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  • Children of Men

    Children of Men

    ★★★★★

    A monumental film. I loved it ten years ago, and I love it even more now. The rise of anti-immigration rhetoric, militarized police, fascist leadership...it is despairingly even more relevant now than it was then. The world-building might also be the best I've ever seen in a film; there is so much history and visual information in every single shot. There's some exposition in the dialogue, to be sure, but Cuarón just immerses you in his frighteningly plausible dystopia. A brutal, crushing, yet ultimately optimistic masterpiece.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy

    Guardians of the Galaxy

    ★★★½

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

    Three years later, I feel exactly the same about Guardians of the Galaxy as I did in theaters: it's a fun movie that makes a better trailer. James Gunn can't really shoot action, and while there are a few awesomely comic book-y visuals, the galaxy they're guarding looks pretty slick and shiny. The '70s/'80s FM standards on the soundtrack are fun, and Star-Lord's emotional connection to them works, but few cuts in any given scene feel "right." Gunn is content…

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  • Ruby Sparks

    Ruby Sparks

    ★★★★½

    I've written ten screenplays and several short films. The most widely read script of mine has been read by about half-a-dozen people, but I still consider myself a writer first and foremost. As you're writing, your work is solely yours. Once you've finished, it remains yours. But as soon as you release it into the world, as soon as you share it with one friend or colleague, that changes. It doesn't belong to you anymore. Sure, if your work is…

  • Donnie Darko

    Donnie Darko

    ★★★★★

    A lot of people seem to be backing away from Donnie Darko nowadays, distancing themselves from it like it's a particularly painful memory, an unwelcome flashback to their high school days. Well, maybe so. But don't blame that on the movie. I'm not going to give it credit for profundity that it doesn't have, except that it kind of does. A mysterious puzzle of a film, but pleasingly straightforward about its oddness. Gyllenhaal, Barrymore, and Swayze doing the best work of their careers.