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  • The Two Popes

    The Two Popes

    ★★★

    “The Two Popes” is a film that really relies on the strengths of its two actors and the dialogue-heavy sequences that are shared on-screen between them to be engaging. And on that end, Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins manage to do just that as they each have strong chemistry between one another and deliver exchanges that are mostly compelling to watch, while also delivering a surprisingly strong sense of humor. However, the film does drag at points and doesn’t quite shake loose from its clear Oscar-bait status, all while affected by some directing choices that do more to distract from rather than enhance the overall experience.

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters

    Godzilla: King of the Monsters

    ★★½

    While it definitely delivers plenty moments of spectacle we’ve come to expect from these recent monster movie reboots, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” fails to remotely develop any of its leading characters or tell a highly interesting story around them, which in turn feels painfully rote, inherently messy, and goes on for way too long.

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  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★★

    "Arrival" is one of the most visually stunning, instantly compelling, and intricately crafted pieces of cinema I have seen in a very long time. Consistently building a rising sense of stakes and atmosphere with a strong amount of skill and care, Denis Villeneuve beautifully directs a thrilling, layered, and intriguing work of science fiction that's gorgeously shot, uniquely structured, and grounded with intelligent and morally complex ideas. But at it's core, this is also a nuanced, resonant, and deeply emotional…

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    ★★½

    Save for some fine action sequences and effectively solid performances all around, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” comes off as a prime result of studio desperation, with poorly developed characters and rushed plot points being compounded by a sloppy, inherently bloated storyline that was clearly thrown together out of thin air with no real road map of where else this franchise was supposed to go. It definitely can be entertaining and attention-diverting in the moment, but as a conclusion to one of the biggest movie sagas ever made, it’s sadly an emotionally hollow, vastly underwhelming one at that.