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  • Alien: Covenant

    Alien: Covenant

    ★★

    I've never been so problematically gay-baited by a slasher flick in my life, certainly not one as banally high falutin' as Sir Ridley's latest.

  • 4 Days in France

    4 Days in France

    ★★★½

    I have nothing bad to say about this movie aside from the fact that it fails to deliver on some kind of epiphanous moment set to Kyle Minogue, which is almost seemingly promised by a conversation the main character has with the singer who he picks up at one point in order to take to a performance at a retirement home.

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  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★½

    "Exhilarating," "astounding," and "electrifying" reads the quotes on the film's poster, from agents of our culture of mean. Okay, I'll give it "electrifying." Miles Teller is a mean drummer, or maybe it's the jazzy cutting that tricks one into thinking so, but the implausible scenario is pretty low-down in how it tries to milk suspense from an unbridled spectacle of human cruelty. Not even sure Damien Chazelle believes his paltry justification for J.K. Simmons's worse-than-Gordon-Ramsay shtick. Maybe someone needs to throw a director's chair at his head so we can see if he's capable of drumming up a "Casablanca."

  • Timbuktu

    Timbuktu

    ★★★★

    Do not miss this great film when it comes to a theater at a major metropolis near you at the end of the month. It has its imperfections, but they pale in significance to its elegiac sense of will. After what happened yesterday in Paris, and especially for those confused about the ties between Islam and terrorism or operating under the mistaken belief that Charlie Hebdo's provocations weren't necessary, the film's searing, lucid depiction of innocents rightfully, righteously fighting fundamentalism from within will grip you in horrified empathy.