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  • High Flying Bird

    High Flying Bird

    ★★★★

    The verbal dexterity of Tarell Alvin McCraney's screenplay is truly something to experience, even if it sometimes commits the dramatist's sin of making several characters sound like one voice, the voice of the playwright. After "Unsane" and now "High Flying Bird," there are moments when I feel like Soderbergh shooting on the iPhone is one of the most exciting mainstream experiments since Michael Mann's ultra-digital "Miami Vice."

  • Logan Lucky

    Logan Lucky

    ★★★★

    There's a version of "Logan Lucky" where this exact script is given to a director like, say, Adam McKay and the same material turns into a boorish parody of Southern culture. It's Steven Soderbergh's cool neutrality, combined with a genuine affection for these sometimes slow-witted characters, that really makes the film. This is a heist movie that's so breezy, so charming, the heist hardly feels like work.

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  • Out of the Past

    Out of the Past

    ★★★★★

    "I think I'm in a frame...I don't know. All I can see is the frame." *The* definitive film noir. The dialogue by Daniel Mainwaring, adapting his own novel, is pure poetry; every exchange between characters a dazzling catch-and-release repartee. There's never been a noir protagonist more ruggedly handsome and unflappably cool than Robert Mitchum—and it doesn't matter, he's doomed from the start. Utterly doomed.

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★★★

    "You don't know how good a friend you got."

    A late career masterwork from director Martin Scorsese, "The Irishman" is a film that encompasses many things—Shakespearean tragedy writ large, secret backroom history of the second half of the American 20th century—but on one level I'm simply thrilled we've been granted a story this dense, this meaningful on the subject of male friendship.