Movieman630 has written 12 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2021.

  • Last Night in Soho

    Last Night in Soho

    Last Night in Soho is a film that starts very strong and ends very strong, albeit it doesn’t always know how to go from A to B. The films middle section is very well made and acted, but seems a bit scattered. That said, the movie itself still works very well. It is absolutely gorgeous, with Edgar Wright showing his mastery of craft. It’s a more serious film than he usually makes, but it works well.

    The performances help in…

  • Skyfall

    Skyfall

    Skyfall is a very good film that manages to effectively showcase some of the best aspects of Craig's version of James Bond, while also showing signs of the things that would go wrong in Spectre. The film's biggest masterstroke was in hiring Sam Mendes, an Oscar winning artistic filmmaker, to helm this film. Mendes brings with him a larger sense of scale and importance than the series had ever had before. Everything in Skyfall feels big and serious. At times,…

  • No Time to Die

    No Time to Die

    Like the rest of the Craig era of Bond there are two stories that the filmmakers try to marry to each other: the story of Bond the person, and the story of Bond the spy. As far as the former goes, No Time to Die is probably the most effective. It's clear that the filmmakers are far more focused on who Craig's bond is and could be than it is on the standard world-threatening plot. As such, we get an…

  • Titane

    Titane

    It's hard to talk about this film without spoiling it. What I will say is that it's an aggressively unique and creative story that is taken very seriously by the entire cast. Strong filmmaking means that it should be seen by those who can stomach it, though it is a very uncomfortable and disturbing film.

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    Shang-Chi definitely ranks on the upper tier of MCU films. Though it follows some familiar beats, the film does have, to some degree at least, a tone and feel of its own. The film wears its martial arts influences on its sleeve, giving the action and the story a unique feel within the marvel universe. The stunts are excellent, while the camerawork does a great job of ensuring clarity, even with how fast paced the action can get. Though the…

  • The Piano

    The Piano

    The Piano is a gorgeous and very well crafted film that suffers a bit from the changing waters of time. For the year it came out, it's a wonderful tale with a complicated and fascinating protagonist. For the modern day, the film's romance gives a bit of a feeling of stockholm syndrome. (It is notable that the film's director never intended for the movie to be explicitly feminist, she was just telling a story she wanted to tell)

    Holly Hunter's…

  • No Sudden Move

    No Sudden Move

    PROS
    Excellent cast, all delivering strong, yet subtle performances.

    A film that excellently gets across a message about opportunity inequality without feeling preachy.

    A fun storyline with some truly great twists and turns.

    Soderbergh's direction is not showy, but still solidly keeps the film entertaining and flowing.

    CONS
    The narrative is fairly hard to follow, even at the end it's not totally clear how some characters were able to manipulate events.

    VERDICT
    This is a solid crime thriller that manages…

  • In the Heights

    In the Heights

    In the Heights rises above many other musicals due to its embracing of the medium of film. The film uses editing, cinematography and effects in creative ways to properly adapt the stage musical for the screen. This gives the film a sense of energy and fun during the musical sequences.

    The film also tells a nice story of embracing and accepting who you are and where you come from. The film does start to peter out a bit in the…

  • Train to Busan

    Train to Busan

    Train to Busan is a solid Zombie action film. The film takes the rage zombie idea of 28 Days Later and throws it into a more hyperkinetic claustrophobic setting. The first act of the film is especially effective. It slowly builds up its protagonists and tension, hinting at what’s to come before suddenly letting the shit hit the fan.

    The film does start to drag as it goes on. Though the filmmaking is solid, and it does have some fun…

  • News of the World

    News of the World

    News of the World doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it is a satisfying watch for those who like old school westerns. Tom Hanks is, as always, an engaging lead, and Helena Zengel plays off of him perfectly. Their relationship feels incredibly natural, and develops at a great pace.

    The film is perhaps lacking in inspiration, there's nothing here that hasn't been done before, but it's an entertaining watch, especially for fans of the western genre.

  • The White Tiger

    The White Tiger

    The White Tiger is a great character driven film that shines a light on how difficult it can be to just survive in some places. I am not in general a fan of films driven by voice over narration, but The White Tiger uses it well, largely due to the fact that the film is built on the protagonists thoughts more than his actions.

    The film is perhaps a bit long, and the resolution happens a bit too quickly, but it is never boring. Writer/director Ramin Bahrani has an energy and passion that keeps the film flowing despite the lack of any truly likable characters.

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah is a very ambitious film. It tries to be a biopic of its two subjects, Fred Hampton and Bill O'Neal, while also being an espionage thriller. It also strives to inform the audience about COINTELPRO, the awful FBI program where they tried to dismantle minority and liberal/socialist groups through the use of propaganda, police brutality and even assassination. Is the film able to succeed at all of these goals? Mostly yes, though some aspects do…