• The Fast and the Furious

    The Fast and the Furious

    ★★½

    The lead cast show a lot of promise for the franchise that would ensue, but despite its status in pop culture, the film itself is incredibly bland and mediocre—with a cheesy direction and script that’s basically a lesser version of Point Break, but with street racing, and with an altogether less memorable Johnny Utah as the protagonist.

  • Wrath of Man

    Wrath of Man

    ★★★

    The action is tense, the film becomes gradually suspenseful as it moves along, and Ritchie further proves his love of nonlinear plot structures and panache, but these things cannot elevate a typical revenge story and weak writing that prevent this grim crime thriller from delivering a solid punch in the end.

  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★½

    Frances McDormand is terrific as usual (even though she’s basically not even acting), and Chloé Zhao does a decent job behind the camera, but the plot is just too boring to make the journey worthwhile.

  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    One of the best openings to any horror film in recent memory. Gut-wrenching, ruthlessly efficient, astoundingly controlled, and simply spine-chilling. Beautiful to look at and impossible to look away from. Multiple scenes throughout that gave me chills. Unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The journey may be a little rocky, but the ending makes it worth it and makes up for any of the shortcomings that preceded it. The allusions to The Wicker Man are inevitable, but Midsommar holds its own…

  • Tenet

    Tenet

    One of the best openings to an action film I can think of. Pure adrenaline and vicious intensity right from the start. Ridiculously seamless combination of visual and practical effects. Some utterly bonkers and stupefying moments throughout. Emotionally stimulating and mentally overwhelming once things kick into high gear at the film’s confusing midpoint. Some appreciable little Easter eggs laid throughout to reward multiple viewings. It may not be Nolan’s most faultless effort, but Tenet is a sci-fi action thriller to remember. Oh, and Ludwig Göransson’s score kicks all kinds of ass.

  • 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.

  • For Myself, Alone

    For Myself, Alone

    ★★½

    An enigmatic slow-burn, but so much so that it was tough to get through and impossible to make any heads or tails of in the end. Though definitely a clear improvement in framing and cinematography from Victor’s previous works.

  • 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

    ★★★★½

    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…

  • No Time to Die

    No Time to Die

    (This was an April Fools’ joke I made before the film was released, not an actual review.) 

    “We all have our secrets.” 

    There are some cool set pieces and thrilling action sequences here and there, Daniel Craig is madder than ever, the twist took me by surprise, and although the film may feel a little stale in terms of its ideas and appear to be an amalgamation of the previous entries in the franchise, it still marks a worthy Bond film and a satisfying conclusion to Craig’s title as 007.

  • Minari

    Minari

    ★★½

    Albeit easy on the senses and with a committed turn from Steven Yeun, there isn’t much of a story, and the direction and script are often amateur and lacking in good taste, leaving Minari an uninspiring and emotionally deficient effort.