• Top Gun

    Top Gun

    ★★½

    54

    This is a cult classic that I can’t fully get behind. It’s written by the same crew that wrote the sequel to “Anaconda” and “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.” As a result, the story is cliche, predictable, has unconvincing character relations and thin characters in general. The chemistry between Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis might not be terrible but it’s never more than just okay. And the reason they get together in the first place is the generic…

  • Writing with Fire

    Writing with Fire

    ★★★★

    80 

    Co-directors Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas’s debut feature length documentary was nominated for Best Documentary at the 94th Academy Awards. It follows the only newspaper in India ran entirely by Dalit women, showing them report on various topical issues in India. This was the documentary that I believe was the least predicted to get the nomination of the five but is one of the most deserving for it. The angle (a concept interestingly explained to one of the newer…

  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers

    Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers

    ★★★½

    65

    The Lonely Island and John Mulaney come together for this meta comedy loose adaptation of the Chip and Dale characters that many millennials grew up loving. I never watched the show and know very little about the characters. However, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers shocks in its ability to deliver a pleasant balance of humor for the entire family to enjoy, whether you know the characters or not. It draws obvious comparisons to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and I’d…

  • Firestarter

    Firestarter

    ★½

    34

    If there’s one thing to ‘praise’ about the Firestarter franchise, it’s that both movies and the miniseries roughly balance out on a critical scale to being equally as mediocre. The 1984 original film is too long and takes itself way too seriously but also has a good performance from George C. Scott and decent practical effects. The miniseries feels unnecessarily long, has a poor lead actress but also has the incredible Malcolm McDowell in it. And this remake of…

  • Men

    Men

    ★★★½

    74

    I was eagerly anticipating Alex Garland’s Men after having grown up loving “The Beach” (which is based on Garland’s novel) and recently loving “Annihilation.” From a visual and technical standpoint, “Men” is an even greater achievement than Annihilation. It’s gorgeously shot on location in the countryside of the UK, has sound design that’s on par with the quality of big blockbusters and is edited in a way that brings considerably chilling discomfort. It also has two strong performances to…

  • Around the World in 80 Days

    Around the World in 80 Days

    ★★

    40 (dubbed)

    It’s a low iq, low budget animal animated movie adapting Jules Verne’s novel, Around the World in Eighty Days. I will say that it’s a tad more entertaining than I expected and, whether it’s because my humor is so broken or not, a couple scenes had me ironically laughing. A rap intro for the frog on a surfboard and heavy metal played for a group of scorpion bikers is perfect meme material. The humor obviously generally sucks though…

  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2

    Sonic the Hedgehog 2

    ★★★

    60

    I found Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) to be overburdened with the expository requirement of Sonic getting settled in with a forgettable set of human characters. His origin story was also uninspired in that movie and, frankly, it wasn’t as funny or engaging as it should’ve been. Jeff Fowler’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a vast improvement. It is a genuinely funny comedy (although I wonder how much is me ironically laughing), mostly understands the importance of pushing the unnecessary…

  • Moon Knight

    Moon Knight

    ★★★★

    75

    Jeremy Slater’s Moon Knight is the rare case where a miniseries feels like a vessel for an actor to flex his performing capabilities, portraying two characters at once, without being at the expense of the narrative. Extended moments of dialogue with Oscar Isaac speaking to his other persona (himself) never feel dull as Isaac’s range is astonishing. Not only does he nail the English accent, he also successfully characterizes Steven with a completely different personality than Marc. It’s also…

  • The Northman

    The Northman

    ★★★★½

    90

    A masterfully shot revenge story that combines the visceral action of a big budget blockbuster with the vivid intricacies of an art house feature. I can acknowledge “thin characters” as being a reasonable criticism to have against its quality but I can also almost look completely past that with how much I simply adore this film. 

    Full Review

    Focus Features Films Ranked

    Robert Eggers Films Ranked

    Anya Taylor-Joy Films Ranked

    Willem Dafoe Films Ranked

    2022 Films Ranked

  • Memory

    Memory

    ★★

    40

    This a remake of the obscure (but excellent) The Memory of a Killer (2003), which is based on a Belgian novel by Jef Geeraerts. As expected, this is another bland action film for Liam Neeson’s lineup of basic action movies. It had so much potential with an intriguing source material but it never lives up to it with poor acting, underutilized characters, terrible sound mixing, generic action sequences and an overlong runtime. It’s devoid of nearly all of the…

  • The Memory of a Killer

    The Memory of a Killer

    ★★★★

    75

    The Memory of a Killer is an under-appreciated gem. It’s a Belgian action thriller about a retired assassin who becomes a target after refusing to kill a young girl. It’s an adaptation of a Jef Geeraerts novel and recently had a remake released with Liam Neeson. For all of the hate I’ve seen that remake get, that should be all the more encouragement to want to seek this out. It’s unfortunately only available on physical media (for the U.S.…

  • Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

    Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

    ★★★

    55

    The Secrets of Dumbledore is another merely average installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise that I do not detest like many others seem to. But I also don’t love it by any means. Even with me merely thinking this franchise is bland rather than terrible, I still can’t overlook how wasteful and pointless it is. So little has been accomplished with such an expensive lineup of films that follow some of the most hyped film adaptations ever made. J.K.…