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  • The Big Sleep

    The Big Sleep

    ★★★½

    I found *The Big Sleep* underwhelming. The movie is, as I expected, highly entertaining and effortlessly cool. But I don’t think the film noir genre suits Howard Hawks- or at the very least the genre nullifies many of his unique strengths. Film noir has always featured a rough equality between the sexes, as the detective and dame square off in a battle of wits. Hawks’s penchant for strong women, daring and unusual in more conservative genres like the Western, do…

  • Passengers

    Passengers

    ★★★

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

    I genuinely liked this film- at least the first half of the movie. The premise is intriguing: what if you alone woke up from suspended animation too early on a luxury spaceship? You have everything you would possibly want, but you are utterly alone amidst the vastness of space. And since your destination is some ninety years away, you will die on the ship long before anyone else wakes up. And what if, to ease your loneliness, you woke up…

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  • Hail, Caesar!

    Hail, Caesar!

    ★★★★

    Structurally this movie is a mess (Scarlett Johansson's character's plot goes nowhere) and the ending is extremely unsatisfying. But unlike some other lesser Coen Brothers' movies (I am looking at you, Burn After Reading) this movie has some genuinely funny moments and an off-kilter style.

  • Timbuktu

    Timbuktu

    ★★★★★

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

    Via watchestoodamnmuch.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/review-timbuktu-2014/

    For a movie about very obviously evil people, Timbuktu weaves a surprisedly subtle and understated story. The film takes place during a brief takeover of the titular city by Islamist-extremist militants in 2012. While most movies would use this setting to paint a story of good and evil in stark black and whites, Timbuktu prefers more nuanced grays. This does not mean the movie is sympathetic to jihadists-far from it. Timbuktu has nothing but righteous condemnation of these…