Oliver has written 77 reviews for films rated ★★★★ .

  • Red Rocket

    Red Rocket

    ★★★★

    Showing us another depressing window into America’s underbelly but turning it into something surprisingly compelling, Sean Baker is more ambitious than ever, expanding on his craft in various ways, while Simon Rex makes a welcome return with a magnetic performance as a slimy narcissist who gets into one pickle after the next and takes advantage of others until he has to face the music.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • Prisoners

    Prisoners

    ★★★★

    Although occasionally repetitive or maladroit, the strong atmosphere, fine attention to detail, sublime cinematography, haunting score, excellent performances, and tense plot full of anguish and suspense make Prisoners a solid thriller and a worthy first entry into Denis Villeneuve’s anglophone filmography.

  • Scream

    Scream

    ★★★★

    A clever and entertaining meta slasher that pokes fun at its genre tropes while always staying two steps ahead of its audience and providing some goofy and scary scenes that are brought to life by the excellent chemistry of its cast.

  • Ocean's Eleven

    Ocean's Eleven

    ★★★★

    Despite Don Cheadle’s distractingly and amusingly unfitting yet uncredited role as a Brit, this clever and enjoyable heist thriller has a nice cast and benefits from a sharp script with a plot that keeps us on our toes (especially thanks to the lack of exposition and details about the heist); a taut, confident direction from Soderbergh; and a pleasantly surprising incorporation of classical music toward the end.

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

    ★★★★

    With a marvelous score, excellent performances, and a dense plot that wastes no time, this is a thrilling, dramatic, energetic, action-packed, and emotionally satisfying finale to the Harry Potter series.

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    ★★★★

    Albeit not as well-polished or engaging as its predecessor, this dark chapter marks the turning point of the series, as the characters mature and begin to face more conflicts than before, and it is worth mentioning that the performances and music are fantastic.