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  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★★½

    Wow. This is even better than I expected. De Niro, Pacino and Pesci are astounding. It has the energy and pacing of Scorsese's earlier films, but with a sense of sadness and melancholy that separates it. It at times reminded me more of Leone's 'Once upon a time in America' and Kurosawa's 'Ikiru' than earlier Scorsese. It certainly has more of an emotional impact than 'Goodfellas' and 'Casino'.
    Any issues I have are pretty minor and don't really matter too much- it drags a little in the first hour and final act, and the de-aging is initially a tad distracting.
    Absolutely brilliant.

  • Doctor Sleep

    Doctor Sleep

    ★★★½

    It's way too long and the last 30 minutes are a letdown, but there are moments throughout that are truly exceptional. Ewan McGregor is good and Kyliegh Curran is great, but Rebecca Ferguson is AMAZING. Her performance is the kind that should reach iconic status within 20 years. The film excelled when she was on screen. Definitely worth watching, although it certainly isn't consistent.

  • Terminator: Dark Fate

    Terminator: Dark Fate

    ★★

    I appreciated the way in which this film dealt with political and technological issues in a prescient way, and enjoyed most of the performances. I just wish the characterisations, pacing, action sequences and special effects were better. Linda Hamilton is great and Sarah Connor's trajectory is fascinating, but the connection we have to her takes attention away from Natalia Reyes, who while engaging is not given enough to work with despite ostensibly being the protagonist of the film. The CGI…

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★½

    A very well shot and performed Taxi Driver rip-off, which cynically exploits anxieties relating to gun violence, income inequality and mental illness to appear "serious" and edgy.

  • The Nightingale

    The Nightingale

    ★★★★★

    Wow. So incredibly harrowing, without ever being gratuitous. Franciosi and Ganambarr are astounding.

  • The Farewell

    The Farewell

    ★★★★

    I was VERY tired when watching this, so I probably need a second viewing. That being said, the second half of the film really gripped me, and I found the blend of comedy and drama to be seemless.

  • Milk

    Milk

    ★★★★

    As a young gay man, I'm always a little ashamed of how much queer history I am ignorant of. I was impressed with how well this film contextualized Milk and the movement surrounding him. The film at it's core seemed primarily concerned with commemorating Milk and consolidating his legacy. It also manages to be quite emotionally rich, oscillating between tragedy and optimism, while constantly reminding the audience of the paranoia and threat of danger that were accepted as normal. Sean…

  • Frost/Nixon

    Frost/Nixon

    ★★★★½

    Exactly what I look for in both a political and journalism film. The stakes are very clear, and Frost is very well developed and acted by Sheen. The film also successfully humanises and creates sympathy for Nixon, without ever letting him off the hook. Both men have everything to lose, and the sense of desperation is palpable.

  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    ★★★★★

    Way better the second time. Florence Pugh should really get a nomination, and Jack Reynor's performance has really stuck with me. Cinematography, score and pacing are exceptional. I love the moral ambiguity of the ending. Just an absolute masterpiece that I will go back to time and time again.

  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A masterpiece that rewards repeat viewings. It's such an empathetic look at the people who are left behind as everything around them changes and evolves. While Tarantino clearly loves Dalton and Booth, he understands that change is inevitable and is often for the best. Dalton's inability to remain relevant is largely due to his own inability to embrace change, and Booth, while lovable and sexy deserves to be left behind. Tate, on the other hand was entirely wonderful, and Tarantino…

  • Booksmart

    Booksmart

    ★★★

    Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein are wonderful, and the humour almost always works perfectly. It's definitely a light, fun watch that I'd recommend to friends. Unfortunately, the dramatic moments never quite landed for me. The film's biggest issue is that it is completely derivative. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read that it's a modern teen classic. Obviously it's my fault that my expectations were too high, but to me this was little more than a very funny but fairly derivative and disposable teen movie. And that's ok.

  • Crawl

    Crawl

    ★★

    I wanted to like this, but it fell completely flat. The characters aren't interesting enough to invest me emotionally and provide stakes, the tone is too dour and the plot is too predictable. I know others found it tense, but it never really gripped me. I definitely appreciated how short it is though.