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  • Hustlers

    Hustlers

    ★★★★

    Hustlers feels like an underdog victory. Its true-to-life backstory about New York strippers turned drug-dealing criminals sounds like a misfire on paper and can be terribly done on film—yet surprisingly, Scafaria’s tight and vibrant direction makes the most of this and turned it to one of the year’s most delightful cinematic pleasures. Hustlers is everything that the women it portrays: gutsy, sharp-witted, ferocious and incredibly powerful.

    Scafaria’s particular female gaze is admirable. She appreciates and focuses on what these women’s…

  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★★

    When viewing a film like this, the less you know about it, the better.

    Parasite, a hugely deserving winner of this year’s Palme d’Or, brings all the aces out of its director Bong Joon-ho. Unpredictable, purely original, and purposeful in all technical elements, this film got it all. The film follows the story of two different families whose lives become entangled out of pure survival. Mr. Bong becomes a cinematic magician who pulls every trick with another in such effortless…

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  • Force Majeure

    Force Majeure

    ★★★★

    Ruben Östlund's sophisticated, wickedly funny, and intriguing dissection of masculinity, gender roles, marriage, and relationships is irresistibly alive, uncomfortable, yet absolutely clever. Östlund's psychodrama follows a couple and their kids in a ski vacation somewhere in France, but the couple's relationship is severely tested by an avalanche that will trigger their inner demons, as well examine their moral dilemmas.

    It's like Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage meets Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf with special participation of Haneke's cold precision. Ostlund…

  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★½

    Damien Chazelle's smashing, adrenaline-fueled, electrifying drama is bloody exhilarating to watch as it is uncomfortably compelling. Chazelle is surely one of the up and coming directors we need to watch out for. His youthful, energetic, intense direction is felt on screen and it's mind-blowing. The film follows a young jazz drummer and his quest to be the best among the rest in a prestigious music conservatory.

    This film reminds me of Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, and Black Swan, as their…