• The Guest

    The Guest

    This is a fun movie. Most of it serves as a serviceable, if somewhat straightforward and predictable, thriller. What elevates it is the lead performance of Dan Steven’s. Even though you pretty much know his deal early on, he’s charming enough to stay likable throughout and he’s clearly having a good time playing the character, which makes it fun to watch. The film muddies itself up in the third act (it doesn’t quite nail the balance of what to explain and what not to explain) but Stevens is able to hold attention through it all.

  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  • Those Who Wish Me Dead

    Those Who Wish Me Dead

    I was excited for this film when I heard it was a throwback to 90s mid-budget action thrillers, a genre I really like. While watching this film I suddenly remembered that, despite my fondness for the genre, most of those movies sucked.

    Those Who Wish Me Dead has an intriguing premise, a firefighter must save a child from two hitmen while outrunning a forest fire. Unfortunately, that synopsis barely describes the film. It eventually gets there in the third act,…

  • Mortal Kombat

    Mortal Kombat

    How the do you even rate a film like this? It's not good, but then it was never going to be. The fight scenes are very cool, and for many watching, that's enough. However, in the end I found myself disappointed.

    There's a lot to love about the film, especially for fans of the game. The fight scenes are very well done. They are shot clearly, often in long takes that can show off the strong martial arts choreography. As…

  • Quantum of Solace

    Quantum of Solace

    Perfect example of how NOT to edit an action film. All of the good stunts are wasted since the film cuts the scenes up to the point of incomprehensibility. The narrative suffers the same fate, clearly going through rewrites during filming. Honestly, it has some moments of unintentional fun, and does play well as an accidental spoof of Bond films.

  • The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight

    ★★★★★

    Has there been a better directed blockbuster in the last 20 years?

  • News of the World

    News of the World

    News of the World doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it is a satisfying watch for those who like old school westerns. Tom Hanks is, as always, an engaging lead, and Helena Zengel plays off of him perfectly. Their relationship feels incredibly natural, and develops at a great pace.

    The film is perhaps lacking in inspiration, there's nothing here that hasn't been done before, but it's an entertaining watch, especially for fans of the western genre.

  • Godzilla vs. Kong

    Godzilla vs. Kong

    All three of the previous monsterverse films have had bad scripts and boring human plotlines that suck up waaay too much screentime. That said, they all also made up for that with a sense of weight, beauty and buildup. By the time you get to the final fights in each of those films, you really WANT Godzilla or Kong to destroy their enemy, giving these films a sense of momentum and buildup that justifies some of their dead air time.…

  • The White Tiger

    The White Tiger

    The White Tiger is a great character driven film that shines a light on how difficult it can be to just survive in some places. I am not in general a fan of films driven by voice over narration, but The White Tiger uses it well, largely due to the fact that the film is built on the protagonists thoughts more than his actions.

    The film is perhaps a bit long, and the resolution happens a bit too quickly, but it is never boring. Writer/director Ramin Bahrani has an energy and passion that keeps the film flowing despite the lack of any truly likable characters.

  • Another Round

    Another Round

    ★★★★½

    Another Round shows the benefits of telling a relatively simple story with a deft directorial hand. The plotline of the film, which involves four high school teachers attempting to be constantly drunk in order to see if it will improve their lives, never overcomplicates itself. Instead, director Thomas Vinterberg simply sets it up, then uses it to examine the lives and regrets of these four men.

    Of course, it doesn't hurt that one of these men is played by Mads…

  • Promising Young Woman

    Promising Young Woman

    ★★★★★

    Fucking Hell, this one's gonna stick with me for a while.

    Promising Young Woman is a righteously angry, focused and important film, one that uses the framework of a revenge story to shine a light on a trauma that is all to common, and all to often ignored.

    The title refers to the phrase "promising young man," which is how much of the media chose to describe rapist Brock Turner. The twist of the title is very intentional, as it…

  • Minari

    Minari

    ★★★★★

    Minari is further proof of why A24 is my favorite company currently in the film business. Minari is a wonderfully intimate and emotional film. Brilliant actors find deep human truths in a small scale story that never loses sight of what life is, a series of moments, some great and some terrible.

    Not much more to say. Brilliant in every way.