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  • Sea of Love

    Sea of Love

    ★★★

    The murder mystery is ludicrous and often done better on LAW AND ORDER every other week, but this movie is elevated by a few key touches. First, anything with an authentic 80s New York scumminess wins points with me. Second, Ellen Barkin exudes sex appeal as naturally as Marilyn Monroe did in SOME LIKE IT HOT (I'm standing by this so don't bother). But ultimately, it's the vulnerable, wounded performance by Al Pacino as someone who's achieved everything he set out and wonders, "now what?" It's a layered, interesting performance that helps gloss over the overt silliness of the plot.

  • The Sixth Sense

    The Sixth Sense

    ★★★★

    Maybe I'm weird, but I always thought this movie should have ended in the car with Haley Joel Osment telling Toni Collette his secret. It's the emotional climax of the movie and and it's amazing. Not just because Osment and particularly Collette are incredible but because it's ultimately what the movie was about in the first place. I know the Bruce Willis-ghost reveal probably added about $200 million to the coffers of Disney so they could give fuck-all about what…

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  • Shutter Island

    Shutter Island

    ★★★

    Like his CAPE FEAR, Martin Scorsese's SHUTTER ISLAND is just an excuse for him to flex some pulp muscles. On the basis of that (and really, there's not a helluva lot else), his adaptation of the umpteenth entry in author Dennis Lehane's dead kids oeuvre is quite masterful. It looks fantastic and the cast is way overqualified for this type of stuff. However, when it tries to be meaningful is meanders and really shows it's two-and-quarter hour running time. But still, it's a pretty entertaining watch with a haunting final line from DiCaprio.

  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

    ★★

    Because the bar for success was set so low with JURASSIC WORLD, I guess it's a minor achievement that the follow up is slightly better. But, to be fair, its "success" has nothing to do with competent filmmaking. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to think of a stupider, more inept summer blockbuster not called TRANSFORMERS. And yet, this might also be the most interesting terrible movie I've ever seen. Since the story and effects seem to be an afterthought,…