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  • The Thin Red Line

    The Thin Red Line

    ★★★★★

    "If I never meet you in this life, let me feel the lack."

    Fifth viewing on the big screen alone, added to a couple more on home video, and this hasn't lost a single bit of its power. If anything, when stacked up next to KNIGHT OF CUPS, it's some kind of alien wonder now. As much as I adore BADLANDS, there's just nothing that ever came before this -- by Malick or anyone -- that was anything like this…

  • Spotlight

    Spotlight

    ★½

    Such an arrogant piece of self-congratulatory lecture-theater that it’s gotta be a lock for Best Picture. I lost count of the number of scenes that end on sick truth bombs, but perhaps that’s because I was already losing count over the number of times McCarthy stitched two scenes together using a locked-down exterior shot accompanied by Howard Shore’s piano-tinkling compositions. (Given that this is a Boston-set film about rapist priests, no surprise they commissioned a score from the guy who…

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  • Shampoo

    Shampoo

    ★★★

    What do you know, the film where the movie star is a hotshot ladies man whom every single woman in Los Angeles wants to sleep with (and does) was co-written and produced by the movie star. Even Lester decides to invest in the dude’s startup shop AFTER discovering the guy banged his wife, mistress, and daughter. I’ve never seen such a cuckolding in my life (but it checks out that he’s rooting for Nixon on election night). Great ‘70s ending, though, and Hawn and Christie are terrific. Pretty not-bad for a comedy with no jokes in it.

  • Lovers Rock

    Lovers Rock

    ★★★★

    Warm in the same way vinyl sounds: the pops and crackles leak out of the grooves of this thing, creating an experience unique to a culture, to a community, and to an era. Its plotlessness is a feature, not a bug -- McQueen's camera just randomly glides from one character to another, usually circling back to its protagonist Martha, but mostly just observing a milieu. The party is as great as the sum of its parts -- each person living…

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  • Mission: Impossible

    Mission: Impossible

    ★★★★★

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

    It's all about the scene in the third act when Ethan and Jim reunite and have a drink together. Jim is trying to convince Ethan that Kittridge is the mole, not knowing Ethan already figured out it was Jim because of the Drake Hotel bible. So Ethan, having the upper hand, narrates a flashback where he pretends to realize how Kittridge did it, all for Jim's benefit -- meanwhile, DePalma's visuals tell a different story: the way Ethan is seeing…

  • Devs

    Devs

    ★½

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

    Even if this show didn't feature what is probably the single worst lead performance of any major prestige drama in the last 25 years (but it does: Sonoya Mizuno is deeply, all-encompassingly terrible in a way it's hard to fathom, episode after episode), it would still be a failure of ideas. ANNIHILATION is starting to feel more and more like an anomaly; its clever sci-fi concept had the courage to perform an existential autopsy of the human condition without pulling…