Grant Hodges has written 75 reviews for films rated ★★★★ .

  • 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…

  • A Night to Remember

    A Night to Remember

    ★★★★

    While I knew there’d be some similarities between this film and James Cameron’s Titanic (both being centered the sinking of that “unsinkable” ship), I didn’t expect to discover that the latter film is basically a remake of this one. Of course there’s no Jack and Rose (A Night to Remember is focused far more on the actual passengers of the ship), but a huge amount of shots, musical choices, and lines of dialogue are ripped straight from this version. 

    As for…

  • Doctor Sleep

    Doctor Sleep

    ★★★★

    The best thing Doctor Sleep does is expand its universe in a way that pays respect to The Shining but also moves beyond it. The worst thing Doctor Sleep does is that after two hours of standing almost entirely on its own it decides to do a complete 180 and commit itself to a pandering nostalgia-fest. 

    Seriously, the first two hours of this film are great. From the genuinely poignant “doctor sleep” scenes where Danny provides catharsis to his dying patients in…

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★★★

    "Salt". These are the words spoken by a certain Resistance fighter in a scene that exists solely to inform us, the audience, that though the planet we're on appears to be snow-covered it is not in fact snow but salt. It's... really dumb. And in a way emblematic of the film as a whole. The Last Jedi seems to exist solely to set up traditional Star Wars tropes - just to subvert your expectations and do something wildly different in…

  • Up

    Up

    ★★★★

    Up is *so close* to being a masterpiece. No, scratch that. Up is a masterpiece - especially in its first half. The representation of joy, grief, the passing of time, etc... in the opening montage put that sequence among not only Pixar’s best work but some of the very best sequences I’ve ever seen put to screen. The story continues at a quick and enjoyable rate, further delving into these themes (with Pixar’s best score and animation to boot) until...…

  • Return of the Jedi

    Return of the Jedi

    ★★★★

    I’ve often gone on record of saying that Return of the Jedi is the weakest entry in the original trilogy. And between the nonsensical first act (where we spend upwards of 45 minutes on the quest to retrieve Han Solo - only for him to have no major role in the story afterwards), the dated effects, and the wholly unnecessary scenes of our characters just doing shit with the Ewoks, there is probably some truth to that. But there’s also…

  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

    ★★★★

    Willy Wonka may be widely regarded as a classic, but I think a lot of people forget just how great it truly is. Especially in the first half. The dry sense of humor, the visual gags, the almost documentary style of filmmaking that allows the movie to get sidetracked in all sorts of incredible and inventive ways - it's all just perfect. Of course, there's a panoply of great songs and an unforgettable performance by Gene Wilder in the latter…

  • The Empire Strikes Back

    The Empire Strikes Back

    ★★★★

    The Empire Strikes Back is honestly kind of a hard movie to judge today. Not only because the entire film feels so built into our cultural zeitgeist, perhaps even more so than the original, but because it's one of the only Star Wars films that truly feels like an "episode" - a disparate piece of a larger whole. Still, it's an impressive film technically and one whose story builds very logically on that of the original (even if said story…

  • Titanic

    Titanic

    ★★★★

    It's easy to see how Titanic became the highest-grossing film of all time (and even now possesses the number three spot). It feels perfectly suited to every possible demographic - from the romantics to action junkies. The film excels technically with its combination of sets, models, and CGI - being a loving recreation of both the ship and the fateful day upon which it sunk. Even the relationship between Jack and Rose works surprisingly well - their romance playing out…

  • Ratatouille

    Ratatouille

    ★★★★

    I've always thought of Ratatouille as one of Pixar's greats. So imagine my surprise when I found, in rewatching it, I actually didn't love it as much as I thought. Don't get me wrong. This is still a really good movie. It's got some of the best music, animation, and direction of any Pixar film. But its script also just feels... so messy.

    I admire the risks this film takes (and it's clear based on Ego's final review that Brad…

  • Finding Nemo

    Finding Nemo

    ★★★★

    Finding Nemo isn’t Pixar’s best offering, but I don’t think anyone could ever argue that it isn't really freaking good. The opening three minutes are absolutely devastating, and while I’m not sure the movie ever hits that emotional high point again, the quality never really lets up. 

    The movie’s still not out of that uncanny valley territory when it comes to human animation, but everything underwater looks absolutely beautiful. In addition to this, you can really see Pixar beginning to…

  • Star Wars

    Star Wars

    ★★★★

    I mean... it’s Star Wars. From the score to sound design, from groundbreaking special effects to overall look and feel of this world, almost every aspect of this movie is iconic today - and for good reason. Of course, the movie is a little bit lacking story-wise... and it does drag hard in the third act (with the escape from the Death Star and final trench run making it feel like the film climaxes twice), but these flaws are more…