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  • Avengers: Endgame

    Avengers: Endgame

    ★★

    My non-snotty pan of this is that as much as I find the Avengers movies to be collections of the worst that the MCU model has to offer (too many characters juggled so violently that they are reduced to their most functional quips, baffling plans and abrupt, haphazard escalations), I nonetheless do have some admiration for the logistics of combining effectively 8 or 9 franchises into one behemoth. There is some good stuff here: a depressed Thor parlaying his slow…

  • Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé

    Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé

    ★★★★½

    Beyoncé's process of relentless self-documentation, not in the ephemeral social media sense but in the more old-school archivist mode, was perhaps the first true indication that the breakout star of an R&B girl group who racked up enough hit singles by 25 to last a lifetime was something deeper than a normal pop star. Increasingly digging into her trove of recordings to add context to her ever-more-personal work, Beyoncé can not only trace her rise from father-micromanaged child star to…

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  • Black Panther

    Black Panther

    ★★½

    Coogler's Creed is one of the best films of its kind, a work that confronted and gently but pointedly revised the racist underpinnings of the Rocky franchise and then happened to make the best movie in the whole series by its own rules. Black Panther, by contrast, is the latest reminder, after a few wilder, looser entries in the MCU, that when it comes to Marvel, the house always wins. Glacially paced and burdened with action so busy yet clumsy…

  • Dallas Buyers Club

    Dallas Buyers Club

    ½

    It's easy, if one only ever has to suffer a few times a year the no-budget, no-talent indies dumped on one-week NY runs and burned onto screener discs, to have a charmed view of what constitutes a bad film. Truth be told, with the number of films produced domestically exploding in recent years thanks to mass proliferation of acceptable-quality, cheap DV, it's a good bet that the vast majority of American movies made each year now consist of films made…