• Casino Royale

    Casino Royale

    ★★★★

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

    “Now the whole world’s gonna know that you died scratching my balls!”

  • Orphan

    Orphan

    ★★★

    A dark sense of humor, creepy (while still preposterous) twist, and entertaining plot make this silly but well-executed horror thriller a fun way to pass the time.

  • Nope

    Nope

    ★★★½

    Jordan Peele brings us his most technically ambitious “spectacle” yet and continues to impress behind the camera, but even if his focus here is more drawn toward style and minutiae than a substantial story with meaningful subtext, this is no doubt another thought-provoking, suspenseful, and memorable vision from a true auteur.

  • The Northman

    The Northman

    ★★★

    Showcasing once again Eggers’ eye for striking imagery and painstaking attention to detail while nonetheless missing the fervor and trenchant commentary of his previous films, this is a slow, grim, and methodical retelling of the ancient legend of Amleth that unfortunately lacks a solid core (unlike Skarsgård’s ripped Viking body).

  • Moneyball

    Moneyball

    ★★★

    Carried by Brad Pitt’s charisma and charm, Moneyball is an occasionally engaging, well-acted, and well-made drama about a topic that couldn’t be any less interesting to me.

  • The Batman

    The Batman

    ★★★

    Borrowing heavily from Batman Returns, The Dark Knight, and even Se7en while following two sides of the same coin, a young and angsty Batman struggling to find his way in a city saturated in crime and gloom and a masked villain hell-bent on getting back at the corruption of Gotham, this voguish but slight iteration of the Caped Crusader fails to justify its own existence due to its fumbling script, humdrum plot, overlong runtime, and a seemingly stronger desire to start a commercially successful franchise than tell an interesting standalone story.

  • Nightmare Alley

    Nightmare Alley

    ★★★★

    I’m always pleased to see a director that puts formidable care into his craft without forsaking substance, and Guillermo del Toro pulls us into a dark, gritty world with the help of a wonderful cast, arresting visuals, and an intriguing story that explores the unpleasant sides of humanity but this time without resorting to fantasy.

  • After Yang

    After Yang

    ★★

    A ponderous snoozefest that makes for better ambient background noise than thought-provoking science fiction, with Colin Farrell sleep walking as a glum tea maker in the company of his distant wife and a daughter hung up on the passing of her AI brother (Yang). Besides the elegant world building of a soulless metropolis, the best thing I can say about it is that in one scene, Farrell’s character looks back at a moment in which he contemplates his profession with the eventually deceased Yang and does an impressive Werner Herzog impression.

  • Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★★

    Although an improvement over the original in just about every way, this entertaining crowd pleaser still suffers from some cheesy moments and a tasteless score and direction. But even if Tom Cruise still proves himself to be of another species while single-handedly saving the blockbuster genre, and it is notable to see how far filmmaking technology has evolved, the story is not that interesting, and the flight scenes are not as thrilling as I’d hoped.

  • Red Eye

    Red Eye

    ★★½

    A taut, economically paced albeit silly & forgettable thriller that seems like it was made for TV but benefits from Craven’s sharp direction & feels like a star vehicle for its leads more than anything. Brian Cox does a great job sitting on his ass, doing nothing; Rachel McAdams proves she’s not just a mean girl but actually a very nice & sociable Canadian (who’s still tough when she needs to be); & Cillian Murphy utilizes his creepy eyes & psychopathic charm to the best of his abilities.

  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    ★★★★½

    “Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.” -Roger Ebert  

    Every single time, it gives me chills, leaves me dumbfounded after it cuts to black, and haunts me for days after it’s over. If that’s not a testament to what makes a great film, I don’t know what is.

  • The Tragedy of Macbeth

    The Tragedy of Macbeth

    ★½

    Boasting a delicate, monochrome cinematography and a gloomy, expressionistic art and sound design, Joel Coen nonetheless fails to render an interesting fable or add anything new to the long list of Shakespearean adaptations, especially due to the abundance of excruciatingly verbose and obscure prose that smothers nearly every scene.