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  • The Wife

    The Wife

    ★★★

    The Wife is a fine piece of competent filmmaking elevated by strong leading performances but hampered somewhat by certain storytelling devices and a distinct lack of urgency and passion overall.

    Glenn Close has been generating buzz for quite some time thanks to her role in this film, and she definitely brings undeniable tenacity to the character of Joan, even if her quiet rage must be maintained until a climactic third act confrontation scene. It is quite an understated role, and…

  • Stagecoach

    Stagecoach

    ★★★½

    Intro to Film History - Film #5

    I appreciated Stagecoach far more from a filmmaking perspective than I enjoyed it overall as a cinematic experience. There’s plenty to like here - the character work is layered and engaging, the stunts in the third act climax are impressive and thrilling, John Ford’s direction is epic and assured - but I just found the plot a bit too loose at times to get as invested as I wished. The representation of the…

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  • Searching

    Searching

    ★★★★

    Searching is a gripping, inventive mystery thriller that takes full advantage of its seemingly gimmick-y structure and features an engaging emotional core buoyed by John Cho’s impressive lead performance.

    Searching caught me off-guard right off the bat with an incredibly affecting prologue that delivered quite the emotional wallop. An opening montage had not captured my attention and brought me to tears like this since the “Married Life” segment from Up. It effectively established both David and Margot as characters and…

  • A Simple Favor

    A Simple Favor

    ★★★½

    “Secrets are like margarine — easy to spread, bad for the heart.”

    A Simple Favor gleefully embraces its nature as a wholehearted, campy pulp thriller and mostly succeeds at blending comedy with mystery thanks to delightful performances from Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively.

    Kendrick is perfectly cast as the stereotypical upbeat, enthusiastic, naive mommy blogger Stephanie and she once again proves her strength at snark and visual humor. Her bubbly quirk contrasts superbly with Lively’s cold, commanding presence. Simply put,…