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  • The Shape of Water

    The Shape of Water

    ★★★★½

    This really is terrific. I don't know if I can add to that.

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    I have complicated feelings on this one that I might have sort out, in one way or another.

    There are ways that the folks who say it is the best in the series are definitely right. In those ways, and I believe all of those ways, it is not only the best of the series, it is easily the best.

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  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    ★★

    The original trilogy is like a great band at their peak. They're making hits, feeling it. They fall away a bit at the end, trying too hard to sound like themselves, but it's what everyone remembers. The prequels are like their weird period of experimenting with orchestras and world music and big concepts they can't quite keep contained in the realm of the pop song. This is like a cover band made up of skilled musicians playing their greatest hits competently but soullessly in an order that robs them of any context or meaning.

  • Young, Violent, Dangerous

    Young, Violent, Dangerous

    ★★★★½

    On some level, this is a Eurocrime version of Just For the Hell of It with Tomás Milián as a Police Commissioner looking into the crime spree. And if that had been the sum total of it, that would have been more than enough for me.

    It is something more, though, it's a thoughtful and well-acted movie. Not only by Milián, who can essentially do no wrong in my world, but by Eleonora Giorgi as well as Stefano Patrizi, who gives a strangely haunted and thoughtful portrayal of the gang's ringleader.