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  • Just Mercy

    Just Mercy

    ★★½

    There is exactly one good reason to watch JUST MERCY, and it has nothing to do with Netflix or Prime awarding you racism-fighting points. It is Michael B. Jordan, who believes in this movie far more than it deserves, and puts in a performance that is at turns all quiet dignity and at turns full of barely suppressed rage that makes this tedious boilerplate message thing actually sort of interesting at times.

    Someday, someone is going to have the guts to make an anti-death penalty movie that 1) is not a biopic and 2) has a condemned (wo)man who is as guilty as Cain.

  • All About Eve

    All About Eve

    ★★★★★

    "No, trust me, you will love this more-than-two-hour movie about egotistical Theatre Persons slyly stabbing each other in the back, front, and everywhere else," she insisted repeatedly, wondering why on earth this was not a stronger selling point for her husband.

    Well, I did finally get him to watch it with me, and I realized that I should have just said it had the cleverest, snappiest, most comically devastating dialogue this side of old H.L. Mencken articles. I could have written it a lot sooner.

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  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    ★★★★★

    My policy towards this movie is that there are no gargoyles, because I need to be able to give it five stars.

    There are no other Disney animated movies, and there are very few movies at all, that reach the heights this one hits when it's on form. Everyone talks up "Hellfire" for good reason, but "The Bells of Notre Dame" is the gold standard of exposition songs.

  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★

    PARASITE consists of one excellent story (the first act) and one okay but clunky story (the second act), which are both blessed to be held together by flawless filmmaker craftsmanship on the part of Bong Joon-ho and team. Seriously, if we turned off the dialogue and judged the movie entirely as a collection of shots, it would get 5/5, no questions. As a whole work, it's still very good, but I wonder if it didn't get just the teensiest "I…