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  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★★★★

    Now that's how you do a villain’s origin story. Make him feel both heartbreakingly inevitable and terrifyingly real. Nolan’s groundbreaking Dark Knight trilogy has rightly been praised for its intentional groundedness compared to other more fanciful comic book movies, but even those films look like Tim Burton's vision of Batman in comparison to this grim and gritty 1981 version of Gotham City. The oft-cited Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy influences are plain to see and woven deeply into…

  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★★★★

    Imagine if you could recreate your memories of childhood, of your home life and your neighborhood, of the activity around you, full of rich, immersive detail. You wouldn’t merely see the living space along with its furniture and decorations; you’d see the people living there, the people who meant the most to you and those whom you found unusual. You wouldn’t merely hear the conversations; you’d hear the sounds of daily routines and activity in the surrounding neighborhood. There would…

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  • Pennies from Heaven

    Pennies from Heaven

    ★★★

    Love the depression-era aesthetic & the concept that despite it being 1934, the characters' imaginations would be of music & film from the 20s AND the 30s, full of wildly imaginative, daydreamed musical sequences almost all lip-synched to the original songs, giving them a whole new relavance. The film is a bit too sexual in pushing the boundaries of even pre-Code film into the more uninhibited modern era. I get that it's a seedy joint, but was it really necessary for the…

  • You'll Never Get Rich

    You'll Never Get Rich

    ★★★

    The best thing it has going for it is the presence of Astaire and Hayworth. That accounts for a lot, but the plot is rather light and silly. The bracelet gag makes for some entertaining bits.

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  • 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…

  • Silence

    Silence

    ★★★★★

    Yes, Padre, I denied. I’m an apostate. Years ago. I could have died a good Kirishitan. There was no persecution. Why was I born now? This is so unfair...I’m sorry…

    Surely, this is one of Scorsese’s most breathtaking films visually, with Rodrigo Prieto’s evocative, high-definition cinematography rivaling the art of last century’s master Japanese filmmakers. The lush landscapes full of gorgeous earthy blues, grays, and greens stretch out into fog and rain, interspersed with buildings of exquisite human craftsmanship. Amidst…