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  • Dark Waters

    Dark Waters

    ★★★★

    Make note of the people who dismiss this is as minor, payday work from Todd Haynes. For they are now your enemy. 

    I urge you to ignore that (dreadful) trailer, which lazily positions this as an awards hopeful about one lawyer taking on a corporate monolith. This is a remarkably strong, eminently compelling legal drama. Haynes effortlessly uses procedural elements to craft what’s less a David/Goliath tale than a thorough examination of late capitalism’s soul-crushing resilience. It is an acutely…

  • Waves

    Waves

    ★★

    Shults’ thematic goals are noble enough: in many ways it is a movie about the value of familial support and self-forgiveness. The wonderful performances at the center of the story come as close as they can to realizing it.

    But for all Shults’ acuity with actors and his visual lyricism—a signature style that worked wonders for me in Krisha—I sense little narrative control as Shults progresses from one character to the next, with some characters feeling practically discarded after they…

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  • Guardians of the Galaxy

    Guardians of the Galaxy

    ★★

    I'm just... tired. So very tired.

    I'm tired of the notion that Marvel Studios has somehow planted its flag upon the summit of mainstream popcorn entertainment, when the only summit it's touched is that of the interminably tasteful time-killer.

    I'm tired the emptiness I feel each time I finish one of these things, of exiting the theater each time feeling like the only thought I was ever meant to fancy was how much I'd better be looking forward to the…

  • BPM (Beats per Minute)

    BPM (Beats per Minute)

    ★★★★★

    This movie wrecked me.

    It wrecked me because almost no other movie has ever made me feel this connected to my community, to my history, to the notion I am part of a whole.

    It wrecked me because it reminded me how far removed I am from a generation that fought for life, when the hardest I've had to fight is to say "I do."

    It wrecked me because its emotions hit hard, but never cheap. Because it understands the…