jackkyser has written 42 reviews for films during 2018.

  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★★★★

    70MM at the Alamo Ritz. Just as breathtaking and immersive as the first time.

  • Vice

    Vice

    ★★★★★

    An electric Merry Christmas from Adam McKay’s Vice. Christian Bale astonishingly portrays Dick Cheney as a feature-length cipher, and then, in the film’s final moments, opens up to us directly and emphatically. Adams, Carell and Rockwell are amazing.

  • The Mule

    The Mule

    ★★★★★

    I loved the hell out of Clint Eastwood’s wild, funny and moving The Mule. Released late in the year (it’s Eastwood’s second movie of 2018, after The 15:17 to Paris), The Mule once again finds the director making something with flavor and dramatic power. In the past ten years, Eastwood has directed some of the most formally fascinating films of his career, including the under-appreciated Hereafter (2010) and J. Edgar (2011).

    Better yet, Eastwood is the star here, in his…

  • Green Book

    Green Book

    ★★★★★

    Peter Farrelly’s Green Book is a moving, delightful holiday surprise. The film is based on the real-life friendship between two men – Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), an Italian-American bouncer from the Bronx, and renowned concert pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), an African-American man who lives atop Carnegie Hall in an almost secluded castle. The two meet when Shirley is planning his concert tour of the American South in 1962, and he interviews Lip to serve as his driver (and,…

  • Beautiful Boy

    Beautiful Boy

    ★★★★★

    Beautiful Boy, starring a characteristically excellent Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, will strike a nerve with anyone who has ever had to live through the pain of addiction – whether directly or through a loved one.

    Although there are harrowing scenes of the Chalamet character’s drug usage, the most anxiety-inducing scenes involve Carell waiting for a phone call after not hearing from his son for days, or frantically searching for him in the middle of the night.

    Carell finally comes…

  • Widows

    Widows

    ★★★★★

    Steve McQueen’s Widows is the crime epic of the decade, an ensemble powerhouse with such clear storytelling in each scene - no small feat considering it’s an extremely complex narrative. Worthy of Heat (1995) comparisons. Plus, ROBERT DUVALL. My favorite McQueen film so far.

  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    ★★★★★

    A great film about loneliness (particularly in New York City) and a friendship forged by two prickly souls.

  • mid90s

    mid90s

    ★★★★½

    Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, Mid90s, is a vivid coming-of-age story, aided by a gifted ensemble cast, an authentic sense of time and place, and an eclectic, killer soundtrack (including a characteristically arresting score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross). I was particularly interested in the build of Stevie's self-destructive behavior throughout the film - he has a few scenes of private, irrational behavior that feel real and unsettling. Huge bonus points for the inclusion of the family renting Goodfellas from Blockbuster - Jonah, you’ve made Scorsese proud.

  • First Man

    First Man

    ★★★★★

    After the Oscar-winning two-punch of Whiplash (2014) and La La Land (2016), director Damien Chazelle brings us something entirely new with his latest film, the absolutely astonishing, gripping and experiential First Man. The picture is not only the story of Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), the first man to walk on the moon, but also of NASA’s Apollo space missions leading up to the historic moon landing in 1969.

    Chazelle takes a personal, evocative approach to the material – this film…

  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★★★★

    Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma at Virginia Film Festival - every shot is a work of art. A film full of such roaring life and activity packed into every single frame, with a quiet, nuanced protagonist at its center. A masterpiece.

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★★★

    Joel and Ethan Coen’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a beautiful and haunting anthology film, a rich cinema experience full of varying moods and ideas. See this on the biggest screen possible. Full review coming soon.

  • A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born

    ★★★★★

    A Star is Born is a work of astonishing power, with remarkably clear and precise storytelling from first-time director Bradley Cooper. Between this film and David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook (2012), Cooper is responsible for some of the best onscreen romances of recent years. And just as in Playbook, he’s utterly convincing as a man on the verge of a breakdown – his character, rocker Jackson Maine, cannot seem to beat either his alcoholism or his depression. I don’t…