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  • Annihilation

    Annihilation

    ★★½

    For the first third or so this is ominous and self-serious in the tradition characteristic of all cerebral sci-fi movies, which permits a precariously narrow margin of error. So when a line of dialogue is delivered amusingly, or the appearance of a CGI creature isn’t convincingly material enough, the laughter that follows is concentrated because it’s been stifled for the time leading up to it—because up until this moment you don’t know if it’s going to fall on the side…

  • The Dead Don't Die

    The Dead Don't Die

    ★½

    Jim Jarmusch’s genre films (with one major exception) are rather vacuous exercises, probably because “A Jim Jarmusch Film” is in itself a genre, one defined by sardonic observation more than plot. So the resulting combination of sensibilities, obnoxiously on display here, is a film that never satisfactorily coheres into anything. One one hand you’ve got a genre exercise without any new approach to the storied material, and on the other a bunch of reliable actors going through the motions without…