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  • Badlands

    Badlands

    ★★★★★

    Badlands is a perfect marriage of form and content—a beautiful, seductive vision of the ways in which images seduce and corrupt. I find that the central irony lies in the camera's insistence upon aestheticizing Kit at every turn, while Holly is left the wander at the edge of the action, of the frame. Kit is a movie character who has watched too many movies, reproducing the mannerisms and the charisma and the violence without first understanding those things. The thing…

  • A Fantastic Woman

    A Fantastic Woman

    ½

    My thoughts are all fragmented. I just know that I'm seething with rage. And my stomach is turning because I can already see the utter indifference my rage will be met with. I could spend time arguing, presenting my case in the most cogent and comprehensive way imaginable, and still, my argument would pass through the insensate heads of the cis audience that received this film so ecstatically. It makes me not want to engage. In fact, I never want…

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  • Unbreakable

    Unbreakable

    ★★★½

    This film improved quite significantly in my estimation having now seen Split, which clarified for me the thematic concerns. Shyamalan is interested in the ways we narrativize our lives and the world around us. David Dunn is an ordinary man, a melancholy security guard in an unhappy marriage. Elijah Price, through his own deliberate action, writes David an origin. After meeting each other, Elijah writes him a backstory, spurring revelations about his past, drawing out of the fog of memory…

  • The Sixth Sense

    The Sixth Sense

    ★★★★½

    The past is with us, even more so as we try and bury it. And too often it falls on the ill-equipped and undeserving to reckon with it. But we must—it's the only way to go on.

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  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I've been growing increasingly disinterested in what I'll call "scientific" horror films—or maybe, more to the point, films that smuggle in the scientific under the pretense of metaphor. By scientific, I mean to suggest rule-based, overdetermined plot (among other things). It grates against my sensibility when, as I feel happens here, the science of the film muddles the emotion/themes. In this case, the growing concern with the demonic cult and their endgame (really? riches?) consumes the movie in order to…

  • Get Out

    Get Out

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I might not be completely taken with the rather conventional, if proficient, horror direction, but the script really is just wonderful in its ability to navigate both the comedy and the horror of its situation. Perhaps the best moment for me was the very end. K. Austin Collins is completely right to point to Night of the Living Dead here. The way that the arrival of a cop car means the exact opposite of what it's coded to mean in…