• 9

    9

    ★★★

    9 features some interesting world-building and a fair share of tense sequences, but it's populated by an overwhelmingly fast-paced story that jumps from moment to moment with no real moment to breathe. The rushed pacing made it very difficult for me to care about the story or any of the characters. It doesn't help that some of the characters can be pretty unlikeable at times as they continue to make idiotic decisions that only strive to cause unnecessary and forced-feeling…

  • Old

    Old

    ★★★

    Old uses tense camerawork to provide an intense all-round experience that takes full advantage of its unique premise. The film does a commendable job at hooking the viewer and getting the viewer emotionally invested in the conflict and character. However, the distractingly bad performances and Shyamalan's trademark weird dialogue hinder the film quite a bit, causing the film to not be as successful at getting the viewer emotionally invested as it could've been. The film's final twist is also a…

  • 13 Going on 30

    13 Going on 30

    ★★★½

    13 Going on 30 was a film that one of my older sisters loved to watch on repeat when I was growing up. And you know what, I understand why this film would be up her alley. The film has all the makings of a generic rom-com: cheezy music, a cliche storyline, and some overly goofy and over-the-top performances. But despite those problems, I found the film to be so incredibly charming. The film fully uses its premise to provide…

  • Lady Bird

    Lady Bird

    ★★★★★

    Watching Lady Bird during the tail end of my senior year just hits different. The story and characters became extremely relatable, allowing me to laugh or cry alongside the characters. The characters in this movie go through very human situations, which are sometimes uncomfortably relatable. It certainly helps that all of the characters are written as dynamic 3-dimensional characters who talk and act like people, which not only adds an extra level of reliability, but also just adds to the…

  • Falling Down

    Falling Down

    ★★★★

    Through incredibly effective filmmaking, top-notch performances, and a masterfully written screenplay, Falling Down knows how to keep the viewer on their toes. Both the writing and Michael Douglas's fantastic performance allow the film to draw that fine line with how it approaches the moral ambiguity of its lead character. At times, you feel just as frustrated as Michael Douglas's D-Fens, so you understand why he feels justified in doing what he's doing. It's when he takes things way too far…

  • The French Dispatch

    The French Dispatch

    ★★★★½

    Wes Anderson Marathon
    #10

    On this revisiting of The French Dispatch, something about the film spoke to me on a far deeper level than I expected. As always, Wes Anderson's trademark style is plastered all over the film, from the top-tier filmmaking to the quirky writing and performances, and all of these things do contribute to the film having a good amount of enjoyable moments. But it was on this second watch that I found that hidden beneath the fun…

  • Isle of Dogs

    Isle of Dogs

    ★★★★

    Wes Anderson Marathon
    #9

    More than any other of Wes Anderson's films, Isle Of Dogs works because of its innate sense of atmosphere. From Alexandre Desplat's score to the gorgeous stop motion animation that's brimming with meticulous attention to detail and is bursting with life, everything about this film exudes an incredible amount of atmosphere. And the film's not lacking in heart either. At its core, this is a simple "a boy and his dog" story, but it's incredibly well-executed,…

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel

    ★★★★★

    Wes Anderson Marathon
    #8

    On my first viewing of The Grand Budapest Hotel, I adored the film for its gorgeous visuals, likable and eccentric characters, and some of the best comedic timing I've seen in a Wes Anderson film. The only thing that held the film back for me was the ending, which I felt was a bit rushed and anticlimactic. On the second viewing, though, I no longer took issue with the ending, as I gained a good understanding…

  • Moonrise Kingdom

    Moonrise Kingdom

    ★★★★★

    Wes Anderson Marathon
    #7

    With Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and co-writer Roman Coppola show a firm understanding of childhood and how children think, act and behave. That childlike feeling like you know better than the adults, that childlike curiosity about the world around you, and that constant struggle to understand very difficult emotions, all of these childhood feelings are portrayed beautifully in this film.

    The film also features Wes Anderson expanding on the side of Rushmore's narrative that I found…

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★★

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness features some of the most audacious, brutal, and all-around insane filmmaking that the MCU has offered so far, which makes a lot of sense when Sam Raimi is at the helm. Sam Raimi approaches the film as if it's a horror movie akin to his work on the Evil Dead franchise or some of his other horror work. The film features a ton of extremely intense and surprisingly bloody action set pieces that…

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox

    Fantastic Mr. Fox

    ★★★★★

    Wes Anderson
    #6

    Fantastic Mr. Fox has always worked for me because it's an adaptation that not only respects the source material by commonly using lines taken directly from the book but also by expanding on the book in such insightful ways. The core story of the film hits the same story beats of the original novel, with some added elements to flesh out the story, and in doing so, make the story more human and thought-provoking.

    And having seen…

  • The Darjeeling Limited

    The Darjeeling Limited

    ★★★★

    Wes Anderson Marathon
    #5

    The Darjeeling Limited takes a bit to get going, and the characters take a bit to get used to, but once the film started to hone into the relationship between the three leads, the film truly started to become something special. The relationship between the three leads stands as the emotional center of the film, as their dynamic provided for not only some of the funniest moments of the film with their hilarious back and forth…