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  • A Quiet Place

    A Quiet Place

    ★★★

    This is pretty effective for the most part. But so much gets in the way of the inherently potent premise.

    It seems so obvious to me that any exposition should be treated with the same muted grace as the film's dialogue. Some of the stray newspaper pages I get, and while I don't believe that any of the characters have much of a reason to write out "WHAT IS THEIR WEAKNESS" etc. in big bold letters on a whiteboard, if…

  • Annihilation

    Annihilation

    ★★★½

    Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow are gods.

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  • Argo

    Argo

    ★★

    I give up. I just don't get it.

    Yes, Affleck and his art department load the movie with historical detail. Yes, Affleck is a competent enough director. But the resulting movie is safe and bloodless, never settles on a character, an image or a narrative strand, clumsily shifts tone, neither lingers and observes, nor escalates. The latter at least not until the final minutes of the final act, when it starts to work down a contrived and predictable suspense checklist,…

  • Interstellar

    Interstellar

    ★★★★

    Maybe it's something fundamental that Nolan gets right here. Something about the wonder, the horror, the magnitude, the silence, the noise, the isolation, the awe, the loneliness of space travel, of exploration, and how it relates to who we are on a terrifyingly personal level, something that transcends all of the usual Nolan-isms. And there are many here, amplified to an almost unprecedented degree. Yes, the crude, perfunctory dialogue, the editing with its confusing geography, the blunt themes, the tendency…