• The Evil Dead

    The Evil Dead

    ★★★½

    Campy and creepy horror classic. Full of awesome practical effects and gore. Toes the line between goofy and gnarly very well. Really fun to see Raimi’s direction evolve and improve from beginning to end.

  • Firestarter

    Firestarter

    ★½

    This was pretty rough. There’s glimmers of solid horror and character work, but they’re lost in a woefully bland narrative. Feels long for a 90 minute flick because there’s really no momentum to it. Carpenter’s score is the best part, and even that is underutilized. This really could’ve been so much more, but it’s missing any kind of spark.

  • Top Gun

    Top Gun

    ★★★½

    Unabashedly macho and patriotic, yet thrillingly entertaining. Deftly directed by Scott, who centers the cheesiness, melodrama, and romance. Full of pure 80s energy, from over-saturated colors to the soundtrack. Action sequences are great and genuinely exciting; it’s fun to see the birth of Tom Cruise as we know him today.

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★

    I’m a bit conflicted on this one. I loved the horror elements/imagery, some awesome set pieces, and the unapologetic comic book camp. Raimi’s vision is bonkers and unique, allowing things to get a lot weirder, gnarlier, and meaner than we’ve seen in the MCU thus far. However, the film struggles to reconcile Raimi’s wackiness with its efforts to build upon the sprawling universe (multiverse?) it exists in. Some of the more MCU-ish elements, while fun, feel out of place relative…

  • The Northman

    The Northman

    ★★★★½

    Eggers’ latest is a Viking revenge tale that’s steeped in mythology, fate, and blood. Absolutely enthralling and gorgeously crafted; we’re quickly drawn into an unforgiving world where violence begets violence. Skarsgård is a commanding and imposing lead, fronting a great cast. Otherworldly imagery and mysticism are intricately woven into an otherwise grounded saga of vengeance. Feels like an old-school epic injected with some well-balanced weirdness. This was so great; it’s fantastically brutal, yet still artful and poignant. 

    What a great year for movies thus far.

  • The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    ★★★½

    Loony, gonzo buddy comedy that’s hilariously meta and wonderfully ridiculous. Cage and Pascal both give great performances that play off each other so well. The screenplay is witty and layered, featuring plenty of nods to Cage’s filmography. Deceptively grounded for the kind of movie it is, and honestly I think they could’ve gone even further with some of the more whacky elements. Regardless, the character work and meta-ness are both handled very well. I had a smile on my face the whole time; it’s just so sincere and so much fun. This is a love letter to acting, movies, and most importantly…Nicholas Cage.

  • The Last Temptation of Christ

    The Last Temptation of Christ

    ★★★★½

    Fascinating Biblical epic that examines spirituality, mortality, and martyrdom. Dafoe gives an outstanding and haunting performance. Incredibly well-crafted, with creative direction from Scorsese and a very layered script from Schrader. Slow-moving, but no scenes are wasted. The third act is absolutely sublime.

  • Ambulance

    Ambulance

    ★★★½

    Totally bonkers and full of mayhem (Bayhem?) in all the best ways. Gyllenhaal plays an incredible lunatic, the script is almost as crazy as the camerawork, and there are explosions galore. Bay’s direction is so unhinged that you can’t help but appreciate his stylistic consistency. What’s not to like? This thing is absolutely hilarious; the dark comedy woven throughout works very well and helps make for an entertaining ride. Takes some great meta shots at itself and the 90s action flicks it resembles. A really absurd throwback to old school action-thrillers. So much fun.

  • Pain & Gain

    Pain & Gain

    ★★★

    Unsubtle and strangely mesmerizing. Like Bay doing Goodfellas for gym rats. Some sloppy editing, but it honestly fits the story well. It’s bizarre, goofy, and ridiculous, but also incredibly entertaining.

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★★★½

    Spectacularly original and incredibly entertaining multiverse adventure. Amazingly crafted all-around, with assured direction, vibrant cinematography, and kinetic editing. Weaves so many genres, plot lines, and themes together with ease and cohesion. Takes some pretty big swings, but nails them all; balancing the overwhelming nature of modern existence with poignant family drama is no easy feat, but it’s done beautifully here. Not afraid to get (very) weird, but it’s bizarreness is where it’s heart is. 

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen something so inventive, emotional, hilarious, and thrilling. It’s movies like this that make me love movies.

  • Morbius

    Morbius

    ★★

    Campy, kooky and decently fun, Morbius has found it’s way from the depths of the mid-2000s to our modern screens. Maybe my expectations were too low, but I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. It’s far from novel and has some pretty poor editing, but I found it to be pretty watchable overall. There’s solid visual effects and entertaining action sequences punctuated by some cool horror elements. I’m a bit less thrilled with its attempts to connect to…

  • The Lost City

    The Lost City

    ★★★

    Upbeat and frequently funny adventure. The cast does a great job with the material and all look like they’re having fun. There’s some great gags sprinkled throughout, and the story itself is pretty solid. Really enjoyable.