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  • Master of the House

    Master of the House

    ★★★½

    Dryer sets a tone of crisp realism that extends from the fastidiously constructed recreation of a cramped four-room apartment and the subdued performances that depart from expressionist extreme to the unaffected, neo-realist style of Schnéevoigt's cinematography and Dryer’s refined control of mise-en-scéne and psychologically astute direction that evocatively conveys internal emotions through facial expressions—often counterposed with the overt action of a scene or the dialogue delivered via intertitles—instilling the film with a nuanced dexterity that resists simple melodrama or winsome…

  • Human Flow

    Human Flow

    ★★★

    An arresting portrait of a global crisis powerfully driven by Ai’s empathetic compassion—palpable in every scene he shares with refugees in his soft, consoling concern for their wellbeing and his gentle way of reinforcing their worth by treating them as humans, not victims—and the phenomenal sights captured by a host of cinematographers—including the legendary Doyle, with the use of an array of formats, including the gods-eye sweep of drone footage and the jittering immediacy of iPhone video—which convey the staggering…

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  • Sicario

    Sicario

    ★★★★

    The strength of Villeneuve's intensely muscular direction, Deakins's gloomily gorgeous and evocatively atmospheric cinematography, and Jóhannsson's lush score set a spectacularly grim, fatalistic air of dread-soaked taut tension that lends Sheridan's overly glib, cynically nihilistic drug-war horror story a pulpy tone. The film's pulpiness helps to trim away the shallow nihilism of its moral commentary by amplifying the gruesome horrors of the film's bleakly nihilistic world and the grim amorality of its characters, overpowering Sheridan's didactic intentions and delivering a…

  • Get Out

    Get Out

    ★★★★

    With stunning dexterity, Peele builds his racially-minded social thriller with a thematic and visual density that reflects the prevalence and systemic, historical, and cultural expanse of racism in America, proving deep into the psyche of the othered and excavating raw, unresolved pain st the core of America. Cleverly utilizing the conventions of paranoia and fear coded into the genre, he constructs a narrative that is open to all audiences, with visual language carefully designed to supersede alienation and offer non-black,…