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  • The Rite

    The Rite

    ★★★★½

    An intimate, at times claustrophobic work, full of tight close-ups on nervous faces, often beaded with sweat or smeared with disintegrating stage make-up, this film is designed to mess with your head even as it distracts you with titillating but irrelevant questions. Why are these actors in trouble? Who is this judge? What are the stakes? Why is Sebastian always wearing sunglasses, when he has Anders Ek's eyes behind them?

    We expect Ingrid Thulin to steal the show in her…

  • Passengers

    Passengers

    ★★★

    Predictable but pretty.

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  • House

    House

    ★★★★½

    Not since Ishii's Funky Forest has a Japanese movie made me laugh and get squicked out the way Hausu did. It's so batshit it's its own genre, with the only other film that might accompany it in said genre being Evil Dead. But Evil Dead is sedate and logical next to this. AWESOME.

  • Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

    Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

    ★★★★★

    "Happiness is not always fun." This is both one of the sweetest and most devastating films I've seen. Could become a favorite if I ever develop the emotional resilience regular viewings would require.

    It's the silences that get you. The silences and the tightly crowded spaces that shouldn't allow the kind of distances those silences achieve.