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  • Inception

    Inception

    ★★★★

    A pop-rationalist approach to what’s basically Philip K. Dick material. Still think the last third suffers from clumsy, underdeveloped action; a lot of it just makes me wish that Nolan had started working with Hoyte van Hoytema earlier in his career.

    Nonetheless, this is probably his zingiest film, less about the heist than the con and closer in spirit to an Ocean’s movie. The apparent contradiction is that this also one of Nolan’s saddest works, as morbidly obsessed with spousal…

  • The New Barbarians

    The New Barbarians

    ★★½

    A conscious decision was made sometime during pre-production to give every costume the biggest and ugliest shoulder pads anyone could find. This was made back to back with 1990: Bronx Warriors and Escape from the Bronx, and though it doesn’t come within spitting distance of the latter’s greatness, it does feature a whole lot of disgustingly bad haircuts, rock-quarry locations, and post-apocalyptic dune buggies—not to mention the requisite dummy effects. Unquestionably "bad," but also kind of "good."

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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.