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  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★½

    A pleasant surprise. I hadn't seen much of anything from Villeneuve so the subtlety with which he presented his ideas and the detail with which he created the tone and atmosphere really caught me by surprise. It's been a while since I've seen an alien film that's as much about "us" as it is about "them."

  • Stars in My Crown

    Stars in My Crown

    ★★★★

    A beautiful and heart-warming film from Tourneur. Joel McCrea is great as Pastor Josiah Grey, a minister and a civil war vet who arrives in a small town to start a new life but has to deal with a variety of obstacles along the way. The film is reminiscent of other civil rights era films except that it gets a head start on some of the issues those films dealt with. I won't deny that it becomes a little too simplistic and preachy at times but on the whole this is yet another solid effort by the director of Out of the Past and Cat People.

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  • Bad Lieutenant

    Bad Lieutenant

    ★★★★★

    Ferrara at his rudest and crudest best. It goes without saying that this isn't for everyone. Keitel's character has no redeeming virtues - he's everything you don't wanna cop to be - and he's only going downhill further. Yet you care about him and can't take your eyes away even if Ferrara takes him deeper and deeper into despair. This is certainly one of Keitel's best performances, brilliantly embodying all the physical and spiritual pain life has to offer.

  • Russian Ark

    Russian Ark

    ★★★★★

    It made Eisenstein turn in his grave but this so-called stunt, shot in an unbroken take via digital steadicam, has considerably more to offer. A guided tour through one of the greatest museums in the world, the film is quite literally akin to travelling back in time, more specifically through the past three centuries of glorious Russian history and how it has come to be interpreted within the context of the nation's larger European identity. It's a demanding film for sure but those who stay with it will be rewarded at the end.