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  • The Tale

    The Tale

    ★★★★½

    The Tale is one of the year's most powerful movies. Lauren Dern and Isabelle Nélisse give truly gripping performances. Jason Ritter and Elizabeth Debicki are particularly haunting throughout the film.

    But I want to single out writer/director Jennifer Fox. The Tale is the true story of sexual abuse that Fox went through when she was 13 and how she recovered the truth from her memories. The decision to make this movie, using her own name in the film and her…

  • Green Book

    Green Book

    ★★

    Eh. I'm sure Green Book works fine with audiences looking for a hokey, feel-good depiction of friendship overcoming racism in the deep south in 1962. There's no disputing that it's an important subject and the story of Tony Lip and Don Shirley is an interesting enough one. But the movie was just too shmaltsy and disjointed for me to get anything out of it.

    I took issue with the fact that Tony Lip was the lead character and that the…

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  • Love, Simon

    Love, Simon

    ★★★★

    Love, Simon reminded me a lot of 2010's Easy A. So much so, that by the end of the movie I started affectionately thinking of it as Easy Gay. I mean that as a high compliment because what Easy A got so right about the teen coming of age genre is exactly what Love, Simon excels at. Both movies are very witty, romantic, and treat teenage/high school culture in a way that isn't melodramatic.

    How Love, Simon separates itself from…

  • Cheap Thrills

    Cheap Thrills

    ★★★½

    I really liked the energy of Cheap Thrills. It's a dark comedy with a pretty sick plot that could have been played up for more drama. But that would have ruined the experience. We get the motivations for the characters to participate in Koechner's character's messed up game and that's really all we need to be strapped into the movie.

    The performances by Pat Healy and Ethan Embry are particularly great as their characters constantly try to one-up the other.…

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  • The Social Network

    The Social Network

    ★★★★

    David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin make an incredible team. Fincher's keen eye to detail and his dark, digital looking color pallette complements Sorkin's signature fast paced dialogue spectacularly well in this story about internet billionaires. But this isn't just the story of Facebook. It's the story of Zuckerberg and what can happen when someone tries to overwrite human emotion with creative outlets.

    To be clear, I've always viewed The Social Network as a highly fictionalized and stylized account of the…

  • Widows

    Widows

    ★★★★

    I really loved Widows. The tension was palpable from several different sides and I loved that the drama wasn't simply confined to the conceit of the movie. The women at the center of the movie are completely out of their element and in over their heads. But it's the drama they're going through while they grieve that makes the movie so compelling to me.

    In particular, Elizabeth Debicki's character arc throughout the movie is so satisfying to me while managing…