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  • Out of the Past

    Out of the Past

    ★★★★½

    Before we had the Rock flexing his cast off and saying, “Daddy’s gotta go to work,” we had Robert Mitchum replying to a face slap with, “That evens us. Now fold your hands, or I'll fold 'em for you.”

  • John Wick

    John Wick

    ★★★★½

    The first thirty minutes of John Wick amount to one of my favorite action character introductions of all time—a dizzying trip from sad, lonely John to the justified, vengeful Baba Yaga. When the sledge comes out you know it's go time.

    See this before watching chapter 2. You only get to meet Mr. Wick once.

  • Knight of Cups

    Knight of Cups

    ★★★★

    “All those years—living the life of someome—I didn't even know”

  • Lost River

    Lost River

    ★★★★

    Keep a-movin', Dan
    don't you listen to him, Dan
    he's a devil not a man
    and he spreads the burning sand with water

    Immersive and unsettling as the Nicolas Winding Refn collaborations, but you also get Ben Mendelsohn singing Cool Water. Nitpick all you want, but I’ll be lining up for Gosling’s next directorial project.

  • Ronin

    Ronin

    ★★★½

    A silver case as the MacGuffin
    Robert De Niro as Ronin De Niro
    in a movie with some of my favorite car chases

    1990s S8s and 535s drifting through France with few explosions or supurfulous effects to get in the way

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★★★

    Rogue One handily delivered on just about every scene my 10-year-old mind could have imagined playing with Star Wars action figures in the mud and rocks of my backyard. Seeing gritty, ground-level shots of AT-AT Walkers, X-Wing boosters glowing red in the rain, and TIE Fighters flying near huge Star Destroyers flying near huger Death Star lasers lowering into huge AF Death Stars left me utterly contented.

    But…

    WTF is up with the uncanny valley throwback characters? Has Polar Express

  • Moana

    Moana

    ★★★★

    Probably my favorite recent Disney release. Damn—Q3 2016 really needed a feel-good animated musical.

    Bonus star for doof warrior coconuts

  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    ★★★★½

    “Scotch on the rocks. And I mean ice!”

    Another one of Zemeckis’s best—similar to Back to the Future, every single element sets up a gag or a plot point to come. Such tidy and efficient storytelling make this screwball-noir well worth a rewatch.

  • Ernest & Celestine

    Ernest & Celestine

    ★★★★

    A clearer, more charming take on the learning-to-embrace-our-differences-and-accept-others storyline offered in Zootopia

  • Back to the Future

    Back to the Future

    ★★★★★

    Back to the Future is the greatest time travel movie of all time—especially when paired with the Carl Sagan approved extended explanation offered in BTTF 2.

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

    ★★★

    As fun as it is to see Rowling’s magical world back, I don’t know what to make of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It oscillates between a slapstick, lighthearted tone as the cast of protagonists seek to round up magical critters and a darker intensity as the long game plot is revealed.

    This oscillation was distracting and left many of the key players underdeveloped by the end of Fantastic Beasts’ runtime. The one thing that was clear, however, was that this was a franchise builder. With five movies planned, it’ll be interesting to see if things pick up after this relatively slow start.

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★

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