Grant Hodges has written 111 reviews for films during 2021.

  • Maurice

    Maurice

    ★★★

    E.M. Forster’s Maurice has long been one of my favorite novels. Its exploration of the feelings of a gay man, in a time when it was illegal to be exactly that, is heart wrenching (and made even more so when one considers that its subject matter was so taboo when it was written that it was not allowed to be published for another fifty six years). So I’m not quite sure why it took me this long to get around to…

  • Singin' in the Rain

    Singin' in the Rain

    ★★★★★

    Goddamn. I don’t think there’s a single movie made before or since that’s simply had as much fun as Signin’ in the Rain does. The cast is having a blast, nearly every number is a romp, and it somehow manages to be a love letter to Hollywood while at the same time making a complete mockery of it. Sure, the movie does drag a bit in the latter half (“Broadway Melody” is wayyy too long) and the relationship between Don and Kathy is…

  • Little Miss Sunshine

    Little Miss Sunshine

    ★★★★★

    No film is perfect but Little Miss Sunshine comes damn close. The cast, the soundtrack, the cinematography, THE MOST FLAWLESS SCREENPLAY OF ALL TIME… I really can’t describe how much this movie just works. So I’m not gonna try. Just watch it and you’ll understand. 

    5 Stars 

    P.S. Steve Carrell is a fucking daddy in this.

    P.P.S. I’ll forever be sad we didn’t get to see Michael Ardnt’s screenplay for Star Wars Episode VII come to fruition. There’s no way it wouldn’t have been better than what we got with The Force Awakens.

  • Finding Dory

    Finding Dory

    ★★★

    I must be in the minority when it comes to Finding Dory because I really don't enjoy this film. Sure, it's not the worst movie ever. But it also barely has enough story to validate its existence - feeling more like DLC for the first movie than a worthwhile sequel.

    So much of this movie just feels like we're revisiting things we've already seen. I mean, hell, Marlin gets so little to do in this movie that he's relegated to…

  • The Good Dinosaur

    The Good Dinosaur

    ★★★

    More like the bad dinosaur, am I right? 

    Nah, I’m just kidding. I actually really like this movie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s got its flaws (the second act is a nonsensical run-around featuring weirdly designed side characters I couldn’t care less about), but if you stop comparing it to Pixar’s earlier work, you might actually find a lot to love.

    Arlo is a rare case of a child protagonist that you’re not only not annoyed by but actively empathize with,…

  • Inside Out

    Inside Out

    ★★★

    I feel like the common consensus surrounding Inside Out is that it’s “the movie that saved Pixar”. But I’m honestly not so sure I agree. For one, with the exception of Cars 2, I’m not sure Pixar even needed saving in the first place. Sure, Brave and Monsters University are weaker entries in the Pixar catalogue but neither are even close to being terrible. For another, I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to apply that amount of pressure to a…

  • The Holy Mountain

    The Holy Mountain

    ★★★★★

    An absurdist critique of our culture's obsession with sex, violence, capitalism, consumerism, Christianity, and more, The Holy Mountain is an acid trip of a film. Add to this commentary some of the most gorgeous cinematography you will ever lay eyes on (as well as an ending that feels right out of a Monty Python sketch) and you have one of my favorite movies of all time.

    I won't pretend the film is perfect. The somewhat repetitive commentary on the nature…

  • In The Heights

    In The Heights

    ★★★

    Light on plot and heavy on characters, In the Heights still manages to be a damn fun time. Sure, the movie is far too long (even after cutting multiple songs from the musical - many of which I’m sad to see go), but when it gets things right, it really gets them right. Songs like “Paciencia y Fe” are even more heartbreaking in this version than they were in the stage production and “96,000” is a technicolor spectacle that feels…

  • The Breakfast Club

    The Breakfast Club

    ★★★

    Hardly the quintessential high school movie I thought it was in my teenage years, The Breakfast Club may actually be one of the weaker entries in John Hughes’ filmography (at least as far as movies where he was in the director’s chair go). Of course, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” is an iconic song and the cast does an incredible job slipping into their roles, but that doesn't mean the film is free of flaws.

    John Hughes has gone on…

  • Monsters University

    Monsters University

    ★★★

    There’s something to be said for a movie that gets better as it goes, and Monsters University is a prime example of that. While the opening is actually fairly solid (featuring an effective hook with our now-protagonist Mike wanting to become a scarer… as well including a ton of fun cameos of monsters using their abilities in different ways), the entire second act of this movie is insanely middling. In fact, basically everything centered around the actual college setting just…

  • Brave

    Brave

    ★★★

    Brave is a classic "less than the sum of its parts" movie. Because there's so many great things in here: the soundtrack, the animation, the (heartbreaking) relationship between Merida and her mother, the physics of the hair and arrows, the focus-pulls in the directing, the way Queen Elinor's mannerisms seemlessly translate to her animilistic form. But, when it ends, you're kind of left feeling nothing.

    I would never agree with those that hate the movie (in fact I really think…

  • Another Round

    Another Round

    ★★★★

    This has quickly become one of my favorite films of the last year. The performances, cinematography, score are all immaculate. And it boasts one of the most fun and inventive premises I've seen in a while - that being four middle-aged men testing the hypothesis that maintaining a constant blood-alcohol level would improve their lives. I do believe the film falters a bit in the latter half (mainly due to it turning its focus to some majorly underdeveloped relationships) but…