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  • Sorry to Bother You

    Sorry to Bother You

    ★★

    What a mess. I’m sympathetic to what Sorry to Bother You has to say about the intersection of capitalism, exploitation, and racism, but all of its statements, like all of its jokes, are blared from a megaphone and continue long after their point is made. Its amateur-hour vibe is far more tedious than charming, its gonzo satire is self-conscious, and its progressive politics are undercut by its lone female character functioning primarily as a trophy.

  • The Secret of Kells

    The Secret of Kells

    ★★★

    The underlying narrative seems sound, but the mythology driving it is vague and the stakes aren’t really made clear. It’s a short movie but I had to watch it in two sittings because I was getting restless. Visually, however, The Secret of the Kells is an unparalleled stunner, worthy of its namesake.

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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…