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  • Apollo 11

    Apollo 11

    ★★★★

    I'm ready for a moratorium on films about astronauts.

    Don't get me wrong: As an elevating big-screen experience, this is second in 2019 only to the Aretha Franklin documentary. And it's so much more compelling because it's not treating space merely as a backdrop for a personal drama: "He went to the moon because he didn't know where to put his grief for a lost child." "He went to outer space to discover that his dad was human after all."…

  • Penguin Highway

    Penguin Highway

    ★★★★½

    [Streaming on Vudu.com.]

    This may be the most difficult movie to summarize for a review since Upstream Color. I'm not going to try. Suffice it to say that a young boy and his friends decide to apply scientific methods to solving the mystery of unexpected penguin appearances, and their investigation leads them into deepening mysteries related to sex, climate change, alien life forms, and a strange Annihilation-like bubble that is threatening the barriers that give our world its particularity.

    Despite…

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  • The Innocents

    The Innocents

    ★★★★

    Name one movie that is

    a) directed by a woman,
    b) filmed by a woman,
    b) about women, and
    c) deeply concerned with matters of faith.

    I can think of many films directed by men, and focusing on men, that rigorously wrestle with questions about God and the problem of evil. But The Innocents is a remarkably rare event.

    Here's my full review.

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    ★★★★★

    Wow. I am not exaggerating. That was one of the most exhilarating moviegoing experiences of my lifetime. 

    CAUTION: Read as little as possible about the specifics of this film. In particular — if you want one of the year's best surprises — avoid any list of voice actors for this film. There's a voice that shows up just over halfway through that made me laugh out loud for joy and the sheer audacity of the decision. Save as many big surprises…