Alex has written 11 reviews for films rated ★★★ .

  • Cobra

    Cobra

    ★★★

    A perfect microcosm of Reaganism at its most reactionary.

  • Atomic Blonde

    Atomic Blonde

    ★★★

    Almost certainly how Andrei Tarkovsky intended for audiences to view ‘Stalker’ (1979).

  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    ★★★

    Aster undoubtedly has a masterpiece in him somewhere, but this isn't it. Much like with Hereditary, a lot of good qualities, but the film never seems to quite congeal into a satisfying whole. From a technical perspective, this film is mesmerizing, but the script probably needs something of a rethink. Aster is definitely a director to watch and it will be interesting to see what he does as he matures and begins to imbue his films with a little more life experience.

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    ★★★

    Very confusing as an Elvis comeback special.

  • Us

    Us

    ★★★

    Good script-writing, some great performances and sound direction do not quite save this thing from a mess of a third act. While I appreciate the ambition and prefer to see this flail under the weight of what it attempts rather than to strive for humdrum mediocrity, it is still impossible to declare this a success. A noble failure then, but one that remains compulsively watchable.

  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★★

    I went in with no expectations and having read nothing about the movie – I wanted to be pleasantly surprised – but I have to say this film, for me, wasn’t very successful. I will try to avoid plot details, but some degree of spoiling is inevitable.

    First, to its credit, the new Suspiria more or less does its own thing. I was pleased to see that it wasn’t slavishly indebted to the original, nor did it try to copy…

  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ★★★

    A film that did alright in its first and second acts and then went a bit off the rails in its third, falling into some typical horror tropes. It remained visually smart and I particularly enjoyed the nods to Oni Baba (which created a fun moment in the theater where different members of the audience noticed what was hiding in the corner of the frame at different times) and, of course, Rosemary's Baby (to which this film is most strongly…

  • Red Sparrow

    Red Sparrow

    ★★★

    For a piece of reinvigorated Cold War propaganda, Red Sparrow was pretty entertaining. It did appear to occasionally slide into the realm of torture porn and the Russian accents were uniformly shaky from the whole cast, but no one is perfect. For all its twists and turns, I also got the sense that it did not need to be over 2 hours.

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    ★★★

    This movie has some really exceptional performances in it and some great casting. Frances McDormand (who lets face it, is always great) is phenomenal in the lead role. Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson are also great in the supporting parts (though Woody seems a bit like he's doing True Detective Mark II) and all the smaller parts, from Peter Dinklage to Peter Landry Jones are great. I was really happy to see Clarke Peters get a look in as well.…

  • The Shape of Water

    The Shape of Water

    ★★★

    I enjoyed The Shape of Water more than I have the last several Guillermo Del Toro films. It is interesting that he managed to push some truly transgressive themes into a mainstream release. Given the sex between human and Lovecraft creation/ Creature from the Black Lagoon, this can in some ways be seen as an uplifting Hollywood version of Andrej Zulawski's "Possession".

    This films succeeds where Del Toro's Kaiju vs mecha monster-mash 'Pacific Rim' and Mario Bava tribute act, 'Crimson…

  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver

    ★★★

    Nothing bad to say about the craft, which was impeccable. However, it did run a little too long and the ending was a bit flat (how this ended in a dull slugfest rather than a car chase is scandalous!). The film also suffered from issues around unclear antagonist. It was also a bit too cutesy for my liking. Overall, worth seeing, but does not entirely like up to the hype around it.