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  • A Serious Man

    A Serious Man

    ★★★★★

    It's a shame that, for all of Joel and Ethan Coen's popularity, that A Serious Man doesn't get more attention. It's one of their best films, showing off their auteur voice, artistic craft, and thematic vision. It is like Barton Fink, but on a completely other level of filmmaking.

    The movie follows Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlberg) who basically goes through one of the most difficult periods of his life: his wife is leaving him, his kids are out of control,…

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    ★★★★

    When watching Close Encounters, I tried to put myself back in time in 1977, as if this was the first Spielberg film I had seen since Jaws. 

    What I discovered is that Close Encounters is a technical masterpiece. That so many things we love about Spielberg (his since of awe, his visual storytelling, his ability to subvert expectations, and his ability to nail a movie’s tone) are discovered or enhanced in this film. He makes a story that on paper…

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  • Free Fire

    Free Fire

    ★★½

    Ben Wheatley's movie Free Fire was marketed as a cross between Tarantino and Guy Ritchie, big on fun, twists, and contained suspense with a cast of crazy characters. The problem is it really doesn't deliver on any - the tone is much more self serious without the suspense of a Tarantino thriller, while the script lazily believes that profanities equals wit, violence equals suspense, and great premises equal great movies. Even the performances are a little boring, minus Armie Hammer's fleshed out performance as Ord. While the originality and risks the film takes are worthy of praise, a misfire is still a misfire.

  • A Monster Calls

    A Monster Calls

    ★★★★★

    As difficult as it is to watch, J.A. Bayona's A Monster Calls not only walks you through possibly the most traumatic experience someone can face, but it does so while offering insight and encouragement without oversimplifying the difficulty and complexity that these emotions brings. 

    You can talk about the beauty of the story, the striking visual effects, the emotionally moving score, and of course, the performances by the incredible cast, from Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, and especially the young Lewis…