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  • Den of Thieves

    Den of Thieves

    ★★★½

    Derivative, to be sure—numerous attempts at recreating Heat, the ending of a certain other 1995 movie, a verbal reference to Rick's Café from Casablanca, and even the tense traffic shootout of Sicario—but also just hugely enjoyable, what with Gerard Butler's hammy bluster played against Pablo Schreiber's laconic intensity. Boasts some sleek procedural pieces, and enjoyably scummy behavior like the tense dressing-down of the ex-wife's new partner. Maybe just a touch too much glee in the rampant homophobia, but Butler's "I'd…

  • Stranger in Paradise

    Stranger in Paradise

    ★★★½

    The prologue, which conflates basically all of human evolution with the enormity of the refugee crisis (complete with explosions timed to score à la Bruce Conner's Crossroads), suggests that Hendrix could have made an astonishing, didactic essay-film had he wanted, though he has something else mind: an impressively rigorous structural approach to the refugee crisis. (Someone with actual knowledge of philosophy could probably consider it as a "Hegelian triptych" or something.) Kind of writes its own review, but that's more…

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  • Primer

    Primer

    ★★★★½

    Man, do you wanna watch Primer? I haven't seen it since later this afternoon.

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★½

    A film built on various contradictions and oppositions: an austere, barely-populated church straight out of Bergman yoked to the behemoth prosperity gospel institution of Abundant Life; a son (Joseph, "the dreamer") sacrificed in "a war without moral justification" and a 'son' (Philip Ettinger's Michael) lost in the moral quandary of a decaying earth ("Will God forgive us?"); a Märta figure à la Winter Light (Victoria Hill's Esther) seen as a constant reminder of earthly inadequacy, placed against Amanda Seyfried's Mary,…