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  • Oculus

    Oculus

    ★★½

    The casting is pretty terrible here. For a horror movie, it's really not that scary, and I place most of that blame on poor casting. However, I really appreciated this script. Not so much for the character development, as I never found myself rooting or caring for anyone, but it establishes the rules of this universe early and follows those rules throughout. That's more than most horror films can say for themselves, and it creates for entertaining situations that keep the viewer guessing. Bonus points for not relying on cheap jump scares, even if it made for a less terrifying film.

  • Hold the Dark

    Hold the Dark

    ★★½

    It's like an Alaskan "No Country For Old Men," but without Cormac McCarthy's poetic prose as source material.

    I always admired Saulnier for the way that "Blue Ruin" and "Green Room" both put me squarely in the shoes of real, flawed people doing things that movie characters do. I never believed the characters in "Hold the Dark" were real. I never felt that my expectations were being subverted. I almost find it hard to believe Jeremy actually directed this. That said, the cinematography is beautiful and there are some great, tense action sequences.

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  • The Big Sick

    The Big Sick

    ★★★★

    Riding the train into New York to see one of the first showings of "The Big Sick," I couldn't shake the fear that this movie would suck. It had to, right? There were just too many expectations, and it was bound to disappoint us somehow. I mean, it was Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon's first feature length script about the incredible true story of their relationship. It was directed by Michael Showalter after last year's surprisingly touching "Hello, My…

  • Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman

    ★½

    "It's not about deserve. It's about what you believe."

    Apart from being both the cringe-worthy centerpiece and poorly established turning point of the film's disastrous third-act, this line also serves as a reflection of the critical response to Wonder Woman. Does it really deserve all the praise it's getting? Probably not, but going in, we all wanted to believe that this film would be a game-changer, because that's the better narrative. Certainly a better narrative than "the first female directed…