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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.

  • Swiss Army Man

    Swiss Army Man

    ★★★★

    For a film whose central message seems to be that it's easier to fantasize a whole bizarre yet fulfilling relationship with a corpse that washed up on a beach than to talk to a lady, this is surprisingly enjoyable. Even if you don't think farts are especially funny on the whole. They are here, brothers and sisters. They are here.

    Except when they're kind of tragic?

  • The Last Bolshevik

    The Last Bolshevik

    ★★★★½

    I came for the title and stayed for the extraordinary story of a filmmaker I now want to know even more about!!!

  • There Will Be Blood

    There Will Be Blood

    ★★★★

    I always forget how long this film runs before there's any actual dialogue. We even manage to learn the lesson character's name without anyone speaking. It could be a silent film.

  • High-Rise

    High-Rise

    ★★★★½

    I'm a big Ballard fan, and I dig what I've seen of Ben Wheatley, so my expectations going into this were very high. They were met. This is an excellent adaptation of the novel, one that manages to make the story both darker and funnier (mostly with ironic juxtapositions that should have seemed tired, but, strangely, didn't), and the cast is Of the supporting cast I especially enjoyed James Purefoy add the quintessential 1970s toff gone right off the rails.…

  • 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.

  • Young Törless

    Young Törless

    ★★★½

    This is based on a book that I admire rather than like, and my reaction to this film is similar. It's hard stuff to take -- cruelty, exploitation, savagery -- but convincingly portrayed in both media. I was imagining younger boys when I read Musil's novel, though. I don't know if it was a choice, a change for the film, or if I was just mistaken when I read the book many years ago, but seeing older boys acting this…

  • What Was Ours

    What Was Ours

    ★★★★

    How does it feel to have to ask to borrow your own culture's artifacts from museums just so you can teach the next generation? This shirt film explores that question sensitively and unflinchingly as it follows three Native Americans from my home state ( that was also originally theirs, if it was anyone's) as they deal with just that.Kudos to Matt Hames.

  • HyperNormalisation

    HyperNormalisation

    ★★★★

    Another great effort in Adam Curtis' ongoing effort to Explain Everything. Especially trippy to watch alongside, say, Generation P...

  • Bitter Lake

    Bitter Lake

    Adam Curtis is becoming my favorite documentary filmmaker. His work has style, substance and a haunting quality That leaves me uncomfortable but wanting more. This entry is a typically kaleidoscopic look at a complex issue -- the war in Afghanistan -- that draws on every imaginable source of media to remind us that everything is way more complicated than we think.

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★★★★

    I can't even remotely offer a critical review of this yet. Still too happy.