Oliver has written 78 reviews for films rated ★★★ .

  • 9/21/21

    9/21/21

    ★★★

    Anima (2021)

  • 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.

  • Fast Five

    Fast Five

    ★★★

    Action-packed and decent fun, Fast Five is nothing too remarkable although it does boast some unique set pieces and solid stunt work, and the plot—albeit somewhat predictable and questionable at times—offers some surprises, and while certainly the most ambitious entry thus far, it launched the series in a new direction that would change it forever.

  • 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.

  • Another Round

    Another Round

    ★★★

    Another Round’s strong performances and novel concept can’t overcome a predictable narrative structure with mixed messages and consequently an ineffective eventual catharsis.

  • Promising Young Woman

    Promising Young Woman

    ★★★

    An arresting and well-acted but messy feminist revenge thriller with an intriguing story whose bold final act and social agenda about the dangers of sexual assault and people’s carelessness are hindered by the inept delivery of its ending and a sudden lack of rationality.

  • The Devil All the Time

    The Devil All the Time

    ★★★

    The narration can be intrusive and laborious at times, Robert Pattinson further proves that he struggles with accents, and the plot could have used a little more work, but The Devil All the Time is still a pretty solid adaptation whose ending—despite the film’s incessantly grim nature—is surprisingly hopeful.

  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

    Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

    ★★★

    Despite losing the freshness and prominence of its predecessor, Lost in New York is even more entertaining and is anchored yet again by a strong ensemble and an even bigger (and welcome) cast while doubling down on the insane antics and ridiculous implausibilities and packing in more engaging spectacle and heart than before.

  • Four Christmases

    Four Christmases

    ★★★

    A perfectly watchable holiday rom-com, with two solid turns from Vince Vaughn as himself and Reese Witherspoon, that has its funny moments but peaks too early in excitement before eventually losing its steam in a humdrum story with ordinary messages about family.

  • Sleepy Hollow

    Sleepy Hollow

    ★★★

    Albeit with a gorgeous Gothic atmosphere and an expectedly skittish turn from Johnny Depp, Sleepy Hollow puts too much of its energy into being campy and silly to take its story seriously or find its antagonist frightening.

  • Devs

    Devs

    ★★★

    Despite its sensational technicality, captivating visuals, fascinating story, and thought-provoking ideas, Devs is far too problematic in its storytelling to add up to a satisfying whole, especially when its finale makes everything that came before it feel a lot less important.

  • Airplane!

    Airplane!

    ★★★

    It has some inspired and amusing moments and some quotable lines with a handful of pop culture references, but the film is lighter on plot than it is on unfunny and juvenile gags.