Oliver has written 13 reviews for films rated ★★★★★ during 2018.

  • Burning

    Burning

    ★★★★★

    Elevated by excellent performances and cinematography, Lee Chang-dong's stunning masterpiece is a slow-burning Hitchcockian thriller and thought-provoking allegory that demands maximum attention from its audience to invest in its elusive narrative of subtle suspense and symbolism.

  • L.A. Confidential

    L.A. Confidential

    ★★★★★

    With a brilliantly dense script and taut pacing, this exceptional neo-noir is consistently engrossing until the end and benefits especially from a superb direction, elegant cinematography, and impeccable performances in an all-star cast.

  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★★★

    It’s about loneliness. The first movie I called my favorite that also happens to be one of Martin Scorsese’s finest films—featuring a haunting score by Bernard Herrmann and an unforgettable performance by De Niro who portrays a profoundly relatable character in one of the most quietly intense, fascinating, and poignant stories ever put to celluloid.

  • Mulholland Drive

    Mulholland Drive

    ★★★★★

    Blending horror, tragedy, and absurdism in a fascinating albeit bizarre underworld of Hollywood fantasy amid a depressing reality, this brilliant, puzzling, and surreal cult classic may at first test our patience with an incoherent story and a plot so frustratingly nonsensical but then offers a truly captivating and mind-boggling final act that subverts our expectations and makes the film welcome to multiple viewings.

  • Singin' in the Rain

    Singin' in the Rain

    ★★★★★

    Despite a Broadway number that feels out of place, it’s easy to forgive, as it is such a delight to find a classic this charming and timeless. And this is an entrancing musical full of wonderful songs, stupendous choreography, and memorable performances.

  • Inception

    Inception

    ★★★★★

    Full of profundity in an endlessly absorbing story and an incessantly gripping plot filled with complex ideas and committed performances from its great cast, this is an enormously ambitious film and is certainly one of Nolan’s best.

  • Blade Runner

    Blade Runner

    ★★★★★

    This iconic, seminal masterpiece still stands as a visually dazzling display of dark, visceral, and deeply philosophical sci-fi spectacle that holds its main greatness in its groundbreaking visual effects and aesthetics, Rutger Hauer’s singular performance, and an unforgettable score by Vangelis.

  • A Serious Man

    A Serious Man

    ★★★★★

    An astute, unorthodox Jewish farce, A Serious Man yields an absurd yet intriguing story on the psyche of a Midwestern physics teacher as we see him try to make sense of life’s turmoil—all carried brilliantly with the help of a smart script, bizarre humor, excellent performances, and outstanding cinematography by Roger Deakins.

  • Bicycle Thieves

    Bicycle Thieves

    ★★★★★

    Bicycle Thieves is a touching classic of Italian neorealism that displays the anguish that comes with desperation and forgoes any sentimentality by always investing in earnest emotions.

  • mother!

    mother!

    ★★★★★

    mother! is Darren Aronofsky's outrageous biblical allegory conveyed brilliantly through ecological metaphors.

  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★★★★

    I’m obsessed with this film. It’s intrinsically a baseline test that demands multiple viewings, in a similar way to the original but in its own right. Yes, the plot has a few issues, but accompanied by Villeneuve’s utter passion and respect for the original is a technical masterpiece—a thought-provoking, haunting, and unforgettable experience.

  • Blade Runner

    Blade Runner

    ★★★★★

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

    “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.

    Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.

    I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the 
    Tannhäuser Gate.

    All those moments will be lost 

    In time, like

    Tears 

    In rain.

    Time 

    To die.”