Movieman630 has written 26 reviews for films rated ★★★★½ .

  • Prey

    Prey

    ★★★★½

    Prey is everything it needs to be and should be. A lean, mean action-horror machine that still manages to tell a character focused story. The storytelling is very visual and economic. The cinematography is beautiful. The pacing finds a perfect sweet spot: momentous and building without being rushed. Amber Midthunder makes for an excellent lead, and her journey is interesting, easy to follow and emotionally resonant. And finally, the Predator is intense and scary, making for an adversary who constantly…

  • American Psycho

    American Psycho

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Soo, why did nobody tell me this movie is a comedy. Far from the straightforward horror I expected, this is a pitch black satire on upper class white toxic masculinity. There's a real intelligence in the way the wall street society is deconstructed. Though these men have all the resources in the world at their disposal, they use it on pointless social games and one-upmanship. They are so interchangeable that nobody can tell them apart, since they look the same,…

  • The Rock

    The Rock

    ★★★★½

    Man, this movie “rocks” so much more than it has to. It’s Michael Bay at his best, with a solid script and some really excellent set pieces. This movie is really elevated to the next level by Ed Harris’ performance. His last few scenes in the film display more nuance than the rest of Bay’s filmography combined. He makes General Hummel a truly fantastic 90s villain, one who is intimidating while also being three dimensional and believable as a human being. Truly one of the best action films of the post Die Hard era

  • 2022 Oscar-Nominated Shorts - Live Action

    2022 Oscar-Nominated Shorts - Live Action

    ★★★★½

    It’s great to see these short films on the big screen yet again. As usual, they’re a somewhat mixed bag of mostly great, but very heavy, films.

    ON MY MIND
    The first one is the weakest of the bunch. There’s definitely heart and passion involved, but ultimately the movie isn’t able to make an impact out of them. It’s too obvious and, unfortunately, poorly shot. It’s not awful, but it’s also not great.

    PLEASE HOLD
    This one is absolutely phenomenal.…

  • The French Dispatch

    The French Dispatch

    ★★★★½

    I’m not the biggest Wes Anderson fan around, but French Dispatch is instantly one of my favorites. It fits his style so perfectly and, most importantly, it’s just a lot of fun. The cast is fantastic, the visuals are as sumptuous as ever, and it’s an entertaining time with some true laugh out loud moments.

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • Mass

    Mass

    ★★★★½

    Mass is a very simple film, one which draws power from its excellent performances. Essentially a one act play, Mass lives and breathes on the performances of its four leads. Reed Birney, Ann Dowd, Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton each display powerful depictions of grief, at once universal and unique. The script by Fran Kranz gives each of these characters moments to shine and show themselves, and he wisely allows his directorial hand to fade into the background.

    This film…

  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★★★½

    When I say "West Side Story is a perfect example of how to do a remake" I don't just mean that it's a great remake. I mean that Tony Kushner makes exactly the right decisions in regards to what to keep and what to change. The fun choreography, Romeo and Juliet story and, of course, all of the songs are still here. That said, this new version of the story takes advantage of a modern view of things. This allows…

  • CODA

    CODA

    ★★★★½

    CODA is pretty straightforward and follows the heartwarming coming of age story pretty specifically. That said, it does it so well that I'm prompted to say "who cares." There is so much heart and love in this film that it's difficult to come out of it unmoved. The characters are all believable. The conflicts are unique, but make sense for the characters given their position, and the film treats its story and all of its players with a real sense of respect. A moving, if predictable, film.