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  • The Most Hated Woman in America

    The Most Hated Woman in America

    ★★

    Fairly unbearable and anchored by a miserable turn from Melissa Leo, this biopic about notorious atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair mistakes cynicism for even-handedness. Leo either has no ability or no inclination to imbue Madalyn with any sort of drive or intelligence, resulting in a hollow film that indulges in a tawdry true-crime saga without any higher calling. It’s a testament to director Tommy O'Haver’s typical ineptitude that he can’t make the film even moderately compelling, despite being blessed with such a controversial subject and saddled with a boilerplate script.

    30/100

  • Before I Fall

    Before I Fall

    ★★★½

    Slowly accumulates in power and scope until it becomes nothing less than the unselfish redemption of the contemporary teen soul. Like Yapo's underrated Premonition, it achieves cosmic significance through its attention to daily routine.

    63/100

  • Life

    Life

    ★★½

    Dimly lit misadventures aboard the International Co-Production Space Station. Both the setting and the monster itself never quite shake the veneer of the digital, shackling this creature feature with a fakeness that feels inept instead of endearing. Comparisons to Alien can't be escaped, yet do the film no favors.

    42/100

  • Song to Song

    Song to Song

    ★★★★½

    Hmmm... I guess I'd better rewatch Knight of Cups...

    The swooniest, Rooneyist movie since Carol.

    85/100

  • I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore

    I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore

    ★★★★

    An exemplary, stylish, Sundance-winning entertainment that heavily recalls both the ‘90s heyday of indie-film Tarantino knockoffs and the recent efforts of Jeremy Saulnier, for whom director Macon Blair has performed repeatedly. I’ve been a fan of Saulnier all along, but this trumps anything that that he has directed to date, more deftly seguing between gross-out violence, verbal humor and an emotional core that concerns a woman who has spent her life suffering small indignities and decides that enough is enough.…

  • Get Out

    Get Out

    ★★★½

    Uneven direction (three song cues before the opening credits conclude, dream imagery that never meaningfully pays off, etc...) mars a rare horror film that makes its thinly veiled subtext much more frightening than its genre elements. Since those horror elements do surprisingly little to extend the film's racial critique, they ultimately come off as something of a distraction or a commercial consideration. Given the precision with which the film skewers American racial politics in its first half, one expects it…

  • Drowning by Numbers

    Drowning by Numbers

    ★★★½

    First and foremost, a feast for psychoanalysts. The central conceit here, in which a series of numbers serve as literal signposts that guide viewers along the thrice-repeating narrative, at first comes across as a feat of directorial hubris, but obsessive-compulsive behavior is not only the film's approach but also its subject matter. Initially, Drowning seems to be conceiving of its female characters from a feminist angle, them offing their men out of acts of bored defiance, but as its male…

  • The Great Wall

    The Great Wall

    ★★★

    A bizarre mix of blunt politics, a ridiculous premise, hopeless performances, and dazzling color. Too confident to mock, yet too risible to consider as art.

    50/100

  • I Am Not Your Negro

    I Am Not Your Negro

    ★★★★

    Baldwin is more than a means to an end here, although at times he’s merely that, decontextualized and universalized in a way that prizes relevance over accuracy. Peck weaponizes this great outsider’s life story to offer one of cinema’s definitive statements on the cowardice and willful ignorance behind racism in America, which won’t come as news to anyone who’s ever thought about such things, yet still is stated here with such moral authority that the message takes on a new…

  • The Delta

    The Delta

    ★★★★

    Sachs’ increasingly-engrossing debut feature is an immersion into the pleasures and tensions that accompany queer invisibility. It’s a provocative, assured film that doesn’t feel much like his others, indulging in narrative bait and switch tricks that the elder, more reserved Sachs would likely reject. One moment it’s a gritty observation of a Southern gay subculture, the next it’s a revisionist and beatific updating of Huckleberry Finn. Sachs, by keeping the film unknowable, does a great deal to allude to his…

  • Sue

    Sue

    ★★★½

    Kollek contrives such a sad downward trajectory for his titular character that Sue feels one-note at times, yet all the same I felt so many moments of recognition here… so many scenes where I felt like I’ve known this woman in real life… that I can’t help but applaud the effort.

    68/100

  • Repo Man

    Repo Man

    ★★★★½

    It took the last two weeks to make me realize what a visionary masterpiece this is.

    85/100