• The Godfather: Part III

    The Godfather: Part III

    ★★★

    I have seen the first two movies about five times each (obviously), but I just never had any interest in sitting down with this one. Its reputation is middling, certainly, but beyond that it just always seemed like the definition of a movie that had no reason to exist. Parts I and II tell you everything you need to know, and any pitch for a potential Part III seemed like it would be "and then some more stuff happens."

    And,…

  • Knives Out

    Knives Out

    ★★★★½

    Second watch over the weekend. Stealth MVP of this viewing was Michael Shannon, who chooses the best possible delivery for every line. Also, Ana de Armas is even more remarkable in this than I remembered—she spends the entire movie playing essentially five emotions at once, all leading to that final moment which is just *chef's kiss.*

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★★½

    As expected, a second viewing bumped this up a half a star. Good movie!

  • Widows

    Widows

    ★★★½

    Have wanted to catch up with this for literally the last year and a half, and I'm very glad I finally did! What a weird movie, though captivating from beginning to end. McQueen is almost TOO good at the more disturbing/intense scenes—you want to look away and yet can't—and then the more popcorn-y sequences almost feel a bit out of place. It's incredibly well-made throughout, though, and every performance is somewhere between very good and incredible. (MVPs: Debicki and Kaluuya)…

  • Marriage Story

    Marriage Story

    ★★★★½

    Well, this absolutely wrecked me! Just a perfectly well-observed, well-acted, funny, heartbreaking thing. Driver is incredible, and I'm also going to go to the mat for Johansson here, whose character is very different than her co-star's because her intentions are already set in stone when the movie begins—that only becomes clear to the viewer as the movie goes on. These two do not enter the film at the same place, though it tricks you into thinking that is what's happening. However, the catharsis of it all is they essentially end the movie there—not together, of course, but finally at a complete understanding of each other.

  • 1917

    1917

    ★★★½

    Basically a really engaging two-hour guitar solo by Roger Deakins, with George MacKay holding things down incredibly well in the lead role. Lots of incredible moments on a surface level, and I was pretty much into it the entire time. Emotionally? I couldn't have cared much less, and this feels less like a bleak war movie than an "exciting" adventure movie. That's certainly not a crime, but the idea of this potentially winning Best Director and Best Picture just two…

  • Little Women

    Little Women

    ★★★★½

    Greta Gerwig is so insanely good at this that I'm almost retroactively angry she hasn't been directing major features since she was 16. (This is alleviated somewhat by the knowledge that she's only 36. BUT STILL.) She does incredible work with her cast, and Saoirse Ronan is such a perfect vessel for her style of writing and directing that I hope they just keep working together until the end of time.

    The ability to bounce between tones so deftly, and…

  • Uncut Gems

    Uncut Gems

    ★★★★½

    I was informed this movie was stressful. I was still not prepared. Sandler is incredible. Has the energy of a scuzzy New York movie from the '70s without specifically trying to copy that style. It is entirely its own thing.

    Honestly, not sure how else to review this movie outside of just reenacting the prolonged scream that was going on inside my head for the last half hour. Just thinking about it again makes me want to lie down. Anyway, it's great.

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    ★★

    Now here is a movie that has the energy of someone who forgot they had an exam the next day and spent the entire night ineffectively cramming information into their brain. Once this movie had the mandate of wrapping up the "Skywalker Saga" (eye roll), it was probably never going to do so effectively. It runs down a checklist of things it feels like it's supposed to resolve, and does so without any passion, style, or much of anything. I…

  • Knives Out

    Knives Out

    ★★★★½

    I'll be hard-pressed to name a recent movie that left me as satisfied after a first viewing as "Knives Out," which is immaculately constructed and proves to be a perfect vessel for Rian Johnson's unique brand of cleverness. It is not at all the movie I expected it to be, but that left me all the more thrilled every step of the way. The final shot even made me tear up a bit.

    I've poked around some of the online…

  • Booksmart

    Booksmart

    ★★★★

    Re-watched on a plane. This is a good motion picture.

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★★

    I'll start with a disclaimer that I watched this on a plane, on my iPad, which is not remotely the best way to see this. I'm going to attempt a theatrical viewing if that is still a possibility, but worst case I'm going to sit down one night, turn down all the lights and give this my full attention in a situation where a three year old child isn't constantly elbowing me and turbulence isn't a factor.

    Nevertheless, I liked…