• Flee

    Flee

    ★★★★½

    As many Afghans are currently seeking asylum following the Taliban takeover in August, the story of Flee is both timely and urgent, showing the cost of fleeing one's country, and how one's sense of self becomes lost as a result. The main character of the film, who goes by the pseudonym Amin Nawabi, was forced to flee his home in Afghanistan shortly after the Mujahideen siezed power in resistance to Soviet occupation. As he wishes to remain anonymous, the majority…

  • Worth

    Worth

    ★★★½

    What is a life worth? Kenneth Feinberg poses the question to a class of law students, who throw out an arbitrary dollar amount, negotiate, and come to a settlement as if they were bartering for an item on Facebook Marketplace. After being put in charge of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, Feinberg soon discovers money has the means to provide some form of security and stability for a grieving family, but it will neither provide solace nor replace what has…

  • Candyman

    Candyman

    ★★★½

    Nia DaCosta's direct sequel to the 1992 film of the same name is an assured piece of filmmaking that has a distinct visual flair and is quite provocative, evoking a lot of rhetoric and symbolism that we've come to associate with the BLM movement. There is some interesting commentary about the exploitation and appropriation of Black suffering, in the ways that characters try to exploit the urban legend of the Candyman for their own selfish means, whether it be for…

  • The Night House

    The Night House

    ★★★★

    In The Night House, nothingness is personified as a malevolent force, an endless tunnel, a gaping black hole, which will stop at nothing to draw everything in by its gravitational pull. The visual design of the film portrays this brilliantly, in the ways that it represents this nothingness entity as purely negative space - it never adds, but only subtracts. That all-consuming entity hangs over Beth, who has recently lost her husband Owen to suicide. He leaves what seems to…

  • Meet the Parents

    Meet the Parents

    ★★½

    Greg should have just checked the bag and got out of there while he had the chance. Greg deserved better.

  • Pig

    Pig

    ★★★★

    Pig cleverly subverts our expectations of the typical revenge thriller, mostly due to Sarnoski's bold choice to cast a wildcard actor, Nic Cage, in the main role. Based on Cage's previous unhinged performances and enigmatic acting style, I was worried this could easily devolve into silliness, considering the outlandish premise of this film - a solitary truffle hunter living in the Oregonian wilderness is forced to confront his past life in Portland when his foraging pig is suddenly kidnapped. While…

  • Miami Vice

    Miami Vice

    ★★★★

    Even though it is regarded as an urban legend that the original TV series was pitched with two words on a napkin - "MTV Cops," I think it really sums up what Mann does (successfully) with this movie.

  • Samurai Cop

    Samurai Cop

    If aliens were to come to earth, discover a copy of this film and think that this is how humans act and behave, I think they would pack up and go searching for intelligent life elsewhere.

  • Brain on Fire

    Brain on Fire

    ★★★½

    I went into this film blind and actually found it to be quite engaging! It certainly succeeds in making a case for researching and better understanding the complexity of the human brain, as it is very easy for doctors to misdiagnose something that presents itself as a psychiatric disorder. Susannah's unique and puzzling condition is presented in such a way in the film that we are quick to jump to conclusions about what she is experiencing, whether it is mania,…

  • Little Miss Sunshine

    Little Miss Sunshine

    ★★★★½

    Like the yellow van in this film, once the events surrounding this dysfunctional family are set in motion, they continue to gain momentum, hurtling towards a very memorable and uplifting conclusion. The casting is great, the dialogue is well written, and there are so many distinctly memorable scenes. There's one in particular involving the family getting pulled over by a police car that had me in stitches. Little Miss Sunshine is not a movie you will soon forget.

  • A Quiet Place Part II

    A Quiet Place Part II

    ★★★½

    A Quiet Place Part II begins with a bit of clever filmmaking, which draws on associations we came to make in the first instalment. The film opens in silence on a streetlight that is green. No cars are passing through the intersection, which immediately suggests that something is wrong, especially when we see the light turn red again. Between the silent world and red light motif that we have come to associate with danger, the film immediately puts us on…

  • Erin Brockovich

    Erin Brockovich

    ★★★★

    While the true story of what the residents of Hinkley had to endure is far from the uplifting populist narrative that Soderbergh deftly weaves here, Erin Brockovich succeeds in creating a celebrity of its titular character. Roberts and Finney bring Brockovich and Masry to life, playing off of one another so well,delivering the sort of snappy dialogue you'd expect to see in a Sorkin script.