• Little Women

    Little Women

    ★★★★★

    This movie is so exceedingly lovely and warm and full of delights that I've struggled to find a way to write about it succinctly since seeing it so here are 10 of the most note-perfect things I loved about it:

    1. The shot of Mr. Laurence listening to Beth play piano
    2. The elliptical remix of the timeline showing how the accumulation of memories shapes who we are
    3. Laura Dern's heartbreaking delivery of the most powerful line in the…

  • Marriage Story

    Marriage Story

    ★★★½

    Finally, the ultimate breakup movie! Watching the tragic undoing of a marriage in all of its agonizing messiness may not sound appealing, but hear me out. This movie is funny! And enormously tender. It gets that people rarely break apart entirely when love (and especially children) are involved. There’s a melancholy in reminiscing about the good times and that hope for what comes next. Adam Driver and ScarJo as the divorcing couple are pitch-perfect and make all the complexities of…

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★★★

    A short essay on The Irishman in which I try to convince you to watch a 3.5-hour movie about mortality…

    “Epic” is an overused term in describing some movies (also, everything else). Sure, a movie can be BIG and LOUD, but what makes it “epic” is in the culmination of small, pivotal moments that build to themes on a grand scale. The Irishman is epic. None of the moments in its very extended runtime are wasted. What seems tedious at…

  • Jojo Rabbit

    Jojo Rabbit

    ★★★½

    Jojo Rabbit is a high-wire act of a movie, turning horrifying history into a fantastical farce starring, yes, Hitler as a goofy, irreverent imaginary friend. Despite its prickly premise, it mostly succeeds thanks to its sheer audacity, delightful child actors, and heart on its sleeve sentimentality that's impossible to resist. The only shame is that it plays the Nazi-mockery too safe to really be considered a satire. It's just so funny, inventive, and feel-good (with a powerful message of tolerance) though, that it's hard to mind. Go get your heartstrings pulled (and don't worry, imaginary Hitler gets his comeuppance, my theater cheered).

  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★★

    There are few things more exhilarating than experiencing a work of art so masterful that all you want to do when it's over is to experience it again and again. Parasite demands it. No genre can contain it. At one moment it's a thrilling heist movie, the next an absurd comedy...and then it twists and turns into something much more piercing and tragic. It's better to know as little as possible before you go in. This is the work of…

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★½

    Don't be fooled by the chatter and controversy surrounding this movie. It's much ado about nothing. Joker isn't about mental illness. It's not about white male rage, or societal injustice, or (fill in the blank). It's not about, well, ANYTHING, really. It only traffics in ideas in its attempts to provoke. The problem is it isn't provocative.

    That's not to say it isn't artfully done. The camerawork and design are gritty and claustrophobic. Joaquin Phoenix is giving a physical performance…

  • Hustlers

    Hustlers

    ★★★½

    TBH this movie is overhyped and the social commentary not as sharp as it wants to be...but it's just so fun to watch! J-Lo is even better than you've heard. Her charisma carries the move through the shaky parts and her intro is unforgettable. Worth seeing alone for the core female friendship that's rare in movies these days. Lizzo and Cardi B do a lot with (very) little. Did I mention how fun it is?? So yeah, recommend.

  • Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    ★★★★

    The voiceovers and heavy-handed themes keep it from becoming the sublime masterpiece it could be, but the story is so genuinely moving and the visuals so staggeringly beautiful that I almost didn't mind. Brad Pitt is astounding and will break your heart. And yes, he's shirtless on a spaceship at one point. Gotta give the people what they want!

  • Leave No Trace

    Leave No Trace

    ★★★★★

    Still swooning over this quiet masterpiece of empathetic storytelling. Few hands are as graceful as Debra Granik's with this type of material that could easily succumb to sensationalism. A must-see.

  • We the Animals

    We the Animals

    ★★★★

    Borderlines on cliche, but this coming-of-age odyssey often mesmerizes thanks to raw performances from a talented young cast and striking impressionistic imagery.

  • The Lost City of Z

    The Lost City of Z

    ★★★★½

    A patient, meditative tale of obsession that delves deep into the human psyche and Amazonian jungle through subdued performances and production design.

  • Layer Cake

    Layer Cake

    ★★★½

    An early showcase for director Matthew Vaughn's flair for kinetic visuals and cheeky dialogue, as well as a charismatic, pre-Bond Matthew Craig. A little too much narrative trickery, but a fun diversion overall.