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SilentDawn has written 112 reviews for films rated ★★★ .

  • Gemini Man

    Gemini Man

    ★★★

    56

    Too bad this gets caught in the tangles of its own writing, which is often unbearable, because a majority of Gemini Man is stellar. Ang Lee's steady eye and unwavering commitment to defined, clear-cut action set-pieces results in a balletic experience. I was often moved by this goofy, stupid action vehicle that would've made bank in 1996. Alas, it resorts to being another curio in Lee's recent work simply by falling into various traps it sets up for itself. Wish I could've seen it in 48 FPS.

  • The Stuff

    The Stuff

    ★★★

    59

    I love how the premise of this movie is entirely based around a dude who saw a goopy, bubbling substance on the ground and said, "I'm going to eat this."

  • Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street

    Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street

    ★★★

    58

    A fascinating portrait of an actor cast away from Hollywood and society in the midst of closeted sexuality and the AIDS crisis. What's most interesting is how it explores Mark Patton's return to horror conventions and the community spotlight not simply as an honest portrayal of easy money, but a reclaiming of the film's text away from those who denied its gay themes. Patton's confrontation with the writer who stated that the film was designed for 'homophobia' and not…

  • Honeymoon

    Honeymoon

    ★★★

    57

    Tense and messy. The gradual breakdown of a honeymoon dynamic via the presence of otherworldly energy. Nasty fun.

  • Maniac

    Maniac

    ★★★

    55

    Wild early exploitation film posing as an educational work on mental illness. Truly audacious and uncomfortable.

  • Long Shot

    Long Shot

    ★★★

    57

    Weirdly centrist in a way I can't quite grasp - basically a movie about compromise relating back to both romance and politics? I guess? It's also a Seth Rogen movie so it has a montage where he and Charlize Theron get high and a couple scenes where he falls and should be dead but isn't. Fun but a mess.

  • Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly

    Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly

    ★★★

    58

    This is weirdly disingenuous; a victory lap for an artist that, if you're watching this, you probably already know about. His concerts are truly a spectacle but there's no point in watching this to get the experience because it's impossible to understand unless you're there. The constant cutaways to VHS footage of young Jacques is cute but it doesn't mesh well with the modern footage. Scenes of Travis always looking distracted and tired do convey a disconnect between the…

  • The Perfection

    The Perfection

    ★★★

    51

    Riffs off of nastier films with more wit and bite, but still offers some slimy thrills.

  • Wine Country

    Wine Country

    ★★★

    52

    It's strange to think of this movie as something to tear apart, ravenously stripping away its virtues in order to lay bare its privilege, but it seems that many male viewers don't want to acknowledge that Wine Country is a perfectly adequate endeavor by Amy Poehler, at times quite lame and at other moments very affecting. Its rich, white, often uncomfortable limited perspective, especially in a scene that seems to unfairly attack millennials and gen-Z for their choice in…

  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    57

    Bong Joon-ho's long con. Parasite is representative of both his style and his limitations. What a stellar first act, which moves vertically between semi-basement homes and high-class spaces, tracking the financial gain and life-changing upward trajectory of one family and, most damning, the rich stasis of the other. Never has the visual repetition of a rich businessman trudging home after a loooooong day at work (so sad) been so vicious. Joon-ho's framing allows for the class divide to showcase…

  • Yesterday

    Yesterday

    ★★★

    55

    Lily James is a bright light in our film industry, and I almost wish this was either a total romcom akin to Richard Curtis' early work or that it dropped the subplot all together. Regardless, it's a total mess. But when Lily James smiles, I smile.

  • Mary Poppins Returns

    Mary Poppins Returns

    ★★★

    52

    This movie has a few problems, the least of which is Meryl Streep stopping the pacing and narrative propulsion dead in its tracks for ten minutes so that she can act silly and the cast can sing a garbage throwaway track. It doesn't help that Rob Marshall is a master of adequate coverage but none in the way of actually directing something with style. The potential is off-the-charts and he choreographs and stages it all with a yawn. Imagine…