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  • The Thin Red Line

    The Thin Red Line

    ★★★★★

    "If I never meet you in this life, let me feel the lack."

    Fifth viewing on the big screen alone, added to a couple more on home video, and this hasn't lost a single bit of its power. If anything, when stacked up next to KNIGHT OF CUPS, it's some kind of alien wonder now. As much as I adore BADLANDS, there's just nothing that ever came before this -- by Malick or anyone -- that was anything like this…

  • Spotlight

    Spotlight

    Such an arrogant piece of self-congratulatory lecture-theater that it’s gotta be a lock for Best Picture. I lost count of the number of scenes that end on sick truth bombs, but perhaps that’s because I was already losing count over the number of times McCarthy stitched two scenes together using a locked-down exterior shot accompanied by Howard Shore’s piano-tinkling compositions. (Given that this is a Boston-set film about rapist priests, no surprise they commissioned a score from the guy who…

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  • Greenland

    Greenland

    ★★★½

    I've spilled more ink over Ric Roman Waugh than probably anyone on Letterboxd, so I won't go too deep into his patterns and directorial voice, though it's hard not to when his stamp is this clear. There are few (maybe zero other) meat-and-potatoes Hollywood filmmakers serving up this particular mix of macho Middle America dad-movie energy with earnest care for characters, always leaning into human drama over spectacle.

    It's obvious by this point (his sixth feature, fifth that I've seen)…

  • Things Heard & Seen

    Things Heard & Seen

    ★★

    Many reviews of last year's Sean Durkin drama THE NEST pointed out that it was shot like a horror film, even though it was really just a takedown of of a marriage rotted by the upper crust ambitions of bourgeois whites. Very peculiar then, that less than a year later we get an actual horror movie about a marriage rotted by the upper crust ambitions of bourgeois whites.

    Even more peculiar is that Durkin was much better at creating a…

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  • Mission: Impossible

    Mission: Impossible

    ★★★★★

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

    It's all about the scene in the third act when Ethan and Jim reunite and have a drink together. Jim is trying to convince Ethan that Kittridge is the mole, not knowing Ethan already figured out it was Jim because of the Drake Hotel bible. So Ethan, having the upper hand, narrates a flashback where he pretends to realize how Kittridge did it, all for Jim's benefit -- meanwhile, DePalma's visuals tell a different story: the way Ethan is seeing…

  • Devs

    Devs

    ★½

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

    Even if this show didn't feature what is probably the single worst lead performance of any major prestige drama in the last 25 years (but it does: Sonoya Mizuno is deeply, all-encompassingly terrible in a way it's hard to fathom, episode after episode), it would still be a failure of ideas. ANNIHILATION is starting to feel more and more like an anomaly; its clever sci-fi concept had the courage to perform an existential autopsy of the human condition without pulling…