• 1945

    1945

    ★★★½

    Usually with these kinds of euro-arthouse flicks, the pacing of the story can be so slow as to induce one into a very deep slumber. However this film uses that style of film to slowly build up the tension and slowly unravel the dark parts of these central characters. The themes of grief, guilt, betrayal, and revenge are handled elegantly and with nuance. Stylistically, this film reminded me a lot of ‘The White Ribbon,’ though I find that this one…

  • Paterno

    Paterno

    ★★★★

    Very good! Barry Levinson keeps the pace and the rhythm of the unfolding events and controversies at an engrossing pace. Al Pacino has still got it, and his monologue he gives towards the end is heartbreaking and tragic. Unfortunately, oftentimes Paterno feels like a side character to his own movie. 


    This is a very important film about toxic cults of personality, the suppression of truth and justice for the sake of profit and reputation, and the sometimes scary obstacles that…

  • Oblivion

    Oblivion

    ★★★

    This film is really pretty entertaining, in a strange, cheesy oddball sort of way. It’s like if Alejandro Jodorowsky, Tim Burton and Robert Altman got together to make a space-western. The genre blending is so fascinating to see, and it all comes together with the absurdity of the costume design, the make-up, the set dressing, and the special effects. It’s a really unique vision for a film with an admittedly spotty and meandering narrative. There is a colorful, memorable, and…

  • Rampage

    Rampage

    ★★★½

    Hey, I thought it was fun!!

  • You Were Never Really Here

    You Were Never Really Here

    ★★★★½

    Superb, captivating, and perpetually distressing. Lynne Ramsay has produced a fascinating study of a lone antihero, brutal and unhinged in his business methods, but gentle and caring in his interpersonal relations. The film has a very clean, precise framing and lighting technique, never exaggerating the grit and the filth of its setting, but simply presenting it as it is. The music by Jonny Greenwood puts the viewer constantly on edge, anticipating with dread and suspense on every moment of vengeance…

  • Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

    Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

    ★★★★

    A very lovely biopic, and yet another entry in Gus Van Sant’s series of crowdpleasing, but not necessarily original films. The film has a lot of heart and is truly elevated by the performances from Jaoquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, and co., who put on some very warm, sensitive, and emotionally vulnerable performances.

    I saw this one as the closing night program for the San Francisco International Film Festival. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Gus Van Sant and…

  • Gemini

    Gemini

    ★★★

    This feels like a movie made entirely out of a camera company’s test footage of cool, generic action shots to show how good their product is.

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    A spectacular, quietly composed return to form, and captivating artistic departure for Paul Schrader.

  • Unsane

    Unsane

    ★★★★

    I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. As an amateur filmmaker, it was really inspiring to see what a master like Soderberg could do with such a pedestrian piece of equipment as the iPhone camera. Like Thomas Vinterberg and Danny Boyle before him, Soderberg once again proves it’s not about the camera you use to tell your story, it’s about how you use it. Unlike most amateurs, who try hard, but fail, to use an…

  • Isle of Dogs

    Isle of Dogs

    ★★★★

    As a story, it’s really just a 3 Star movie. But of course this being a Wes Anderson animated movie, the artistry of the visuals is so superb that I can’t give it less than 4 stars on that account.

  • The Death of Stalin

    The Death of Stalin

    ★★★★½

    This movie is so terrifically entertaining, sharp, and hilarious throughout its entire runtime. It was such a joy to watch, especially as a huge fan of Ianucci’s The Thick of It. The movie is not laugh out loud funny like that show was, in fact this movie is a much more sustained and subtle kind of funny that’s fresh and unpredictable. The performances from everyone across the board were stellar, with special praise going towards Simon Russel Beale, Jason Isaacs, and…

  • Oh Lucy!

    Oh Lucy!

    ★★★

    Cute movie with a lot of heart and bittersweet realizations.