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  • Honey Boy

    Honey Boy

    ★★★

    I commend Noah Jupe, Shia LaBeouf, and Lucas Hedges for showing off their acting chops and Shia’s decision to use his own personal history as the film’s foundation, but it also feels amateur in some areas, and I wish there was more than a series of unrelated segments and a resolution that feels unearned as a result of its half-baked story that doesn’t explore much of its protagonist’s trauma or recovery.

  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    ★★★★★

    Notwithstanding its magnificent artistry and impressive lead performance, those looking for a thematically coherent and realistic story will be disappointed, but those looking for a beautifully unsettling phantasmagoria of Swedish folklore, emotional trauma, and toxic relationships in an idyllic, picturesque setting to contrast with its macabre pagan cult plot will find much to enjoy in Ari Aster’s lyrical and strangely cathartic horror breakup movie.

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  • Prisoners

    Prisoners

    ★★★★★

    With a bleak atmosphere, an emotional story, and a remarkably detailed script, Prisoners can be extremely distressing to watch, but it reaches the level of perfection with the help of a rigorous direction that invests in a simmering tension; a glorious cinematography; a haunting score that can be both foreboding and despairing; and amazing performances from its cast.

  • Knives Out

    Knives Out

    ★★★★½

    Much more rewarding on second viewing. The attention to detail is superb. The dialogue is full of double meanings. Complementing it is the delicate cinematography that also reveals subtle details about the characters’ motivations and the plot. The film can be a bit on the nose at times, draw too much attention to itself, and be too much to take in, but aside from that, it is a perfectly constructed and original take on the murder mystery with interesting characters, a nice production design, an amusingly quirky sense of humor, and a smartly woven commentary on class warfare.