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  • Zombieland: Double Tap

    Zombieland: Double Tap

    ★★

    "Double tap,” the belated ZOMBIELAND sequel’s namesake, refers to the rule of shooting a zombie more than once in order to ensure that it’s dead. Like the rest of the rules devised by the series’s dweebish protagonist, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), it’s spelled out in large on-screen text, an amusingly self-aware touch in the original 2009 film that has, a decade later into our irony-poisoned present, lost its luster.

    Part of that is because the sequel highlights these rules more frequently…

  • Greener Grass

    Greener Grass

    ★★★½

    A schoolteacher fixates on the deaths of American pioneers making their way to the West. In pursuit of “a better life,” they lost things along the way, as the people of Greener Grass have lost themselves in their migration to the suburbs. The film is more unsettling for its lack of an ordinary plot structure where, say, Jill might break out of her suburban funk or get everything to explode with violence in a revolt against conformity. In the film’s…

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  • To Live and Die in L.A.

    To Live and Die in L.A.

    ★★★★½

    Between the blaring synthpop score from new wave band Wang Chung and the eye-searing neon green credits, this is about as 80s as it gets. It's the sort of action movie where characters have names like Richard Chance and Rick Masters, though there's a conscious amorality here that director William Friedkin pushes into neo-noir. Chance's methods have no glamour, and they come with no apologies. A lot of the suspense is derived from the sense that he might actually get…

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    ½

    Completely, baldly garbage. So smoothed over by script approvals and producers-who-were-there that it can manage neither a coherent narrative nor competent editing because it is clearly mandated to cram in people barely relevant to any given scene and to say their names out loud as much as possible, give them as much screen time as they demand. The very existence of this film in this state does more to sell what must have been the sheer AGONY of Queen's petty…