jackkyser has written 6 reviews for films rated ★★★★½ during 2021.

  • Guilty by Suspicion

    Guilty by Suspicion

    ★★★★½

    A buried gem of a De Niro performance. His scene with Scorsese makes one long for a feature-length buddy movie with their two characters hightailing it to Europe to avoid the blacklist. Come for the intelligent adult drama, stay for the elegant Michael Ballhaus cinematography!

  • King Richard

    King Richard

    ★★★★½

    I know some folks have dismissed King Richard as hagiography, but I was honestly surprised by how annoying Richard Williams is in this movie. His stubbornness yields mostly great results, but sometimes he's just flat-out wrong and off-putting - which is a lot more interesting to watch. Will Smith does an excellent job in rendering a complex portrait of this man. Also, as far as I can tell, every actor in this film can play tennis really well - it's fun to see the matches filmed in unbroken wide shots!

  • No Time to Die

    No Time to Die

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A deeply emotional send-off to the ole chap! Memorable set pieces galore!

  • The Mummy

    The Mummy

    ★★★★½

    When I first saw this film with my grandma and cousin in the summer of ‘99, I was convinced it was four hours long. Watching it again, I can see why - The Mummy packs it in. I mean, there are enough memorable set pieces here for five movies. Brendan Fraser is the perfectly cartoonish swashbuckling hero we took for granted, and even seemingly throwaway expositional scenes are so creatively staged and given such life by Sommers (the scene in…

  • In the Heights

    In the Heights

    ★★★★½

    Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights, an adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Tony-winning Broadway musical, is a big, colorful and jubilant movie – and one that’s simply breathtaking on the big screen. The richness of the visuals, virtuosic camerawork, immaculately choregraphed dance numbers and beautiful vocals simply won’t play as well on any home theater set-up. Of all the films released in the last few months (since COVID-19 restrictions have eased), I can’t think of a better…

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    ★★★★½

    Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield are extraordinary in this tense, gripping film - the “I am a revolutionary!” scene is a showstopper. Judas and the Black Messiah works beautifully as both a thrilling informant film and a fully-realized portrait of the Black Panther Party from the late 1960s to the early 1970s.

    If I have one minor quibble, it’s that I would love to have been a tiny bit more connected to Bill’s inner life. I feel like this film…