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  • Aliens

    Aliens

    ★★★★★

    One of the best films of both its genre and its decade, James Cameron's "Aliens" is a horror-tinged science fiction triumph for the ages. Bristling with character-based personality, shadow-soaked action, and iconic effects, Cameron's sequel to Ridley Scott's 1979 landmark, "Alien," expands the canvas of the original while mirroring that film's quality.

    Decades after Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley jettisoned the beast that killed the crew of her vessel, the Nostromo, into the cold void of space, she is pressed into…

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  • Deranged

    Deranged

    ★★

    Though its ick factor is substantial, "Deranged" is unable to land as a satisfying horror experience. Revolving around a lonely misfit who assuages his emptiness through graverobbing and taxidermy, the genre outing sees the man's madness expanding as the film's running time ticks by. The production is small scale and filled with wall-to-wall cadavers, but it does not withstand the misshapen narrative with the dubious politics it supports. Appearing stunted and ineffective in comparison to other films inspired by the same events as the work here, this graveyard chiller suffers and rates as dismissable.

  • A Maldição do Halloween Jack

    A Maldição do Halloween Jack

    ★½

    Following up the dismissable "The Legend of Halloween Jack" with an even more disposable sequel, "The Curse of Halloween Jack" is horror slog boasting the impact of wet newsprint. Revolving around a scarecrow cowl-bedecked killer, twice resurrected after committing notorious deeds while living, the sequel finds the murderer hacking and slashing weakly through a bevy of British victims. The story drones on and on, attempting to build mythology while being supported by a production that lacks the ability to build atmosphere or tension. The experience is an instantly forgettable waste of time.

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  • Inception

    Inception

    ★★★★★

    "Inception," at its most basic, is two things. It is a heist film dressed in science fiction conventions; and it is a study of a man trying to free himself from a near-suffocating past. "Inception," at its more complex, is a cerebral pop-masterpiece. It is an enthralling combination of thought-provoking, layered story-telling and sumptuous aesthetics enhanced by near-flawless editing, sound design, effects, and musical score. Driven by a pitch-perfect cast and the confident directorial hand of Christopher Nolan, "Inception" is a brilliant and unrivaled piece of filmmaking.

  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★★

    "Whiplash," Damien Chazelle's 107-minute-long ode to mentors, musicians, and motivation, is a taut and mesmerizing piece of filmmaking. A quick-moving and engrossing drama that explores the roles of teacher and learner, parent and child, Chazelle builds a film that brims with energy and emotion, bursts with authentic character beats, and soars with a percussive and narrative brilliance.
    With its powerful performances, crackling direction, and riveting story, "Whiplash" is a truly great piece of work.

    Chazelle's story is built around Miles…