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  • The Great Wall

    The Great Wall

    ★½

    Quick Hit: It's not that this movie was bad. It's that it was...SO bad. I hated almost everything about it. Matt Damon's weird there-then-not accent, his sleepwalking performance, the generic monster weakness culled from every alien invasion film for years, Jing Tian struggling mightily to make her fetishized Asian "strong female character" warrior woman trope work, the plot inconsistencies and contrivances, the labored dialogue, the unnecessary romantic subplot...

    I mean, it looked good most of the time. But this is…

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★½

    There's no film genre quite as heady as that of the thoughtful science fiction film. When it is at its best, sci-fi can tackle some of the most lofty themes and many of the greatest films of all-time fit that bill. Denis Villeneuve's Arrival certainly makes its case for inclusion in that grouping. Based on Ted Chiang's 1988 short story "Story of Your Life," the film features a stellar cast headed by Amy Adams navigating an alien arrival that pushes…

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  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★★½

    "What a lovely day" is Mad Max: Fury Road's most marketed phrase, but the one that most exemplifies it is "We are not things." This fourth film in the famous Australian franchise is a $150 million arthouse post-apocalyptic spaghetti western, and a fabulous one at that. George Miller is as good as he's ever been behind the camera with this intense experience that turns many elements of the action genre on its head. The acting is top-notch -- including from…

  • The Cabin in the Woods

    The Cabin in the Woods

    ★★★★★

    Being that I am an entertainment reporter, it is very rare that I can go into a film knowing almost nothing about it. Before 2012, the last time I was able to do so was Cloverfield; with Cabin in the Woods however I was determined to do so. I had heard much about the struggle to get the film released, of course--filmed by Drew Goddard based on a script by Joss Whedon and himself, delayed to do 3D post-conversion and…