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  • Last Flag Flying

    Last Flag Flying

    ★★★½

    Grade: B+

    Like almost every Linklater film, the pacing is paramount. Tone and pace will make anything work, and he is king of such things. So, yeah, it’s better than it has any right to be. Semi-sequel to a classic New Hollywood film starring Jack Nicholson; only without said actor—no way. Yes, way.

    It chips away at your reservations and brings you into its warm embrace. Carrell is as good as ever, if not working with familiar notes. Cranston has…

  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★★★

    Grade: A-

    If replicants bleed and are made of flesh and bone, what really separates them from human beings? That dividing line covers the entirety of "Blade Runner 2049" in beautiful and resonant questioning.

    That fight scene between K and Luv at the end uses the cliche of a boss fight to embody all the film has worked toward. K, aligned with, if not THE rebellion, some rebellion by the end, fights for a future against someone looking for a…

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  • Manchester by the Sea

    Manchester by the Sea

    ★★★★½

    Grade: A

    It seems to me, more than ever now, that the film is about responsibility. Lee can barely stomach the morning's sun calling in a new day, let alone being forced into caring for a teenager out of nowhere. Despite this, giving the movie it's soul, he does. The discovering of moments is what constitutes the bulk of the film. Lonergan paints with the smallest of aspects, yet finishes with a piece almost epic in its impact. That, to…

  • Polina

    Polina

    ★★★½

    Grade: B+

    The final moments are mesmerizing. As multiple strands of Polina’s psyche cohere, a dance and a sequence are birthed that begin to make sense out of the narrative hiccups that seem to persist throughout.

    The film presents conflicting questions of identity, from matters of dance to that of national borders. Nuzzled within it all, there is an image that gives life to the film and Polina along with it: a lone stag in the snow. Our heroine is…