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  • The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

    The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

    ★★★★★

    There's a whole lotta waxing philosophical about Christopher Nolan's Batman series currently, due to The Dark Knight's 10-year-anniversary. Well, 85 years prior, Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse (Rudolph Klein-Rogge) was every one of your favorite Nolan villain (Joker, Scarecrow, Bane) stuffed into the frail body of one crooked-nose, bug-eyed lunatic. Mabuse tries to control Berlin through systemic chaos; pumping dope into the air, creating new currency in an attempt to devalue national currency, committing crimes that have no monetary gain, instigating…

  • Carol

    Carol

    ★★★★★

    A lot has changed in the world since 2015 but Carol still remains the best American movie of this century. Flung from space and into rarified air.

    In a 1950s department store, Therese (Rooney Mara) is stuck working behind the doll counter. Though it’s not in her section, she daily sets up the Christmas train set in a different area of the store before it opens, and then resigns herself to her post. In a sea of housewives frantically shopping…

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  • Bull Durham

    Bull Durham

    ★★★½

    Oh, how we miss movies like Bull Durham, full of smart dialogue about sex and personal creeds and characters who are defined with a fine tooth comb. Sure, Ron Shelton's script isn't rooted by a clear path, the narration isn't necessary, and the end doesn't stick the landing beautifully but instead feels like a formality of filmmaking, got to wrap it up. But the minor league stadium and the few who cheer on the transient players who play there makes…

  • Transit

    Transit

    ★★★★

    Christian Petzold takes a number of narrative gambles with Transit; chiefly setting the Visa to escape the Holocaust drama not in the 1930s but right here and now, but also having a narrator who has very little to do with the story narrate over many of the character's genuine reactions with details that he'd heard second hand.

    The reason for the modern setting is easy to assess, because the immigrant crisis has given rise to fascism around the world. The…

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  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    ★½

    When rock critics hear Queen’s improbable hit single “Bohemian Rhapsody” for the first time, Bryan Singer’s film (of the same name) flashes a bunch of dismissive critical quotes. One quote outstretches all the others and ends the sequence, that’s “perfectly adequate” and it perfectly describes the adequate rock biopic of aha musical moments, backstage drama, and 15-year reflections from backstage framing. But the problem is that where it isn't perfectly adequate and vanilla it's actually painfully safe and somewhat erasing,…

  • Unsane

    Unsane

    ★★★★

    A few personal things: In college, I overdosed on some drugs and while I was in the post charcoal haze, I was questioned about my emotional well-being and I remember drifting in and out of consciousness, answering the "do you have suicidal thoughts" question with an affirmative because, if we're all being honest, we all have. I had to sign some paperwork and by the time I fully came out of my adolescent post-drug near coma I asked when I…