, and a surprisingly poignant portrait of Hollywood in transition, I really liked this movie. Tarantino here isn't showing off, isn't playing it cool, isn't being precious or a smart ass. I can finally see in him a confident — dare I say veteran — filmmaker working with great actors telling a different kind of fairy tale.

  • Ready Player One

    Ready Player One

    ★★★★

    I did not read the book, and I should read the book. But going in without that story, I came out delighted.

    Yes, the movie is one big wet kiss of pop culture nostalgia (mostly '80s, but they're flexible), and the game-framed quest and message is predictable, but it was still a lot of fun, and has some great surprises (challenge two of three alone is almost worth the price of admission).

    I suspect a lot of the IP that's…

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  • World War Z

    World War Z

    ★★★½

    Surprisingly enjoyable, from the escalating on-the-ground view of a global apocalypse to the cool, more quietly tense final act (which was famously rewritten and shot at significant expense). A solid summer action blockbuster starring Brad Pitt, exactly what you're expecting to get.

  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver

    ★★★★½

    Thoroughly enjoyable. A delightful and original exploration of the heist genre, action packed yet sentimental, with a solid musical heartbeat. With most big releases coming from franchises and sequels, it was downright refreshing. Even I’ll probably go see yet another “Spider-Man,” but “Baby Driver” is a highly recommended summer cinematic palate cleanser.