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  • Wild Rose

    Wild Rose

    ★★★★

    We were originally supposed to see Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, but my mom took one look at its runtime and requested we watch something else. I ended up picking Wild Rose for us and luckily it turned out to be a great decision! Wild Rose is a real gem. Whether it’s through movies, books, “inspirational” success stories or any other medium, we’re constantly told to follow our dreams to the point that giving up or compromising on any…

  • The Farewell

    The Farewell

    ★★★★

    Going back to my place of birth to visit can be difficult for me. Having almost everyone I meet joke that I’ve become completely “American.” Feeling distant from my relatives because the last time I saw them was years before. Staying mostly quiet for family dinners, not because I can’t speak the language, but because I’m afraid that the cultural divide is too deep for them to understand me—my personality, sense of humor, my dreams and aspirations. The Farewell reminds…

  • Green Book

    Green Book

    ★★

    Not much to say about this one. It’s perfectly bland and safe and puts little effort into thoughtfully exploring the racial politics of the time. I don’t even have the energy to list out everything that’s wrong with the film. It’s devastating to think that this is what won Best Picture and beat out The Favourite and First Reformed for Best Original Screenplay. The only redeeming quality is Mahershala Ali’s performance as the great, intriguing Dr. Don Shirley, who really deserved a much better film than this.

  • Paddington 2

    Paddington 2

    ★★★★★

    Bought HBO Now purely to watch the second season of Big Little Lies. Then realized they were also streaming Paddington 2 and knew that I had to put the Monterey Five on hold for a day to rewatch this masterpiece of a film.

  • Vice

    Vice

    Oh boy. My expectations were low going into Vice, and somehow it was even worse than I could have imagined. One of the most obnoxious and condescending films I’ve watched. To make matters worse, the film is also (shockingly) boring. I found myself glancing at the time more than once throughout, willing it to move faster. 

    Most of the technical and stylistic gambles that Adam McKay makes are just...not it. The voiceover narration and related third act twist is dumb.…

  • Mortal Engines

    Mortal Engines

    ★★★½

    Everyone did Mortal Engines so dirty. Sure, a lot of the dialogue is awkward, there are too many characters to keep track of and almost all of them are underdeveloped, the plot can feel like an amalgam of plot points from other fantasy films at times, and the first half is noticeably better than the second. However, Mortal Engines is so ambitious with its worldbuilding that the film is still a blast even with the normally unforgivable missteps. I mean,…

  • Fighting with My Family

    Fighting with My Family

    ★★★

    It follows the sports underdog formula down to a tee, but injects some originality into the overused trope by throwing in some family drama. For me, Fighting with My Family is at its best went it leans into its identity as a family drama.

  • Mary Poppins Returns

    Mary Poppins Returns

    ★★½

    About 5 minutes into this film, Julie Walters’s character says that they only have marmalade to eat, so obviously my mind went directly to Paddington, and from that moment on I couldn’t stop thinking about how I’d rather be watching a Paddington 1 and 2 double feature instead. It didn’t help that Ben Whishaw is also in this.

  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

    ★★★★

    A perfect ending to one of the best trilogies in existence. Breathtaking visuals, a stunning score, and lots of heart. There’s something so wondrous and magical about watching dragons soaring through the air as the music swells. The sequence of Toothless awkwardly courting the Light Fury on the beach and the last 20 minutes are *chef’s kiss*.

  • The Bookshop

    The Bookshop

    ★½

    So incredibly dull and frustrating. It gets a little more tolerable as it keeps going but not by much.

  • Happy Death Day 2U

    Happy Death Day 2U

    ★★★½

    Happy Death Day 2U is lots of fun and a welcome installment to the series! The sci-fi twist builds upon the basic premise of the first film in a way that makes it feel fresh but still familiar. The film does try to get a little too clever at times though, making it feel slightly messy plotwise. Although the sequel doesn’t have the simplicity that worked so well in the first film, it does successfully replicate a lot of the…

  • The Old Man & the Gun

    The Old Man & the Gun

    ★★★½

    Probably the most charming and sincere film about a criminal (albeit a very gentlemanly one!) out there. Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek are wonderful together. If only the entire film had focused on them instead of wasting half of its runtime on Casey Affleck’s boring character.