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  • Marriage Story

    Marriage Story

    ★★★★★

    Far and away Noah Baumbach’s best work since his touching, funny and melancholic divorce drama The Squid and The Whale from over a decade ago. The hype and award nominations surrounding Johansson and Driver’s performances are well deserved— all of their critical praise is an understatement. The cinematography instantly reminded me of Squid and The Whale’s except the harsher film grain has been slightly cleaned up a bit to fit its modern setting and the film’s mix of New York City’s grittiness and the flash and artificial beauty of Los Angeles’ wealthy neighborhoods and lifestyles. Heartbreaking and beautiful— I can’t wait to watch it again.

  • Knives Out

    Knives Out

    ★★★½

    Entertaining with surprisingly gorgeous set design and cinematography— Daniel Craig stole the whole film and it has enough twists and turns to excite throughout, although the first 20 to 30 minutes drag a bit, taking a little too much time to introduce the characters. There’s enough entertainment to make it worth the watch, but it’s definitely no Brick.

  • American Honey

    American Honey

    ★★★★

    You can feel all of the immense passion and love that was put into this picture coming straight out of the screen and directly hitting your soul. Very, very solid indie with a great effort from Sasha Lane, some beautiful camera work, and compelling authenticity all the way through. At a lengthy 2 hours and 43 minutes, it manages to go by in a breeze thanks to an unconventional story filled with unpredictable characters, and a wild sense of chaotic spontaneity throughout. American Honey is a must-see gem of independent American cinema.

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★★½

    Oh, The Irishman. After long, long waits for teaser after teaser, it’s finally here. And man, is it something.

    Ten seconds into the opening steadicam shot of the film, you hear the music, and you can already feel what you’re about to get yourself into. A classic Scorsese mob piece. And you’d be right— albeit this time around, a darker and more dramatic one. Which is exactly what I was hoping for.

    Let’s get the very few negatives that there…

  • Enemy

    Enemy

    ★★★

    A little more respectable after a second watch, but still not really for me. The idea is very fascinating but it felt clumsy in its overall presentation and execution. Solid filmmaking from a technical standpoint and Gyllenhaal is outstanding, but it’s still not exactly what I was looking for. Too many important things left unexplained, to a fault— I ended up feeling like I just watched a movie loaded with plot holes. Of course, Enemy is a thinking man’s film,…

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    Review and score coming after second viewing. But this blew me away and was exactly what I wanted it to be.


    Full review and score here: boxd.it/T2cpV

  • The Lobster

    The Lobster

    ★★★★

    Absurd, hilarious, unsettling, and violent— With The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos has created his own genre, and it’s worth watching more than once. In fact it’s vital you do. It’s peculiarities are charming and frequently present, and those in combination with the film’s strong attention to detail make for something fascinating and entertaining to watch repeatedly, down to the last second of its two hour runtime.

  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer

    The Killing of a Sacred Deer

    ★★★

    The weakest piece out of Yorgos’ overall impressive filmography. It has his trademarks— it was dry, surreal, otherworldly and above all else unsettling, but I wasn’t a fan of the characters. None of them had an ultimately satisfying arc, making the film itself very hard to like. It had an interesting score and his typically gorgeous camerawork and creative style were all there, but those are the only qualities about this piece that I found truly impressive. It’s not terrible…

  • Climax

    Climax

    ★★★½

    It left me feeling like I just wandered through a surreal, hyper-sexualized Halloween haunted house, with all of the lights on, on terrible, horrifying drugs, sweating my ass off.

    It was great. 

    Really though, it’s one of Gaspar Noe’s best films and one of his most accessible. I can’t tell you when I’ll want to watch it again, I have no idea, but it deserves credit for simply being what it is. And in my opinion, my first paragraph describes…

  • The End of the Tour

    The End of the Tour

    ★★★★

    Intricate, personal, and surprisingly profound in all the right ways— you come out of this film feeling as if you’ve grown up with these two men. A wonderfully executed dialogue and performance driven piece, and one that rewards with multiple viewings.

  • The Peanut Butter Falcon

    The Peanut Butter Falcon

    ★★★★

    Equal parts humorous and genuinely sweet— a rare indie gem that stands out among the rest thanks to real, honest performances packed into an uplifting portrayal of celebrating passion and humanity through hardship. Impossible not to like.

  • The Squid and the Whale

    The Squid and the Whale

    ★★★★★

    Still one of my favorites of Baumbach’s— melancholy and subtle in the most powerful way. Jeff Daniels especially is terrific but so is everyone else— Laura Linney offers some of her best work, and this being early Eisenberg, you’re watching his talent newly open up on-screen and I think it’s inspiring to watch. Great original score, great setting and production design, every frame has grit and authenticity appropriate for not only its setting and time period but also its subject…