• White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch

    White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch

    ★★

    Started off with a strong premise, but very quickly floundered.

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★½

    This merely exists as proof that the MCU is the enemy of auteurs. As many have noted, there were fun, stylish, pure Sam Raimi horror moments and Elizabeth Olsen did the best she could with the material she was given. But this has some of the most rancid, flat writing i've ever seen in the MCU. Low bar to clear.

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★★

    I wanted to love this movie like everyone else seems to, but it just didn't blow me away. I love that Everything Everywhere All at Once gives icons like Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis interesting things to do. Some of my favorite moments are aesthetically driven- the maximalist costuming of Joy, the flashy editing, that multiverse sequence- but the dialogue can feel clunky and the Daniels' brand of humor can undermine it at times. Also, for a film about…

  • The Northman

    The Northman

    ★★★★

    Robert Eggers manages to pull off a truly ambitious big-budget original film, balancing out acid-tinged mythology with the carnage we've come to expect from the viking genre. The Northman gets to the core of being held captive to certain myths even when reality is plainly in contention with them. All of the performances worked well here- Anya Taylor-Joy and Alexander Skarsgård are especially great on the boat- but Claes Bang is a total star. My only gripe is that Amleth's…

  • Holy Motors

    Holy Motors

    ★★★★

    The definition of a fever dream best enjoyed by sitting back and letting the oddness wash over you.

  • Secrets & Lies

    Secrets & Lies

    ★★★★★

    The sequence of family portraits taken by Timothy Spall's photographer character underscores director Mike Leigh's entire approach to filmmaking here- each snapshot captures a moment in time in a family's story. He could have as easily made a humanist film peering into the lives of any one of these people. The small stakes situations like a garden barbecue or tea at a diner are potent settings for casually life-altering truths to be revealed. Marianne Jean-Baptiste's grounded, warm presence balances out Brenda Blethyn neurotic, emotionally fragile performance, and this dynamic anchors the entire film.

  • The Lost Daughter

    The Lost Daughter

    ★★½

    Overall, this film adaptation of The Lost Daughter fails to transform the original text in any meaningful way. Olivia Coleman's towering gravitas holds the entire thing together playing a fraught, reactive character whose motivations are unclear. The tension Maggie Gyllenhaal tries to build fizzles out again and again, and the approach to flashbacks is something we've seen a million times. Also, it's embarrassing watching Dakota Johnson try to keep up with Coleman.

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★★

    I regret not seeing this one in theaters.

  • Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    ★★★★½

    Drive My Car is all about how the way people choose to perform the self. It's cerebral, metatextual, and brooding. The screenwriting is so strong and every choice director Ryusuke Hamaguchi makes is completely in service of the script. His command over the text is masterful, steering subtle shifts in tone seamlessly. Even at 3 hours, there's not a moment wasted here, and at no point did I feel like I knew what was going to unravel next. Each character,…

  • Passing

    Passing

    ★★

    Rebecca Hall is way out of her depth here, she simply does not yet have the range as a director to execute this attempt at a "subtly emotive arthouse" type of film. The black and white cinematography is a clever trick whose effect wears out within the first 10 minutes of the film. Ruth Negga shows her luminous screen presence and star power by carrying this mostly drab, unmoving affair on her back.

  • The Worst Person in the World

    The Worst Person in the World

    ★★★★

    Joachim Trier’s ambitious take on navigating life among the excesses of modernity does take a pointed moral position, despite what I’ve seen some people say about it. It says that self-actualization, much like life, isn’t a guarantee and to pursue that at the expense of others is your right but comes with a cost. Trier manages to outline this in several different ways without feeling mean spirited or penal about the endeavor. There’s a lot of praise going around for Renate Reinsve, but I found that Anders Danielson Lie’s performance held scenes that could have come across as overly saccharine together.

  • The Last Duel

    The Last Duel

    ★★★★

    Ridley Scott was much better fit for this material and tone than his other 2021 effort, the ill-suited House of Gucci. While that film couldn't decide how it felt about its main characters, The Last Duel lives up to its ambition with sharp writing and invested performances by Jodie Comer and Adam Driver.

    The use of multiple perspectives in the three-act structure is well suited to this narrative as even the rehashed details of the story become more engaging and…