• Lightyear

    Lightyear

    ★★★½

    "To infinity…"

    Entertaining if at times underwhelming, Lightyear presents a zappy Space Ranger adventure with enough cosmic thrills to scratch your summer sci-fi itch. There’s an unmistakable confidence to the film’s brisk presentation that fuels the drama and fun of this mission, although some fast and loose elements muddle a few of the story's mechanics and even certain fundamentals behind the premise itself. But the titular starman shines in a hero-out-of-time (literally) trek through the stars strengthened by a stellar…

  • Mad God

    Mad God

    ★★★★★

    A Journey Beyond Your Wildest Nightmares

    Of the layers of meaning and cruelty fundamental to Tippett’s grand experimental portrait—a canvas bursting with creatively unparalleled dread where one's greatest fears come to feast—it’s his understanding of our despairing reality and the coming darkness that frightens above all else. The worlds of Mad God are agonizing contradictions of supreme suffering, each at once operative and organized yet completely unsustainable and out of order. But their collapse is never certain, or foreseeable (what…

  • Jurassic World Dominion

    Jurassic World Dominion

    ★½

    "The Doomsday Clock might be about out of time. But as they say, 'It’s always darkest just before eternal nothingness.'"

    Functionally inept. Trevorrow mistakes his Frankenstein approach as equivalent to the wondrous high-concept origins of the franchise, taking superficial ambitions and running them completely aground with a hollow, incapable screenplay powered by cheap conveniences, absent characterization, and utterly vapid nostalgia bait. Jurassic World: Dominion, the so-called "Epic Conclusion of the the Jurassic Era," is a disheartening journey into creative desolation.…

  • Crimes of the Future

    Crimes of the Future

    ★★★★½

    "We’ve all felt that the body was empty. Empty of meaning. And we’ve wanted to confirm that, so that we could fill it with meaning."

    The flesh of Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future is anarchic yet artful. Taboo, even frightening, but never depraved, feared only by the systems telling us that this work, this body, is immoral. The filmmaker’s vision brims with significance, searing the mind with prescient suspicions and grim truths, each anchored by an unflinching sincerity for both…

  • Morbius

    Morbius

    "Oh, I love this movie. Is this the part where the mysterious guy with the hoodie comes in and kicks everybody’s asses? I love that part."

    Genuinely can’t stop myself from forgetting that Hopper and I watched this. It’s been a whole week, for God’s sake. Admittedly, we couldn’t even remember watching the film an hour after the end credits rolled. That should tell you everything.

    What an absolute mess. Rare is a redemptive quality on any level of this…

  • Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★★★★

    "The end is inevitable, Maverick. Your kind is headed for extinction."

    Approaches its own legacy, both narratively and within the landscape of Hollywood filmmaking, with such utterly palpable care and craft that there’s no doubt ranking it among the greatest sequels out there. Top Gun: Maverick takes itself completely beyond the limit, pushing the drama and stakes well past its iconic 1986 predecessor while preserving the spirted showmanship of Tony Scott’s entertainingly stylized original hit. White-knuckle set pieces executed to…

  • Men

    Men

    ★★★

    "What are you?"

    Echoes of the past and present collide with merciless horror—domestic, psychological, and folkloric—in Men, Alex Garland’s feverish commentary that lands with varying effect. There’s little doubt in the craft on display. Garland and cinematographer Rob Hardy deliver the meticulous imagery of their prior collaborations as editor Jake Roberts holds a confident grip on the story’s tension, all of which are underscored by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow’s ghostly orchestrations. On a performative level, the tight cast boasts…

  • Child 44

    Child 44

    ★★

    "There is no murder in paradise."

    Such a chore. Fails to valuably communicate the magnitude of its overarching political circumstances while also lacking any true sense of effective suspense behind the central murder mystery. There’s no questioning the production value on screen. This is a handsomely mounted effort, the set decoration and wardrobe each lending an aesthetic authenticity to the film. The dramatic abilities of the cast are equally commendable with Tom Hardy and Noomi Repace in strong form while…

  • The Evil Dead

    The Evil Dead

    ★★★★

    "Soon all of you will be like me. And then who will lock you up in a cellar?"

    A seminal piece of horror filmmaking as well as a powerhouse showcase for Raimi where exhausting production conditions were a playground for creative madness, the same madness that would later spawn one of the most creatively exhilarating sequels of all time. The Evil Dead is unquestionably style over substance. Despite the best efforts of the relatively strong cast and considerable doses of…

  • Peggy Sue Got Married

    Peggy Sue Got Married

    ★★★

    "What’s the meaning of this, Peggy Sue?"

    There’s a flawed brilliance to Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married, a degree of engrossing artistic weirdness the defines his supremely uncanny take on the time-bending nostalgia fantasy. Even with its faults so evident—most of which stem from lackadaisical emotional threads between the present and past underscored by an already bewildering dramatic tone—the atmosphere throughout remains the intoxicating, if occasionally disquieting, lynch pin that the production survives by. It’s a stirring concoction of surreal…

  • Ambulance

    Ambulance

    ★★★

    "It’s over, Danny! We don’t get to walk off into the sunset, Danny! We fucked up! We fucked up! We fucked up!"

    Bay orchestrates an action maximalism crash course around the simple framework of Ambulance’s wholly clichéd blood and thunder, achieving a sense of muddled high-octane tension that defines what is evidently the director's best effort in years. Sure, the film struggles during its second act where repeatedly similar beats bloat an already noticeable runtime while pivotal themes begging for…

  • The Northman

    The Northman

    ★★★★½

    "Hear me Odin, All-Father of the gods. Summon the shadows of ages past, when the thread-spinning Norns ruled the Fates of man. Hear of a prince’s vengeance quenched at the fiery gates of Hel. A prince destined for Valholl. Hear me."

    One of the great pleasures—and maybe the true achievement—of any Robert Eggers film is their ability to successfully perform on multiple levels, each of which can be enjoyed within their individual layers or all together across the totality of…