Master Gardener

Master Gardener ★★★½

Even for a filmmaker beloved because he does the same thing every time, this plays a lot like a greatest-hits collection, specifically one where the older artist revisits their hits and plays them slower and more contented. This is mostly a compliment, especially with Joel Edgerton giving this Lonely Man a sense of hard-fought placidity (similar to what he delivered in both his incredible Jeff Nichols performances) far different than the usual bottomless self-destruction. I just wanted the master gardener to stay on the right path, and Schrader isn’t interested in milking that for ticking time-bomb tension this time, even the requisite explosion of violence plays hilariously anticlimactic. A minor work but a touching and gorgeous one, plus someone says “posting a sexist meme” with complete seriousness.

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