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  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

    Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

    ★½

    It's probably not a great sign when the best thing about your Wizarding World spin-off movie are the scenes at Hogwarts that are trying to be a Harry Potter movie. Whoever approved the script for THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD should be fired immediately. It's basically all plot and exposition, poorly establishing new characters and throughlines. There are at least 6-7 (probably more) different narrative threads that make the film (if you can even call it that) a muddled mess.

    To…

  • Wildlife

    Wildlife

    ★★★★½

    I loved WILDLIFE - an incredible directorial debut from Paul Dano. He paces the film deliberately, but everything has its place. Every line of dialogue, every edit, every frame, every camera movement has a specific purpose. The visual storytelling on display is as stunning and important as the performances and script. Jake Gyllenhaal is his usual greatness and Carey Mulligan is next level fantastic. She gives maybe the best performance of her career. Ed Oxenbould, though, is the cement that grounds everything. He's really wonderful and brings an affecting pathos. Great film about family, pride, and longing for togetherness.

    Hear our full review on #299.

  • Widows

    Widows

    ★★★★½

    If anyone doubted Steve McQueen because WIDOWS is more "commercial" than his previous work, get ready to have those expectations blown out of the water. Yes, it may be slightly more accessible, but McQueen's ethos is embedded into its core. There are layers upon layers, characters are complex and compelling, the story never pulls its punches - all while never losing its entertainment value. Simply, WIDOWS is an utter force of nature.

    Viola Davis is stunning as always. She should…

  • They'll Love Me When I'm Dead

    They'll Love Me When I'm Dead

    ★★★★

    Credit to Morgan Neville, as I think he made a documentary about a film and it's as good as the film it's talking about. Like Welles himself, there are some neat tactics that Neville takes that makes this documentary compelling to watch on its own terms. The footage, the interviews, the behind-the-scenes of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND - it's all really fascinating and helps bring perspective as to what that film was really about.

    In that sense, I…

  • The Other Side of the Wind

    The Other Side of the Wind

    ★★★★

    THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND is a film you may need to watch a couple of times for it to really sink in. The first viewing is quite disorienting given its frenetic editing and odd narrative structure. It's a film within a film where the inside film is an art-house style, provocative, sensory experience and the outside film is a documentary where various people talk about the making of the former. It's weird. But not without purpose.

    I don't…

  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    ★★★★

    CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? is one of my favorite Melissa McCarthy movies to date. It's arguably her best performance as well. Lee Israel is not always pleasant to be around, which makes her dry and often sarcastic, and McCarthy was perfect casting in making that thrive in this film. She's often times very funny because she's ironically not trying to be funny. It's simply the way she taps into Lee's vulnerable insecurities, and how that makes her on edge,…

  • Outlaw King

    Outlaw King

    ★★★

    OUTLAW KING will go down as the film that I seemingly like more than most. It's far from perfect. The script is either not great or was butchered in editing (an extra 40 minutes was cut after its premier at TIFF). Either way, the story on the page has problems. BUT...what moved me about this film was the performances and David McKenzie's overall approach. Specifically, I don't think he cared at all about being another BRAVEHEART. Yes, this film has…

  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★★★

    SUSPIRIA is interestingly a lot different than its predecessor. In fact, I'd argue that outside the bare bones of the plot (American girl, dance studio, Germany) and some character names crossover, the two films are almost nothing alike. The color palette, camerawork, editing structure, score, aesthetics - it's all new and invigorating in Luca Guadagnino's film. I'm a big fan of Argento's original, but I appreciate how Guadagnino re-imagines this story and makes it his own. It would have been…

  • RBG

    RBG

    ★★★½

    RBG may go down as one of my favorite surprises of the year. I'm not sure why, but for some reason this kept getting pushed down the list for me as far as priorities for 2018. But last week I was intentional to catch up with some docs, and boy did I really like this a lot. Yes, we learn about the historical importance of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and how she came to the nickname Notorious RBG (something she…

  • Free Solo

    Free Solo

    ★★★½

    Alex Honnold is one of the craziest individuals you will ever hear about. Free soloing is rare even among avid climbers, and Honnold pushes the boundaries so far that even those soloist question his actions. It's wild. But fascinating to see how it effects everyone around him.

    Maybe it's my own fault, but for some reason I did not expect the film to dive into his psychology as much as it does. We do get a peek behind the curtain,…

  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★★★

    Dark, creepy, haunting, visually stunning, captivatingly scored, wonderfully edited. Some of the techs are out-dated, but overall it a film that's still visceral and one that I really liked a lot.

  • Beautiful Boy

    Beautiful Boy

    ★★½

    BEAUTIFUL BOY is (sadly) uneven in its storytelling and ends in a fragmented way that feels unfinished. It’s still very affecting and tackles some hard truths that I find affable, but it never fully comes together for a coherent experience. Timothée Chalamet continues to showcase why he’s a hot name right now, dude is unreal. Steve Carrel on the other hand is unfortunately miscast, imo. I love him, but so much of this film hinges on the emotional weight of…