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  • Private Life

    Private Life

    ★★★½

    A very nice and writerly movie about nice writerly writers, with an ending that feels holistic and good in a way that's almost too neat. Kathryn Hahn is fantastic. John Carroll Lynch radiates goodness. If this movie has a liability, it's that it doesn't make palatable the egregiously expensive fertility quest to -- let's say, hypothetically, sterile and pessimistic -- viewers who don't view the propagation of the human species as a net positive. Not that it has to sell…

  • Game Night

    Game Night

    ★★★

    This was diverting.

    Standouts here include Rachel McAdams, who shows up in every scene, and Jesse Plemons, who is riotously funny, and the uncredited rewrite by John Francis Daly and Jonathan Goldstein that gives them funny things to do and say. The Cliff Martinez score is stylish and propulsive, even if this movie's twists, turns, and visual style are a little boilerplate.

    Jason Bateman is good at playing exclusionary, hostile, distrustful mean guy, and piss-poor at playing tender, loving, guy…

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  • Black Panther

    Black Panther

    ★★★★

    There's a lot here. There's a LOT here. As a fan and apologist of Marvel House Style, I will reluctantly admit that where this film is at its most Marvel-y, it's at its weakest. But even liberalism, weak structural scaffolding, and the closed sandbox feel of a franchise movie, cannot dilute the revelatory power of the things Black Panther does do.

    Ryan Coogler and his fantastic cast use gesture and movement perhaps better than any blockbuster in history. The production…

  • Justice League

    Justice League

    Wow, this is a misfire on every conceivable level.

    After no fewer than four scenes jockeying for “first sequence” -- in no intelligible causal order, a ponderously slow and grating vertical cameraphone video of Superman, a ludicrous fakeout-fight leading to a cheesy parademon rumble and mind-boggling expository dump, an overwrought funeral montage set to a bad Leonard Cohen cover, and Wonder Woman doing sorta-superheroic things -- we're off to the races, in a totally batshit litany of seemingly disconnected events…