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  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★★★

    A melancholic dissection of the very genre that made him a household name, Martin Scorsese uses The Irishman to dive deep into the moral rot and corruption that is inherent to the mobster lifestyle. He deliberately paces this lengthy journey, taking the time to naturally show the effects of being a mobster in everything from the smallest moments to the longest of decades. The film begins like many of  Scorsese’s other films do, perfectly riding the line of showing the enticing…

  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    ★★★★★

    A nautical nightmare steeped in the mythos of Greek legend and H. P. Lovecraft in equal measure, The Lighthouse is tense and darkly hilarious throughout. Much has been made about the genre, but much like Robert Egger’s previous feature The Witch, The Lighthouse borrows elements from a multitude of genre’s yet defies classification. More important than it’s genre classification is the fact that it focuses on creating atmosphere and tension. It belongs to one of my favorite style of film: dialogue-driven films…

  • The Witch

    The Witch

    ★★★★★

    Robert Egger’s The Witch might not be a typical horror film, but that does not stop it from being as bone-chilling and dread-filled of a viewing experience as the best that that genre has to offer. The Witch defies most attempts at genre classification, instead pulling from multiple genres to create a thematically intertwined and deeply satisfying cinematic experience. Egger’s pulls imagery and cinematic techniques from horror, while utilizing the realism (in dialogue, set design, and lighting) of a period…

  • Scream

    Scream

    ★★★★★

    It is hard to put into words exactly how influential, defining, and thrilling of a horror film Scream is. Coming during the mid-90’s drought of horror where the slasher excesses of the 80’s had gone on for so long even the greatest franchises in the sub-genre (including director Wes Craven’s own Nightmare on Elm Street franchise) had run themselves into the ground with endless repetitive and cash grabbing sequels, Scream came along and literally changed the game. It completely re-defined the…

  • High Tension

    High Tension

    ★★★

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

    There are some films that are more than the sum of their parts, whose unexceptional technical elements come together to create a more meaningful whole because of smart storytelling choices. Then there are films like the aptly named High Tension, where despite an impressive ability to create suspense and fear in individual moments the film fails to come together to be anything impactful. In fact it undercuts itself, pulling the rug out from under the audience’s feet while also pulling the…

  • John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

    John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

    ★★★★

    “Rules and consequences...”

    The John Wick series always been extremely careful to establish the rules of it’s universe, a mythological society of assassins with every person filling a designated rule and never stepping out of bounds. As the second film expanded the universe and characters made earth shattering decisions, coming into this third film we were promised a reconning. Instead of operating how they can within the established order, John and Co. are rebelling, flying in the face of the code…

  • It Chapter Two

    It Chapter Two

    ★★★★

    Perhaps the best example of a film adaptation that struggles from trying to be TOO loyal to the book, IT Chapter 2 fully commits to the density, absurdity, sprawling scope, and inherent silliness of Steven King’s source material and it is both the films strongest asset and it's most glaring flaw. It captures the heart and soul that makes It such a powerful story and maintains a razor focus on the characters and their collective and individual trauma. In the…

  • Brightburn

    Brightburn

    ★★★

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

    A huge mixed back of a film, full of half baked concepts and potential that I wish was explored more, Brightburn proved to be one of the more conflicting movie experiences for me this year. This film does on one hand feel like a legitimate fresh air to the superhero genre with a unique spin on things that I really appreciated. There are moments of undeniable impact, creating such a sense of helplessness in the audience by showing just how little…

  • Seven Samurai

    Seven Samurai

    ★★★★★

    How can I begin to approach reviewing one of the greatest cinematic experiences of all
    time? A film whose greatness has been discussed to death? Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece transcends being a great action film, standing among the greatest feats of storytelling. Everything in Seven Samurai is perfect and remains as compelling today as it was in 1954, but why? Of course the film is crafted perfectly, with a nuanced script, expert direction and editing, and performances that are beyond compare.…

  • Hour of the Wolf

    Hour of the Wolf

    ★★★★★

    Almost every Ingmar Bergman film contains some dream-like elements, but none more than Hour of the Wolf. A nightmare channeling undiluted dream logic, Hour of the Wolf takes the surreal and dream like technical elements of his other films, and amplifies them as he depicts the nervous breakdown of an artist named Johan (a clear self-insertion) battling his inner demons who is faced with a deadly choice between his real life with his pregnant wife and a ghostly, uncanny world…

  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    ★★★★½

    Midsommar is a nightmarish but intensely rewarding exercise in formalism and tonal control, cementing Ari Aster as one of the sharpest up-and-coming filmmakers. But it is also intensely challenging and overwhelming for a viewer. It really took two watches for me to know how I felt about this film, though it probably has to do with my intense love of Hereditary (which blew me away and instantly became both my favorite movie of 2018 and one of my all-time favorite…

  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    ★★★★★

    The genius of Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is how the true horror in this slice of macabre Americana is how grounded and close to our every day reality true evil is. How easy it is to cross the line from harmlessly eccentric hitchhiker to menacing lunatic. How just a few small changes can change a normal Texas farmhouse to the stuff of nightmares. This film is truly nightmarish and disturbing, and the chief reason why it has maintained…