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Jeremy has written 65 reviews for films during 2014.

  • Interstellar

    Interstellar

    ★★★★

    2014: The Year We Remake Contact

    75/100

  • Citizenfour

    Citizenfour

    ★★★★½

    Citizenfour’s obvious documentary value and journalistic urgency are self-evident, so it might be more worthwhile to comment on Poitras’ aesthetic achievements here. Rather than muckraking, her film is filled with structural choices that enable attentive viewers to be smacked anew by hypocrisies that are now a year old. Watching as Snowden’s paranoia spreads to the reporters who covertly meet with him gives the film its strongest thriller aspects. The invocation of the overreaching, early 20th century espionage act that Snowden…

  • Coherence

    Coherence

    ★★★½

    Not really a mindfuck so much as a clever premise that's well-executed with modest means. The performances are less than stellar, which hampers things as the film begins to focus more on interpersonal relations. Still, the extended midsection of the film, in which the ramifications of its ingenious screenplay become clear, is strong enough that voicing any misgivings seems churlish.

    67/100

  • Love Is Strange

    Love Is Strange

    ★★★½

    Modest, but fiercely incisive at times, this drama has no problem alienating us from its characters to make its points. The deus ex machina that resolves the plot is refreshing because it emphatically declares that the movie was never concerned with plot in the first place. Tomei is the MVP among the cast.

    67/100

  • Tracks

    Tracks

    ★★★

    Somewhat uninvolving as adventure movies go, and too reliant upon (admittedly effective) animal reaction shots, but it makes a lot of sense within the context of Curran's filmography. We are the architects of our own solitude.

    55/100

  • The Skeleton Twins

    The Skeleton Twins

    ★★★

    Very much a generic Sundance drama, but it's enlivened considerably by snappy editing that seems informed by the comic timing of its two stars. Neither of them is psychologically convincing (though Wiig has one inspired moment in which she flashes a self-satisfied smile after hurling a particularly wounding insult), but the material coasts on the considerable chemistry that the two have together.

    51/100

  • Get on Up

    Get on Up

    ★★

    This movie clearly should have been about that guy who played Little Richard instead.

  • Queen & Country

    Queen & Country

    ★★★

    This sequel to 1987’s Hope and Glory seems hopelessly square at first (stylistically, it advances little over its that already staid film), but it generates cumulative charm. Whereas its predecessor used young Bill’s perspective to skew our appreciation of the spectacle and excitement of war, here he’s drafted into the National Service, allowing us to view military ideology as a lark from the inside. The tone is mostly comic, although there’s an insistent nostalgic sentiment underlying everything that emphasizes the…

  • Mary, Queen of Scots

    Mary, Queen of Scots

    ★★½

    This overheated soap-opera largely seems to demonstrate that great stage acting is not necessarily great screen acting. Redgrave, as the titular royal, has less of a character to play than Jackson, who turns her Elizabeth I into a far more memorable monarch in about a third of the screen time. The script here is too verbose, making actors state outright what they might have communicated more economically. A few strong scenes, but oddly passionless.

    49/100

  • The Quiet Ones

    The Quiet Ones

    ★★½

    Relatively controlled, but uninspired. What begins with teasing ambiguities and cold scientific inquiry quickly gives way to an overt spook show.

    47/100

  • Wolf Creek 2

    Wolf Creek 2

    ★★★

    Mclean’s brutal torture-porn sequel comes a few years after the subgenre’s prime but it’s well-made enough to overcome complaints about overfamiliarity. It’s a testament to the director that he renders the expanses of the outback as claustrophobic. The film seems most legible as a statement of Australia’s scrappy status in the world, embodied by repulsive redneck murderer Mick Taylor. Perhaps Mclean’s biggest coup is structural, even if he seems to be riffing on Tarantino’s Death Proof.

    57/100

  • The Truth

    The Truth

    ★★★★

    Unmistakably a response to the New Wave, not only in its casting of Bardot, but also in the way it explicitly puts her (and her generation, by proxy) on trial. The plot hinges on a murder, but there’s not a mystery here, as Bardot has confessed and it’s only her intent that is left up for judgment. Using a series of flashbacks (and the court proceedings that contradict and misinterpret them), Clouzot predictably undermines any concept of truth. Still, even…