• No Time to Die

    No Time to Die

    ★★½

    A tedious and lackadaisical conclusion to Craig’s era as Bond that tries to fit in as much as it can into its overlong runtime while also suffering from a contrived villain whose weapon is awfully convenient and whose motivations are unclear, a forgettable theme song, and a disappointing ending.

  • Sexy Beast

    Sexy Beast

    ★★★½

    The acting, ambition, and staying power are all there, with Glazer establishing himself as a unique avant-garde filmmaker, but the direction is sometimes overkill, the bizarreness doesn’t fit with the material at hand, and the story is a little too short and simple for my taste—considering the tedious buildup.

  • Eraserhead

    Eraserhead

    David Lynch took a whopping five years to produce his first feature film, and the result is a cult classic masterpiece that represents the troubles and anxieties of parenthood on one hand while showing an industrialized world devoid of humanity, hope, and empathy on the other, and its depressing setting and mood, blank color palette, lifeless soundscapes, and grotesque makeup and special effects help to make us feel as trapped and perturbed as its protagonist before leading us to an inevitably shocking but cathartic ending.

  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    ★★★★★

    With a slow-burning breakup story at the heart of its morbid pagan cult plot; a sophisticated portrayal of grief, trauma, toxicity, and even hallucinogens; an astonishing performance by Florence Pugh; stunning craftsmanship across the board; an unsettling contrast between beauty and horror; an effective sense of humor; and extraordinary visions and visceral moments throughout, Ari Aster bleeds the colors of various genres into a nerve-racking and spellbinding experience like no other.

  • F9

    F9

    ★★

    This is proof that the franchise can only push its ambition and ridiculous stunts so far before the result becomes tiresome, and the storyline between Dom and his estranged brother is too soulless and contrived to make us care about what’s happening anyway. But at least the very end has a welcome surprise.

  • Pig

    Pig

    ★★★

    I appreciate how Nic Cage is taking roles in unusual indie films that would have otherwise been more easily overlooked by general audiences, and he gives his most somber and heartfelt performance to date, but while Pig certainly has some meaningful things to say, the lack of exposition and tension, strange tone, and uninspiring plot made it hard to get invested in the story—thus rendering its few emotional highs ineffectual.

  • The Fate of the Furious

    The Fate of the Furious

    ★★½

    The opening scene and prison scene are the highlights. Everything else is meh.

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    ★★★½

    Stanfield and Plemons shine, and Kaluuya steals the show with his performance, but the film itself is a little bland compared with other civil rights films and fails to reach its full potential when it comes to emotionally investing the audience.

  • Fast & Furious 6

    Fast & Furious 6

    ★★★★

    While most would argue that Fast Five is the best of the franchise, this film doubles down on everything that made that film successful while upping the ante with a consistently engrossing plot that increases the stakes and benefits from a menacing villain, a surprisingly emotional touch, and an abundance of exciting and stupefying action that doesn’t always need to make sense so long as it’s about family.

  • Annihilation

    Annihilation

    ★★★★

    An extraordinary and thought-provoking science fiction film that effectively condenses and deviates from its source material while leaving us with some beautiful, eerie, and frightening scenes and with plenty to chew on after it’s over.

  • Fast Five

    Fast Five

    ★★★

    Action-packed and decent fun, Fast Five is nothing too remarkable although it does boast some unique set pieces and solid stunt work, and the plot—albeit somewhat predictable and questionable at times—offers some surprises, and while certainly the most ambitious entry thus far, it launched the series in a new direction that would change it forever.

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    A magnificent, touching, darkly humorous, and very well-written drama about anger, loss, grief, despair, and compassion—with outstanding work from its superb ensemble cast (minus Lucas Hedges’ underacting) and one all-time great scene that surely won Sam Rockwell his well-deserved Oscar.