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  • Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion

    Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion

    ★★½

    Mostly irredeemably sadistic trash, but its periodic flashes of artfulness—and Meiko Kaji’s withering glare—are enough to recommend it.

  • The Haunting of Hill House

    The Haunting of Hill House

    ★★★

    Has its moments (including what is possibly the highest quality jump scare of this decade), but taken as a whole it’s overwritten, too long, too polished, and too corny.

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  • The Florida Project

    The Florida Project

    ★★★★½

    When I see a new film of almost universal acclaim, sometimes I go out of my way to read the negative reviews to get a little distance from the zeitgeist. In the case of The Florida Project’s negative reviews, I saw a few patterns:

    • the expected backlash against the critical consensus
    • the frustration of viewers who prefer more traditional narratives
    • locals objecting to the portrayal of Florida
    • accusations of poverty porn

    One flavor of that last…

  • The Others

    The Others

    ★★

    Remember when Nirvana exploded and every major label scrambled to sign any band they could find that was even remotely similar? Well, if The Sixth Sense is Nirvana (and given how quickly M Night Shyamalan squandered whatever goodwill his breakout hit engendered, I hesitate to draw the comparison), then The Others is Bush.

    The themes, tone, essential plot points, and even the color palette are all lifted directly. To its credit, this is not immediately apparent, and the way the…