• Terminator: Dark Fate

    Terminator: Dark Fate

    There is a lot that Terminator: Dark Fate gets right, and A LOT that it gets wrong. The greatest feat is the way the action is staged. The film takes advantage of its R-rating in order to deliver fights that have a real sense of impact. There's a clarity and a power to the action that's been missing from the series for a long time.

    However, the script is really bad. The dialogue has a few fun moments, but it…

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah is a very ambitious film. It tries to be a biopic of its two subjects, Fred Hampton and Bill O'Neal, while also being an espionage thriller. It also strives to inform the audience about COINTELPRO, the awful FBI program where they tried to dismantle minority and liberal/socialist groups through the use of propaganda, police brutality and even assassination. Is the film able to succeed at all of these goals? Mostly yes, though some aspects do…

  • One Night in Miami...

    One Night in Miami...

    ★★★★½

    One Night in Miami provides a very strong example of how to turn a play into a film without losing what made the play so special. Though the film retains the dialogue driven nature of the stage, the directing makes decisions that allow the story to more effectively use the medium of film.

    Most notably, the film allows for a sense of intimacy in a way a play would struggle with. In theater, one must play to the back row,…

  • Lonesome Dove

    Lonesome Dove

    ★★★★★

    One of the greatest westerns of all time. Lonesome Dove effortlessly straddles the line between recreating and deconstructing the classic western. The tone and visuals perfectly evoke the old classics, while the twists and turns of the story expose a more realistic take, one where being good isn't enough to survive.

    Augustus McCrae, played by Robert Duvall, may be the single greatest cowboy character ever created, a brilliant ranger and lawman who'd rather just drink and whore his way through…

  • Troop Zero

    Troop Zero

    Troop Zero is a very cute film with a great message. It uses it's rural Georgia in the 70s setting to highlight a story about allowing children to be and become who they are, rather than forcing them to fit some mold. The brilliant cast of child actors hammers this home, as each one is unique and likable in their own way. Sure the film is a little hokey, and a little safe, and doesn't always give its plot points the attention they deserve, but it's so upbeat and meaningful that it's hard to actively dislike anything about it.

  • True History of the Kelly Gang

    True History of the Kelly Gang

    The first half of this film is very strong. It very effectively depicts the harsh life in the wilds of Australia, and gives us an understanding of the desperation that the people of the time must have felt.

    Then the time jump happens. As effective and emotional as the story of Kelly’s childhood is, much of it is wasted by a messy, unfocused and poorly paced second half depicting Kelly as an adult. Any sense of flow and cause/effect is…

  • The Vast of Night

    The Vast of Night

    ★★★★★

    Well that was fantastic. The Vast of Night brilliantly takes its time in developing one of the more intriguing sci fi mysteries of recent years. Though much of what's in the film has been done before, few films have used the sheer overwhelming concept of the unknown in such a powerful way. Director Andrew Patterson shows remarkable restraint in this project. He lets the characters faces and voices tell the story and drive the mystery. In such a way, the film is not about the reveal, but rather the act of engaging in curiosity.

  • Never Rarely Sometimes Always

    Never Rarely Sometimes Always

    ★★★★½

    Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a surprisingly gut wrenching watch at times. The film so subtly and realistically depicts the hardships that women can face in modern society that it can be difficult just to make it to the end of the film. Because of that difficulty it is all the more important to make it to the end.

    One sequence in particular really shows the strengths of the film. An entire conversation is filmed with a static camera on…

  • Sound of Metal

    Sound of Metal

    ★★★★½

    Man, I really love this kind of film. Sound of Metal excellently puts you right in the shoes of a character coming to terms with the loss of one of his senses. The directing, sound design, and acting all work together to give you a sense of what the lead character is going through. It's artistic and emotional, although it never strains credulity. Ruben as a character feels fully developed, despite the fact that we first meet him only at…

  • Wonder Woman 1984

    Wonder Woman 1984

    You know what? I don’t have a lot to say. This movie is fine. It’s not bad, it’s not great. There’s not a lot to it, but it’s entertaining and the actors help give it a certain charm. It perhaps over focuses on the villains, but that’s fairly standard for a superhero sequel and it’s pretty fun to watch Pedro Pascal chew the scenery. Yeah, not much to it.

  • Tenet

    Tenet

    When reviewing films I tend to forgive flaws if they are a result of risks being taken. As such, Tenet is the exact kind of film that I will review more kindly than others. The plot is very difficult (though not impossible) to follow, but that is due to the driving force of the film being a cool new idea. As a narrative, the plot is a bit too complicated and exposition driven for its own good, but as an…

  • Soul

    Soul

    I mean, it is Pixar. Soul continues their ever ongoing trend of blending heart and humor into an accessible and meaningful package for viewers of all ages. Soul's story, about a musician who dies before his big break and struggles to return to his body, is tailor made Pixar, something that can be used to ease kids into understanding more adult themes, which adults will instantly latch onto. The film's ultimate message is a powerful one, and one that led…