• Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza

    More of a collection of scenes than a film. Thankfully most of these scenes are pretty good. There are certainly major issues with the film, but the performances are pretty uniformly great. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s solid.

  • The Lost Daughter

    The Lost Daughter

    I’ll admit that I was very tired when I watched this film, so I don’t feel comfortable giving it a specific star rating. All I’ll say is that I mostly didn’t find the narrative to be all that interesting, however Olivia Colman’s excellent performance kept me watching till the end. I don’t necessarily think this film comes together as a whole, but Colman is absolutely brilliant and several scenes are well done on their own.

  • King Richard

    King Richard

    Not a bad film, but somewhat frustratingly color-by-numbers. It’s paced a little too slowly, and it feels like the film is often turning away from a more challenging version of itself in order to be more palatable. Richard feels somewhat like a sanitized character, which does lend a falsehood to the film.

    That said, the performances are strong. Will Smith gives a very solid performance that is very different than his usual style, while still making use of his great…

  • Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    ★★★★★

    A powerfully emotional and engrossing experience. Enter open minded and allow the film to carry you through the journey.

  • The King's Man

    The King's Man

    Well, at least it gives Djimon Hounsou more to do than he’s had in a while. Truth be told the third act of this film is actually pretty fun, but boy is it a slog to get there.

    I do like both of the other Kingsman films, and will readily admit that they’re both kinda dumb. But… they know and embrace their dumb, and decide to run and have fun with it. This film does not do that. Instead of…

  • Flee

    Flee

    ★★★★½

    A rare example of an animated documentary, Flee’s gorgeous visuals are a perfect match for its gut wrenching story of survival. The film is a series of interviews with “Amin” who tells the story of how he fled Afghanistan, and how he survived the journey. It’s a powerful story, both in how it depicts Amin’s survival, and suggests how others may not have. Amin’s struggle may not be universal, but it is very human. Flee is a good looking and well paced tale, as well as an informative one.

  • The Worst Person in the World

    The Worst Person in the World

    ★★★★½

    The worst Person in the World is one of the first films I’ve seen to truly understand how “coming of age” has changed in the past couple of decades. Though generally associated with late teens, this film is a depiction of how that has, for much of the world, changed to late 20s. This is a film about finding yourself, and embracing when it is not time for that.

    It’s interesting to see how the film embraces the artifice of…

  • Nightmare Alley

    Nightmare Alley

    I suppose there’s nothing especially “wrong” with this film. There are no pointless subplots or off tone characters. However, the whole thing feels like a ride that never really manages to get properly going. The visuals are great, but the narrative is never intriguing enough to get invested in. The twists are too telegraphed for any tension to be built up. And finally, despite Bradley Cooper’s best efforts, Stanton Carlisle never truly feels fleshed out as a character. The engines are all running, but it feels like everything’s firing on one less cylinder than it should be.

  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service

    On Her Majesty's Secret Service

    ★★★★½

    This has instantly become one of my favorite Bond films. Surprisingly modern filmmaking, an interesting story and a perfect tone blend to create one of the best early Bond films.

    To get past the elephant in the room, George Lazenby does indeed make for a good Bond. He certainly lacks much of Connery’s charisma and physicality, but he chooses instead to give Bond more of an everyman feel. It’s certainly not one of the better Bond performances, but it suits…

  • The Tragedy of Macbeth

    The Tragedy of Macbeth

    ★★★★★

    A tragedy told through a nightmare. Joel Coen embraces gothic surrealism, and thus creates one of the most unique and striking adaptations of the Bard's work yet.

    Denzel Washington excels at performing both the noble man who was, and the villain who became, as well as the transfer between. He owns the screen, commanding it through shouts, whispers, and the unraveling of sanity. It is perhaps the greatest cinematic performance of the character yet. Kathryn Hunter's performance as the witches…

  • Spider-Man: No Way Home

    Spider-Man: No Way Home

    As somebody with mixed feelings on Tom Holland's tenure as Spider Man (I find his performance to be good, but the character feels more like Iron Man Jr.) No Way Home serves as an effective course correction. By the end of the film, Tom Holland truly feels like Spider Man, albeit it takes some awkward plotting to get him there.

    Most of that awkwardness is in the film's first act. It's clear that the writers wanted to tell the "multiverse"…

  • Pig

    Pig

    ★★★★½

    Pig is an interesting film. It follows a familiar setup, then proceeds to go in a completely different tonal direction. Nicolas Cage anchors this film excellently. It's hard to believe it even is Cage at times, as he delivers a very quiet and restrained performance, far from his standard overacting. The film also manages to nail the emotional impact of its ending. A meaningful and intriguingly understated film.