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  • Moana

    Moana

    ★★★½

    67/100

    Fleet and confident, and some of the best animation direction I have seen; the set-pieces are exceptionally well staged and choreographed, and the lava monster thing is genuinely unsettling, if not used enough.

    One of the only things preventing this from being truly top tier is that it doesn't really resonate beyond the abundant surface pleasures - it's message is kind of fuzzy (why do they leave the island once it is restored? Just because "that's what you do?")…

  • Hacksaw Ridge

    Hacksaw Ridge

    ★★★½

    63/100

    Solid as a typical underdog-makes-good tale and Garfield is excellent. However, for the first 20 minutes or so, I was wondering "Is this guy supposed to be mentally impaired?" because the "courting" scenes are ludicrous, with Garfield acting Forrest Gumpesque with that stupid grin and staring like a stalker. The film as a whole doesn't really know what to do with Doss' home life, and it comes across as a little impatient and unfocused (e.g., what happened to the…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★½

    48/100

    Relentlessly artificial and horribly written (the story beats are so predictable - time for an argument, time for a crisis of confidence, time for a win! - and the mawkish finale completely unearned thanks to the cheap jump in time that completely glosses over who did what and thus lets the audience wallow in a hollow melancholy without having to question either of the main characters' decisions), this is basically saved by the relentlessly energy of the two leads,…

  • The Girl on the Train

    The Girl on the Train

    18/100

    Tate Taylor needs to thank whatever deity he believes in that Suicide Squad exists, because otherwise he would be the proud owner of the most dismal film of 2016. This is a hot mess: a poorly constructed whodunnit that relies on what might be the flimsiest conceit in a mystery writer's playbook - memories coming back at convenient points in the story - and that totally fucks up subjective/objective viewpoint (either we the audience should be finding things out…