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  • Jaws

    Jaws

    ★★★★★

    Different details strike me every time I watch this slow-burning classic. The opening scene is clearly a direct callback to The Creature From the Black Lagoon. Secondly, the mayor isn't a villain. He's as disturbed as anyone once he realizes his children are truly at risk. Third, Spielberg plays the audience as far as their expectations of when the shark music plays and when it doesn't. Fourth, the shooting star. A wonderful incident of pure luck. Fifth, Quint as Captain Ahab and the shark as Moby Dick. Finally, foreshadowing. Foreshadowing everywhere.

  • Le Trou

    Le Trou

    ★★★★½

    Jacques Becker is a brave director. You'd have to be to include a scene fairly early on that continually shows the floor of a jail cell as the group of prisoners in that room struggle in real time for interminable minutes on end to chip and bash their way all the way through the thick concrete. The remarkable effect of this scene is to not only instill tension into the breakout process but a tension-filled tedium as we realize each…

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  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

    I'm a huge fan of Jurassic World, and while it doesn't hold a candle to the original Jurassic Park (what can?), I can't believe the same writing team (Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly) wrote this drivel. It's completely nonsensical and while it's nicely shot, it is Bayona's film, so the blame has to fall on him as well.

    Bryce Dallas Howard's character Claire is a completely different person, who has gone from park manager to virtual Greenpeace activist, willing to…

  • A Quiet Place

    A Quiet Place

    ★★★★★

    Believe the hype, folks. A Quiet Place is one of the best acted, smartest written, remarkably family affirming, heart-wrenching, heart-stoppingly intense experiences you'll have at the movies. John Krasinski and Emily Blunt knocked this one out of the park.

    The strong family dynamics, precise and elaborate tension building, and intense emotional cost make John Krasinski's directorial effort much more than just another scary movie with cheap thrills. He makes us care deeply for every member of this family and their…