Tarkovsky Gordon-Levitt’s review published on Letterboxd:
dude must have had a nice chunky gift card for bed bath & beyond…
this isn’t a perfect movie - there’s some weird needle drops that i can’t say i love (although, it did make this film feel like a stripped down michael mann movie sometimes) and it’s a film that wears it’s symbolism about america’s place in the world fully on it’s red, white and blue sleeve.
but damn if i didn’t like this more than half those best picture nominees. i’d rather take an imperfect schrader movie then some maudlin middle of the road movie like king richard or belfast any day of the week.
oh, and it was a crime when ethan hawke wasn’t nominated for first reformed and i’d almost go so far as to say the same for oscar isaacs here. the dude just commands the screen with barely a ‘tell’ in sight so that when there’s finally a single moment that changes the whole game towards the end you can’t help but love the shift isaacs commands in that single scene. brilliant work and completely underrated as far as 2021 goes.
oh: and i know this has been out for awhile but i genuinely didn’t know one particular subplot of the movie going into this thing, and i have to say when it kicked it with some wild looking vr headset looking footage i felt genuinely uneasy and affected by the sequences. fascinating.
fuck it, i’m just gonna throw 4 stars at this thing. i know i’m gonna piss a lot of people off but i found this script way more intriguing than something like pig which seemed to get all the praise last year from the ‘man trying to atone for his sins through unorthodox means’ screenplays.