Oliver has written 35 reviews for films during 2021.

  • The French Dispatch

    The French Dispatch


    Even with a stellar cast and visuals so rich in color, detail, and complexity, Anderson once again trades emotional engagement for rigorous bravura in a technically impressive but vapid ode to journalism and literature with three unrelated stories that become progressively less interesting.

  • Furious 7

    Furious 7


    The farewell to Paul Walker at the end was emotional and satisfying, but as for the film itself, it’s mediocre.

  • 9/21/21



    Anima (2021)

  • No Time to Die

    No Time to Die


    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


    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



    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



    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



    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



    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


    The opening is exciting, and the prison scene is fun, but everything else is meh despite the film’s lofty ambitions.

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah


    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 raises 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.