• Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★★★½

    Did not expect to love it so much that I would go back to see it. Feels like such a complete movie, with no unnecessary setups for a sequel. I would be happy if they just ended it right here, because this feels like the perfect conclusion for Maverick's journey, one that comes full circle for him.

    One point of criticism towards this film has been its political stance (or lack thereof I guess). It attempts to please everyone without…

  • Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★★★½

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

    Whether intently or not, the first Top Gun and Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, defined Tom Cruise's film career. Egotistical, cocksure bravado, talent and charm, it's the character even moreso than Ethan Hunt, which I will remember him most for. Top Gun: Maverick comes full circle for him, a movie that is as much a reflection of his career and our current cinematic landscape, as it is an electric, emotionally charged, high-flying action film that is one of the best of…

  • Smiley Face

    Smiley Face

    ★★★½

    Most of Hollywood's best stoner comedies have been also been masquerading as buddy films. Movies such as The Big Lebowski, Harold and Kumar, the Cheech and Chong films, Dazed and Confused, all have used not just the ganja, but also the chemistry and friendship between the leads.

    On the flip side, in Gregg Araki's Smiley Face, Jane, played by Anna Faris, is the lone star. Funnily enough, this is the closest a film gets to actually connect to the experience…

  • Top Gun

    Top Gun

    ★★★★

    Top Gun released in 1986 was a cultural landmark, a movie that completely encapsulated everything great and wrong about 80's movies. It wore its jingoistic heart on its sleeve, a glossy, loud Hollywood production that was made to look like a fashion magazine. The film struck a nerve with audiences who fell in love with the aviators, the leather jackets, the music, the bravado, the high-flying jets, and most prominently Tom Cruise. That boyish look, the impish smile, the cocky…

  • The Worst Person in the World

    The Worst Person in the World

    ★★★★½

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

    Joachim Trier's The Worst Person in the World is a relatable, poignant, and effortlessly sumptuous tale of confusion, of not knowing your place in this world, not knowing the bridge that closes the gap between adolescence and adulthood, and not knowing whether you will stand by and watch others walk past you. Watching this movie in my 20's, the age where I am still figuring things out, it made quite an impression on me. The sometimes bleak perspective that we…

  • Men

    Men

    ★★★½

    Alex Garland has been a pioneering filmmaker in the science fiction genre for the last two decades. He penned the screenplays for 28 Days Later and Sunshine, and directed two wholly unique genre pieces, the chilling, intelligent, Ex-Machina, and the psychedelic hallucinatory, Annihilation. Garland's films have been philosophical to a fault, questioning the very nature of human existence, our connections to outsiders, and our struggle to coexist with them, man, AI, or zombie. Men was an interesting project for Garland…

  • Stray Dog

    Stray Dog

    ★★★½

    Often regarded by many and even by the man himself, Akira Kurosawa, as his earliest masterpiece, Stray Dog serves as a precursor for his later detective dramas such as High and Low. In fact it bares many similarities to that film, one I regard incredibly highly amongst his filmography. It's a portrayal of post-war Japan, of the scars the country has to bear, the collapse of the modern economy and the structural disarray of society which is revealed to a…

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★

    Sam Raimi gets to flex his muscles in the final 40 minutes, but apart from that, the film is a bit of a drag. Not at all a horror movie as so many have touted, has a scare or two, but otherwise plays out it’s MCU beats in usual fashion. The self-contained nature of these stories are dying down, with how many shoe-horned cameos and other MCU bloat makes it’s way into everything. The movie just can’t be itself, having…

  • 12 Angry Men

    12 Angry Men

    ★★★★★

    Sidney Lumet’s directorial debut is a meticulously crafted work of art, just as enthralling as any action film, immersive and timeless to a fault. The claustrophobia, uneasiness, the weather, all of it adds to the tension and hostility amongst the men, and Lunet uses every inch of this room to provide perspective to each man. There’s really nothing more I can say that hasn’t already been said about this movie. It’s a classic, something I will keep coming back to for the foreseeable future.

  • High Hopes

    High Hopes

    ★★★★★

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

    To many, High Hopes was the first film where Mike Leigh announced himself to the world. It's rough around the edges, lacking the polish and finesse of some of his later works, but that raw, exhausted fury works so well for High Hopes, a loosely structured series of vignettes that combines acerbic social satire and humanity. As is customary, Leigh is understated in his humor, and even when the film is at its funniest, there are always darker undertones. High…

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★

    Whenever a new Marvel movie is manufactured, I always wonder where the line is. The line between being its own movie, of having an identity, or trying its best stuff it full of extended cameos, references, and in-jokes to characters from their own universe. It's gotten to the point where any tertiary character that exists has people excited, gets a round of applause, and is appreciated. It doesn't take much for Marvel fans to be pleased by these products, and…

  • Charade

    Charade

    ★★★★

    Described by pretty much everybody as "the best Hitchcock film not made by Hitchcock", Stanley Donen's Charade is a kitschy, self-aware romp. The opening sequence where a man is thrown off a train, and his eyes staring at the audience as it fades into stunning Technicolor is the perfect way to start this whodunit, but its Donen's lack of self-seriousness that makes this such a fun ride.

    Donen worked on plenty of musicals before making Charade, and you can see…