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  • Up in the Air

    Up in the Air

    ★★★½

    Grade: B+

    The film feels different now. Ryan returning to the air seems a less compromised choice—one spurred by the pains of the world—but also due to his role in lessening such stresses. He has no home but the air. When he tells the pilot that his home is “here,” there is no sarcasm included.

    Look at that, a film that grows with age. Beautiful!

  • Win It All

    Win It All

    ★★★½

    Grade: B+

    Think it very significant that in this gambling movie, the hero plays to his strength--realizing his foes are just reckless old white dudes--he just goes all in. Hard to ground any film in this genre within strict reality. I think Johnson's desperation speaks louder and more effectively than any other in a long while.

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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…

  • Horace and Pete

    Horace and Pete

    ★★★★★

    Unlike anything I've ever seen. Never have I seen the depths of ordinary pain and longing expressed in singular increments like C.K. manages to do here. I've read that this was intended as a tragedy. In today's terms, that places it as a drama in the yearly calculations of the "best" and the "most meaningful" in the race waged versus comedy. It will, if it hasn't already, fall under the radar. A staged play is what it resembles. So what?…