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  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Solo: A Star Wars Story

    ★★½

    It’s me, the guy who digs Howard’s late-career style of eccentric competence. This might not be as visually out-there as In The Heart Of The Sea, but it still has its share of wacky close-ups and textural extremes, and Bradford Young’s palette is so dark and monochromatic that he might as well be shooting in black-and-white. A pastiche like all the others; works surprisingly well in the stretch when it becomes a muddy trench war movie, less well as a…

  • Ready Player One

    Ready Player One

    ★★★

    Nostalgia's Avatar. Makes something of a Pyrrhic case for its professed values, in that none of the pop-culture effects are half as involving as Mark Rylance’s live-action performance.

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  • The Immigrant

    The Immigrant

    ★★★★★

    No one's written the Great American Novel yet, but James Gray went ahead and made a movie out of it anyway.

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★★½

    About as idiosyncratic, stylized, and wacky as these things are likely to get. Johnson really doubles down on the the original’s Kurosawa influences (lotta rain, cinders, and chanbara-style sword fighting here) and the hoodoo mysticism of the Force. (There are points where this almost threatens to turn into “John Boorman’s Star Wars.”) The action scenes—both of the Star Destroyer and light saber varieties—are some of the best in the series.