• Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    A magnificent, touching, darkly humorous, and very well-written drama about anger, loss, grief, despair, and compassion—with outstanding work from its superb ensemble cast (minus Lucas Hedges’ underacting) and one all-time great scene that surely won Sam Rockwell his well-deserved Oscar.

  • The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

    The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

    ★★

    The age disparity between the actors and the teenagers they play demands an awful amount of suspension of disbelief, the music during most of the action scenes cheapens them, and the story is thus far the weakest of the franchise, but it is refreshing to see how little the film relies on CGI for its stunts, and it does a good job—like the previous entries—at fleshing out its characters.

  • A Quiet Place Part II

    A Quiet Place Part II

    ★★½

    After a gripping opening, the film reveals that it inherited a lot of flaws from its predecessor—namely a lack of logic from characters and the story and in this case, a few blatant conveniences and questionable narrative choices, but it still racks up a fair amount of tension, suspense, and surprises to deliver a sufficient monster movie.

  • 2 Fast 2 Furious

    2 Fast 2 Furious

    ★★½

    John Singleton proves himself a better director than Rob Cohen in this film, and the story is overall more entertaining—with an effective duality between the two leads and a defined villain, but like the first film, this one suffers from a lot of cheesiness (particularity in one glaring instance at the end) and a weak plot.

  • Black Widow

    Black Widow

    ★★

    With a bland, soulless, and inept direction and script; a lackluster story; terrible Russian accents; uninspiring and mind-numbing fight scenes; and a dull final battle, Black Widow is a painfully average, awfully perfunctory, and mostly tedious origin film for its titular character, who deserved much better considering her role in the MCU.

  • 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.