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  • Shoplifters

    Shoplifters

    ★★★★½

    Really wish the trailer didn’t give away so much of the last half hour but then again, looking back on that last half hour… maybe they were being merciful.

    I’ve been sleeping on Kore-eda. What a warm, honest and wrenching wakeup call.

  • If Beale Street Could Talk

    If Beale Street Could Talk

    ★★★★½

    Barry Jenkins: *places his opening scene close to home*
    Me: No fair…

    Jenkins’ sensual, dreamy imagery and James Baldwin’s stark, forceful language work together well, creating an achingly bittersweet contrast. It’s not every movie that makes you swoon one moment and sobers you up the next. It’s misty eyed but clear headed, frank but never despairing, for in this harsh, cruel world where everything is stacked against you sometimes love is enough.

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  • Widows

    Widows

    ★★★

    Of course this was based on a miniseries; even for 130 minutes there’s a lot of plot packed in. It’s all interesting but the sheer amount of stuff, coupled with Steve McQueen’s characteristic composure, makes you wonder if you’re ever going anywhere. You are, and everything you sat through does tie into the resolution, but think about it afterwards and it all feels kind of arbitrary. McQueen set out to make an action thriller and aced it on that front…

  • How to Train Your Dragon 2

    How to Train Your Dragon 2

    ★★★½

    And Drago is how you don't.

    (I'll show myself out.)

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  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★★★½

    This movie breaks the world.

    Seriously, let’s take a moment to remember what this actually is, a sequel to a 35-year-old movie that’s been enshrined as a classic. Everything about that points to a stain on the original’s legacy, the best case scenario being one that would fade with enough bleach. This couldn’t be good.

    And it’s not. It speeds right past being “good” without breaking a sweat.

    What it is is one of the most intelligent, ambitious and provocative…

  • The Square

    The Square

    ★★★

    A movie that wants to tell you about empathy, privilege, political correctness, the social contract and the digital age, and all I want is an explanation for how Elisabeth Moss has a pet chimpanzee. It’s incredibly funny and breathlessly audacious but too baggy and muddled to really satisfy. Terry Notary’s ape-man act is a showstopper, but it arguably shoots the film in the foot; it has to go through an entire third act after already peaking.