• The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

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

    Seconds: #1/10

    I was expecting for The Lighthouse to be a completely different sort of movie than it ended up it being when I watched it for the first time. I was anticipating something that would essentially be Suspiria at sea, with its protagonist entering into some mysterious new world and being swallowed up by whatever malevolent inhabitant calls it home. The first time I watched it, I got rather lost amidst the incredible accents and general ambiguity of the…

  • Red Post on Escher Street

    Red Post on Escher Street

    ★★★★½

    "Farewell, passersby."

    Red Post on Escher Street is at once grand and intimate. It's a beautiful film that weaves together astounding numbers of characters into an incredibly realized world. It's a movie about not just the wonderful mosaic of individuals that it's bursting at the seams with but also on the unexpected connections between them all.

    Never lingering too long in one place, Red Post hops from character to character with such fluidity that it hardly takes any time getting…

  • One Night in Miami...

    One Night in Miami...

    ★★★★

    Film #1 in my 10³ series

    Very powerful debut feature from Regina King. These four men are perfectly captured here, played beautifully by Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, and Leslie Odom Jr. Each individual personality is fleshed out so well but the electrifying interplay between them is what drives this movie. The way the film set up various pairings and combinations of these men and their conflicting ideologies over the course of the film is brilliant and eye opening. The dialogue is absolutely scorching but still manages to feel incredibly organic. This discourse, set in 1964, is as relevant to our present time as ever.

  • Malcolm & Marie

    Malcolm & Marie

    Beautiful cinematography. Who knew a bowl of mac and cheese in black and white could have such gravitas!?!?!

    John David Washington is great as Malcolm, channeling a kind of blunt, unfiltered power. But it is Zendaya who carries this movie. The gradual evolution she brings to Marie as she unfolds over the course of the movie is incredible to see. Emotionally, the film feels a little winding, oscillating between peaks and valleys rather than focusing itself around a single gradual…

  • Searchers

    Searchers

    ★★★★

    What a delight. So many interesting and entertaining subjects. Very cool to see a film turn online dating, which rarely feels like something deserving of any more time or attention than it already takes up, into such a lovely mosaic of human experience. The format of this movie is incredibly brilliant; having its subjects peruse their dating apps while staring straight at you makes for a strangely intimate feel. The whole ambience of this film was relaxing and casual, yet unexpectedly intimate. Loved it.

  • Cryptozoo

    Cryptozoo

    All over the place. Cryptids have been a source of lifelong fascination for me, so I was quite excited for this one. This film has a very loose idea of what a "cryptid" entails, including your conventional mythical creatures and the like. Does an okay job with its chosen themes, which are very clearly present and quite worthy of examination. The narrative itself though is quite clunky, hopping all over the place (often literally) in ways that are a bit…

  • Misha and the Wolves

    Misha and the Wolves

    Sleek and polished, but a little hamstrung by the way it presents its premise. It is a fascinating tale, especially if this story is a completely new one for you, as it was for me. Going into this blind would be the best option. The doc spends most of its running time walking you through this incredible saga, meaning you'll never be bored, but this also leaves very little time to get any further beyond that.

    A decent final entry in the trilogy of truth-examining docs that I inadvertently scheduled for myself this year at Sundance.

  • A Glitch in the Matrix

    A Glitch in the Matrix

    A very engaging doc. It speaks in the language of games and movies, which made it particularly relatable for me. It does a great job of laying out a variety of the experiences and theories that people have had that led to them questioning their reality. In particular, the melding of the very modern concept of simulation theory with religious ideas was an unexpected and fascinating connection. It would definitely have been interesting to see the film do more to…

  • In the Same Breath

    In the Same Breath

    Nanfu Wang is one of the most empathetic filmmakers out there. In the Same Breath lets its subjects tell their own truths, leading to many surprising moments that demonstrate the complexity with which people cope with the circumstances they find themselves in. There are many moving stories highlighted here, often devastating enough on their own, but the context that Wang grounds all their experiences in is what pushes this film to another level.

    The juxtaposition of the American and Chinese…

  • Wonder Woman 1984

    Wonder Woman 1984

    ★★★★

    Is this DC's way of admitting that they shouldn't have tried to wish Justice League into existence without putting in the work to first build up to it?

    Jokes aside, this was fantastic. Bright and energetic. Grand music and thrilling action. It proudly wears its Theme™ on its chest without the least bit of subtlety but damn, the way it channels that communal blockbuster energy we've been so deprived of this year really made my heart swell.

  • Tenet

    Tenet

    ★★

    On the technical side, this definitely represented everything I missed about going to the movies. A dramatic, instantly engaging opening. That rich, Nolan-blue color grading. A fiery soundtrack. Eye popping visuals. That incredible airport sequence. For what it's worth, this is a film that never feels boring.

    But beyond that, I found little to love here. The characters, as well acted as they are, feel completely flat and emotionally inert. Thematically, things are kept so vague and unknowable that there…

  • The Dissident

    The Dissident

    ★★★★

    It is a travesty that this documentary didn't get a larger platform. It's a masterfully put together piece, using crisp cinematography, striking visuals, and a powerful score to tell an urgent and tragic story.

    The Dissident shines a light on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a brazen and unavenged crime that feels just as disturbing now as when the news first broke. This documentary does a fantastic job of teaching its audience about who Khashoggi was, providing much insight on…