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  • The World's End

    The World's End

    ★★★★

    I'm not the first person to say it, but it's true — this film, like the two before it, is designed to be seen a second time, when viewers will realize just how every fleeting moment either foretells upcoming events, sets up elaborate jokes, or reveals a punchline for a joke yet to be told. It's the fastest-moving, most confidently scripted and edited film I've seen this year. And the action scenes are dizzyingly joyous. When was the last time…

  • The Muppet Movie

    The Muppet Movie

    ★★★★★

    R.I.P., James Frawley. You may not be a director I bring up in conversation very often, but you changed my life with a movie more substantially than anyone else. What an honor to see your film in a theater, on the big screen, for the first time since 1979, on the very day that we learn of your passing.

    Thank you.

    I saw this at a sing-a-long affair at the Egyptian, as the opening gala event for the Children's Film…

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  • Hamilton

    Hamilton

    ★★★

    This isn't cinema, so I'm not seeing the point in writing a film review of it. If it ends up nominated for Oscars, I will have to finally surrender any hope of understanding what the point of the Oscars really are. Cinema — narrative or documentary in nature — is an art form focused on what artists accomplish within the frame of a screen, not a stage, and this does not make any sense to me as either. The screen is…

  • Constantine

    Constantine

    ★★½

    In 2005, on assignment for Christianity Today, I traveled to L.A. to interview the filmmakers and cast of Constantine. I may not have liked the movie at all, but the interviews were a hoot (Rachel Weisz! Djimon Honsou! Shia LaBeouf and I enjoyed the company of film critics who have become dear friends.

    Here are some excerpts from that review, which is archived at at Looking Closer.
    - - -

    Constantine touches on many things that Christians hold to be…

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  • The Innocents

    The Innocents

    ★★★★

    Name one movie that is

    a) directed by a woman,
    b) filmed by a woman,
    b) about women, and
    c) deeply concerned with matters of faith.

    I can think of many films directed by men, and focusing on men, that rigorously wrestle with questions about God and the problem of evil. But The Innocents is a remarkably rare event.

    Here's my full review.

  • Gosford Park

    Gosford Park

    ★★★★★

    16 THINGS ABOUT GOSFORD PARK

    1. Still my favorite Altman film.
    2. Still head and shoulders above the entirety of Downton Abbey.
    3. Still the most virtuosic choreography of a large ensemble cast I've ever seen.
    4. I miss Clive Owen.
    5. That scene with Tom Hollander eating jam in the cellar. That scene.
    6. I believe that when he goes home from work, Richard E. Grant dresses and behaves just like this.
    7. All of the moments with Claudie…