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  • Aquaman

    Aquaman

    One gets the feeling that James Wan saw this as a chance to indulge every event-movie fantasy he's ever had as a director: there's a lot of FLASH GORDON in here as well as bits of Indiana Jones movies, THOR, STAR WARS movies, Ray Harryhausen flicks, etc. The script has a schizoid tone that reflects the usual studio exec handiwork plus clunky structuring, reams of expository dialogue, lots of goofball one-liners, etc. Performances are wildly variable as well: Kidman's the…

  • Escape Room

    Escape Room

    For the first 60% of its running time, this is surprisingly good for a genre flick in the January dumping ground: economical storytelling in the setup, better than average dialogue and performances and three effective, well-calibrated setpieces. Unfortunately, the film starts to go south in the bottom half of the second act as the reveal of the motivation behind the sinister game spirals in directions that fizzle out, the heroes start to act in odd ways to abet the now-erratic…

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  • mother!

    mother!

    The multiplex filmgoing event of the year for me: it was a rare thrill to see something this wild, willfully weird and confrontational in a general audience setting at the local mall. Aronofsky uses all the tools of modern Hollywood filmmaking and the language of horror cinema to assault the audience and he does so with a sure, steady hand from start to finish. Maybe gets a bit literal with his metaphors at the very end but his work is…

  • Vice

    Vice

    McKay and company try to do everything at once here - it often feels like three or four different movies edited into one big supercut - and the result never coalesces into the progressive dissection of modern Republican politics that it longs to be. Bale, Carrell and Rockwell are all fantastic and when the film focuses on the Dubya White House era, it's often compelling. However, you also have to wade through choppy story structure, violent shifts in tone, unbearably…