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  • Risky Drinking

    Risky Drinking

    ★★★

    n.b. Tom Cruise is not in this movie.

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    ★★★½

    I have an idea for some exercises Voldemort could do to improve his upper body strength. Yes, he's got a great, evil look, but I'm thinking a "Buff Evil" aesthetic might be more his speed.

  • Brittany Runs a Marathon

    Brittany Runs a Marathon

    ★★★½

    BRITTANY has a great heart and hits its comic and inspirational moments with aplomb. While the film's supporting characters often feel uni-dimensional and a few of its thematic ambitions feel undeveloped, these elements matter less for the total effect of the movie. Plus, Jillian Bell's lead performance is impressive, from the superficial elements of the way she looks to the foundational elements of the way she builds Brittany's emotional life, both her biting snark and bleeding sincerity.

  • Jawline

    Jawline

    ★★★

    JAWLINE captures an interesting psychological phenomenon in a few bravura tonal sequences of expressively shot teen fans who look toward camera in gentle slow-mo, their desires and desperation seeming to pour forth in a manner that's captured tastefully and respectfully. I wish the film provided more explicit insight into its heartthrob pretty boy subjects, especially Austyn Tester, the star of the film.

  • Blinded by the Light

    Blinded by the Light

    ★★½

    A chilling portrait of the ways young people can be seduced into various cults with minimal effort and maximal denim. But even as the Boss casts a long, terrifying shadow, the crazed fervor of his followers still pales in comparison to asshole racists. Now let's dance in Luton.

  • Luce

    Luce

    ★★★

    To me, LUCE explores a lot of interesting intersectional thought experiments in an intermittently engaging way, but it never quite escapes a feeling of high artificiality - the sensation that authorial voices are pushing the plot, having their characters speechify, and in general manipulate things in a way that's maybe unintentionally distancing.

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    ★★★½

    I don’t mean to be controversial, and I’m not trying to spoil anything, but f**k Voldemort. Seriously, that guy can go f**k himself.

  • Furious 7

    Furious 7

    ★★★½

    The action scene in the Caucasus Mountains is my favorite in the series thus far. And, c'mon, if you're not crying for CGI Paul Walker at the end of the film, then all this Fastness, this Furiousness, the family, and the brotherhood... Well, it's all been for naught.

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    ★★★★

    My only disappointment was learning that CHILDREN OF MEN and ROMA are both thinly veiled rip-offs of the Wizarding World. Bravo, Mr. Cuarón. And shame on you, Mr. Cuarón.

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    ★★★½

    Of course. Phoenix tears have healing properties!

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    ★★★★

    HP1 sets the aesthetic which is largely associated with the series to this day. I think a little Chris Columbus corniness was actually beneficial in starting Mr. Potter & Co.'s foray into the cinematic realm. The schmaltz and the heart (the latter of which is of course baked into J.K. Rowling's source material) are as important as the mythology and adventure in the Wizarding World.

  • Widows

    Widows

    ★★½

    I feel as if WIDOWS is half a very good movie and half a very bad movie, often within the same scene. But I've learned to never trust my feelings, lest they result in some strange, pseudo-comic plot twists in my life.