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SilentDawn has written 226 reviews for films during 2018.

  • The Night Comes for Us

    The Night Comes for Us

    ★★★★½

    84

    Lately, the string of wall-to-wall Indonesian action extravaganzas have left me wanting, or maybe the better phrase would be overstuffing my appetite. By the time the inevitable, and usually predictable, story beats are set into motion, I'm calling uncle on the action, which grows tiring even if it's incredibly impressive on its own terms. A lot of them make for great supercuts on YouTube, but not much else.

    This one, on the other hand, goes from jaw-dropping to exhausting…

  • Vice

    Vice

    ★★★½

    67

    Countless problems: from the obvious symbols and allegorical textures to the lack of focus on its satirical elements, Vice doesn't do a whole lot right, but it jumbles it all around in a stew that is enticing enough to recommend. Adam McKay, even if the small components aren't up to par, just can't make a completely unengaging movie. His 'throw it at the wall and see what sticks' method works here, although not as well as it should've. Highlights…

  • The Mule

    The Mule

    ★½

    25

    Don't really know where to begin with The Mule other than to say that it does exactly what it's supposed to do. I'm just not buying it. The elderly white crowd, who chuckled and nodded in agreement at 88-year-old Clint Eastwood's asides on *the internet* and usage of terms such as "negro" and "dyke", got what they wanted out of it, even if Eastwood is always interested in complicating matters by posing half-assed self-reflexity. For instance, I've never seen…

  • The Matrix

    The Matrix

    ★★★★★

    100

    Simulacra and Simulation - a film by and for those who are lost in the hivemind of gender and culture, a computerized entity of formless formalism tasked with control and silence. The Wachowski sisters, in their understanding of ostracization, identity, and eventual liberation, find beauty via expression, whether through action or the lack of it. What matters is that the decision is theirs. You can't be The One until you already are, with the realization that you always have…

  • Holmes & Watson

    Holmes & Watson

    ★★½

    45

    If Brennan Huff and Dale Doback made a movie, it would play and look exactly like this.

  • First Man

    First Man

    ★★★★½

    88

    Never thought a film about early space travel, in all its rattling extremities and explosive, existential dangers, could be so gentle about every element of its making. From the driving force of Neil Armstrong's grief, Damien Chazelle orchestrates a grand opera that alternates between shaking, overwhelming process and the serenity of the end-goal. Chazelle paints abstract horrors out of spacecraft interiors and the reality relentlessly in motion beyond, and in doing so, illuminates the struggle of the present. Armstrong's…

  • Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas

    Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas

    ★★★★

    A Christmas staple.

    Happy holidays, all!

  • The Christmas Chronicles

    The Christmas Chronicles

    ★★★½

    65

    The sexiest Santa since Paul Giamatti in Fred Claus.

  • The Predator

    The Predator

    ½

    5

    Shane Black: "Hey, Fred!"

    Fred Dekker: *finishes a line of coke*

    F: "What's up, Shane?"

    S: "I got a great idea for a movie."

    F: "What's that?"

    S: "How about a Predator reboot, only the entire tone is based off of the initial helicopter ride from the first film, all while ignoring every other aspect that made the original so great?"

    F: *does another line of coke*

    F: "Sold."

    S: "And what if we use autism as a crutch…

  • The Favourite

    The Favourite

    ★★★½

    69

    Such a slinky, stubborn, lavish romp that its inevitable turn into tragedy and melancholy, as sharp and anticipated as it is, is still disappointing, probably because I wanted more of that first hour, forever and ever. Sadly subtle on the kink, but it's the thought that counts. Besides that, Lanthimos takes advantage of every nook and cranny of the locations, and the three performances are perfect. Truly perfect. Extra half-star for those rabbits. They owned the castle.

  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★

    33

    So many choices are the wrong choices in Roma:

    If this is about Cleo, why is the spectator almost entirely left in the dark as to her existence beyond the physical? There is no emphasis of her connection to the family except in her own internal turmoil and misery and how the family exists without her, which Alfonso Cuarón blankets in the status of the higher class and their eventual generosity. Yuck.

    If this is to be a film…

  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

    ★★★★½

    86

    Don't think I've ever 180-ed so far on a movie during its run-time, which essentially begins as a risible true friendship story and ends as a series of separate yet emotionally coherent stories around death, disconnected parental figures, culture, and time's impermanence. I was sobbing before I knew it.