Paths of Glory ★★★★★

Easily among my top first watches of the year. But my experience was colored by my foreknowledge of this Criterion Channel interview with David Simon, which I couldn't get out of my head while watching it. In every palace scene, or really any scene with George Macready, I was mostly thinking about how baldly The Wire had ripped it off. From the callousness of upper management to the bleak portrayal of systemic injustice, it’s an extremely on-brand movie for him.

On the other hand, The Wire never really manages to ape Kubrick’s surreal depiction of the natural environment, like that legendary tracking shot of the battlefront or the image of the execution posts that make them appear just as alien as the obelisk from 2001.