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  • Jack Reacher

    Jack Reacher

    ★★★

    Reach Jacker.

  • Point Break

    Point Break

    ★★★★

    They should remake POINT BREAK every twenty years, like JANE EYRE, another text about a callow initiate in a world turned upside-down by a charismatic, flawed outcast offering an alternative to a spiritually stultifying mainstream. (Call him Mr. Brochester.)

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  • Heat

    Heat

    ★★★★½

    Girlfriend, 30 seconds before the "30 seconds flat" speech: "There are no plates in Robert De Niro's kitchen cabinets."

    A fun thing to do during this movie is to mentally sub out Amy Brenneman for other material things to which you've formed sentimental attachments, and which you'd find it difficult to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you saw the heat coming around the corner. Like, instead of Amy Brenneman, a really nice early 20th-century armoire that you got from your parents' house. A concert t-shirt. A vacation snapshot.

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel

    ★★★★

    The made-up Mitteleuropean geography does evoke a retro movie-mode of Ruritarian whimsy, yes, but it also alludes to historical reality—the subsumption of small states into empires, the shifting of nation-state borders around the redoubts of old kingdoms and minor languages, the subsumption again into "spheres of influence," the shifting borders again, which explains why tiny European countries and former European countries all cling to their great writers that no foreigners have ever heard of.

    And many of the Old Hollywood…