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  • Apollo 11

    Apollo 11

    ★★★★½

    Utterly gargantuan.

    The crispness of the footage makes the story feel new again. It's amazing how much tension and drama they are able to find in the moon landing itself, as compared to First Man, which makes the landing seem almost anticlimactic.

    There's also the extra-filmic sadness in the fact that, of the twelve men who walked on the moon, only four are alive; the youngest of the four survivors is 83. Very soon, there will be nobody alive who…

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier

    ★★★★

    one of the mcu's best movies, an opinion that's conventional among my friends but seems more controversial in the wider world

    -- it's startling how good the action is in this movie. the russo brothers are head and shoulders above anyone else working in the MCU at directing visually legible, compelling action sequences

    -- casting redford in this role was home run casting. only other person you could cast in that role is gene hackman

    -- I'm not sure how…

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  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    ★★★★½

    this really could have been a "wring-the-IP-dry" cash grab and ended up being one of the best superhero movies I've ever seen. I don't have enough superlatives for the thing -- characters, plot, animation, action sequences, world building, risk-taking -- and only really docked a half-star out of sheer disbelief that it was really That Good. It reinvented the genre? I haven't seen an American animated feature this stylistically inventive since ??

  • Leave No Trace

    Leave No Trace

    ★★★★

    some notes:

    - it took me awhile (embarrassingly long, probably) to realize that this is, in fact, a coming of age story. it is other things as well, but it chiefly that.
    - granik is arguably one of america's best directors, certainly one of the best doing these sort of social realist movies
    - I love the forests of the northwest, and so I just loved the setting. I could watch granik's shots of people wading through the forest, among…