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John has written 81 reviews for films during 2016.

  • Carrie Fisher: Wishful Drinking

    Carrie Fisher: Wishful Drinking

    ★★★½

    A masterclass in self-mythologization. RIP Princess Leia.

  • Keanu

    Keanu

    ★★

    Funnier than I expected from the trailer - Key and Peele play that liminal space of class and race so well. Supporting cast on point. Cinematography on point. Dem plot holes doe.

  • Moana

    Moana

    ★★★½

    Epic in the best sense, stunning animation. Sometimes tired story beats.

  • The Train

    The Train

    ★★★★

    What is worth more - priceless art or human lives? Depending on your answer, the true hero of the film may not be whom you suspect. The thriller elements of this film are so brilliantly staged, it's hard to find the superlatives.

  • Sisters

    Sisters

    ★★

    Some good laughs. Did not hit for me emotionally but I'm hardly the target audience.

  • Hacksaw Ridge

    Hacksaw Ridge

    ★★★

    Supremely well-choreographed action - maybe exceeds Saving Private Ryan. This fits well into the Mel Gibson theology of suffering filmography. When will the American South produce some actors that can be entrusted to do their native accent?

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★★

    I think maybe it was about hope. I'm not sure.

  • Café Society

    Café Society

    ★★

    Los Angeles is a mistress, an ex-lover. New York is a steady, reliable wife.

  • Sully

    Sully

    ★★★★

    I realized at the end it was a movie about filmmaking. You always wonder if you should've done something differently, if someone else would have done something better. And the critics tell you that it could have been done better. But in the end, Anna Gunn gives a speech saying you are a genius and no one else could have pulled it off in a million years.

    Great sound design, credible effects, lots of real moments and a surprising amount of drama wrung from a story we all thought we knew and it turns out we did know.

  • Kubo and the Two Strings

    Kubo and the Two Strings

    ★★★★

    A profound metaphor hiding behind a hero's journey and beautiful animation.

  • Black Moon

    Black Moon

    The perfect movie to fall asleep to. Director Louis Malle said he doesn't even understand parts of it, and any time it seemed to be telling a story, he crossed that line out of the script. Full success, I guess.

  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    ★★★★

    An incredibly assured character study/coming-of-age story. It did not move me emotionally as much as Manchester or Lion, but it is a more coherent work of art.