Oliver has written 7 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2021.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Save Ralph

    Save Ralph

    ★★★★

    Animal testing is disgusting, and this short film brought my awareness to an issue I never really considered. But thanks to Taika Waititi’s humorous, light-hearted, and optimistic character and the film’s scrupulous attention to detail, the experience is almost as painful and upsetting as what these animals go through. Let’s make a change.

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★

    Albeit occasionally unsubtle or repetitive, Call Me by Your Name tells a touching emotional journey for a precocious young man leading a leisurely life basked against the Italian summer countryside sun until a doctoral student working for the boy’s father comes and eats some eggs, and it is crafted with intelligence and sensitivity and features a revelatory performance by Timothée Chalamet.

  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

    Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

    ★★★★

    Due to the repetitive and predictable nature of its plot, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World burns itself out too quickly, and the romance is a bit iffy between the two leads—feeling like a realized fantasy, in the end, of Scott’s longing for someone unattainable (yet without the punchline). But it still has a lot of amusing parts, with perfectly cast caricatures and a unique, impressive visual style—earning the film its status as a cult classic.

  • Tenet

    Tenet

    ★★★★

    “I’m the protagonist.”

    The story is inspired, but the plot is contrived, heavy-handed, and often baffling—especially due to the heavy exposition dumps and convoluted plot points delivered at a fast pace. And some of the dialogue and sound mixing is also dodgy. But the characters are memorable, and despite how little we know about the protagonist, his character is full of personality and is given life by John David Washington. 

    Even for a spy thriller, Tenet delivers on the dramatic…