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  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

    The Trial of the Chicago 7

    ★★★

    I reviewed and ranked all of Aaron Sorkin’s movies, including this one. Read the article here!

    Sorkin doesn’t display much growth as a director in his sophomore outing, but The Trial of the Chicago 7 still packs a hefty political punch –– a strength that his films have lacked since his early career. The filmmaker constructs the story, which follows the protests and police brutality outside the 1968 Democratic Convention, in such a way that intentionally parallels our twenty-first century…

  • Do the Right Thing

    Do the Right Thing

    ★★★★★

    If you don’t think Sal is a racist, you should probably rewatch this movie. His climactic use of racial slurs can’t be chalked up to a lapse of judgement. He repeatedly clarifies that he only tolerates black people because they haven’t done anything bad to him, and because they provide his livelihood. His respect for the black community is entirely conditional and transaction-based — as soon as his “terms” of respect (essentially not having any major negative encounters with any…

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  • Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

    Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

    ★★★★

    Sacha Baron Cohen approaches comedy with a singularly incisive and insightful style — taking his Kazakh caricature to the streets (and to every possible extreme), he reveals the prejudice and ignorance at the heart of American culture. Borat does a better job exposing xenophobia, racism, and sexism than most straight-faced journalism, and it’s simultaneously hilarious and horrifying to witness.

    Some of the jokes haven’t aged well — I’m not sure that the introductory scene showing Borat’s hometown, where there are…

  • House on Haunted Hill

    House on Haunted Hill

    ★★★

    A great premise and an extremely fun vibe are not enough to make a particularly strong movie here. While House on Haunted Hill contains several intriguing ideas, the film relies too heavily on plot twists and heel turns that make very little sense. A few of the performances are very fun, but the short runtime and bizarre pacing make it almost impossible to invest in the characters. Definitely worth a watch if you want a less comedic version of Clue, but don’t go into it expecting brilliance.

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  • Stop Making Sense

    Stop Making Sense

    ★★★★★

    An unbelievably transcendent, hypnotic work of cinematic art and a testament to confidence, friendship, and music. David Byrne’s amazing sense of controlled chaos gives him one of the best stage presences in American music, and the rest of the band complements him perfectly. And Jonathan Demme’s team captures every movement with precision and creativity. It seems impossible for a concert film to top this.