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  • Black Panther

    Black Panther

    ★★★★

    absolutely great (give or take a couple of incoherent fight scenes and the fakest-looking rhinos since the first Jumanji) because it looks and feels nothing like a Marvel movie, and tells a complex and nuanced political story story that exists in almost defiant isolation from the MCU. Bonus points for the fantastic production design that for once created a world that felt lived in.

    It's likely to be the last MCU movie I'm going to watch in cinemas for a very long while, but damn, what a farewell this was.

  • The Cloverfield Paradox

    The Cloverfield Paradox

    ½

    Was going to give it one star for the nonsensical plot and unintentionally hilarious dialogue ("My arm helped us find the Earth!") , but then I saw that ending and now I'm sorry Letterbox doesn't have a 0 stars rating.

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  • Birdman

    Birdman

    ★★½

    What's most representative of Birdman are not its uniformly excellent performances (with special mention going to Edward Norton's live wire act as a preening, insufferable, yet spectacularly talented stage star). Nor is it Emmanuel Lubezki's extraordinary cinematography, which condenses space and time and makes the film one of the closest visual representations of what it feels like to watch a live performance. Nor is it Iñárritu's irritating, pretentious use of magical realism.

    No, the most representative scene in all of…

  • Aferim!

    Aferim!

    ★★★★½

    Aferim! reminds me most of Hard to Be a God: to be sure, it's cleaner and funnier, and its sumptuous black and white photography and splendid landscapes also make it prettier to watch. But underneath all these lays, just as in German's film, a terrible bleakness. Aferim! may well be the most important movie made in Romania since the New Wave kicked off in 2001 with The Stuff and the Dough.

    There's a curious lack of political or social critique…