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  • Becky

    Becky

    ★★½

    [embargoed, I think]

    rating is a placeholder

  • Zombie Flesh Eaters

    Zombie Flesh Eaters

    ★★

    Surprisingly dull outside of the occasional flecks of brutal gore. The makeup and gore effects are impressive, and there are some neat shots, but the *meat* of the movie - story, plot - are totally boilerplate and whatever.

    There's a decent 15-minute sizzle reel in here somewhere, but it's a no from me.

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  • Icarus

    Icarus

    ★★★★

    What begins as essentially Super Size Me for doping quickly transforms into a genuinely suspenseful examination of the Russian Olympic doping program.

    Equal parts terrifying and fascinating, it's persuasively, damningly told, especially with Russia's FIFA World Cup just around the corner, and benefits from the weirdly likeable presence of doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov.

    One of the better Netflix Originals recently; don't miss it.

  • First They Killed My Father

    First They Killed My Father

    ★★★½

    An impressive step up for Angelina Jolie as a director, this is a harrowing and affecting film, propelled by an INCREDIBLE performance from young actress Sareum Srey Moch and Anthony Dod Mantle's excellent cinematography. Unlike a lot of Netflix Originals, this actually looks like a proper FILM.

    It's held back from being great by a few directorial missteps which perhaps show Jolie's inexperience, using cheesy lightbulb effects during flashbacks/memories which would look more comfortable in a Saw film, some digitally-treated slow-motion and some choppy editing.

    Still, a very respectable effort and a fine prestige addition to Netflix's lineup.