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  • Lust, Caution

    Lust, Caution

    ★★★★½

    In the dark, only he knows it's all real.

    Ang Lee's bleakest film is one which thrives on his technical acumen and the strength of Tang Wei's lead performance. Early on, and frequently after, the dizzying camerawork and wartime espionage reminded me of Munich, and given my opening sentence there, the movie lived up to that comparison. Lust, Caution covers a lot of ground over four years in Hong Kong and Shanghai before and then during World War II while…

  • A Quiet Place Part II

    A Quiet Place Part II

    ★★

    John Krasinski the decent director has improved, and regrettably John Krasinski the lousy writer is flying high off that increased confidence. Far from disastrous, this Part 2 is moreso scatter brained, like mashed together pieces of ideas that didn't make the first installment. Somehow, the segments of this movie feel disjointed while also being identical, and the result is a stuttering slew of repetitive setpieces that more or less go down how you'd expect. People are quiet, people make noise,…

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  • The Sacrifice

    The Sacrifice

    ★★★★★

    Finally, we die and are born again. But we remember nothing, and everything starts from scratch.

    Andrei Tarkovsky's final film is, among other things, a meditation on death and rebirth, and the existential fear that lives in and fuels every human on earth. Released in the year of his death, his ruminations on mortality have not only an added poignancy, but an underscored urgency that is genuinely moving. While The Sacrifice is surreal and dense and offers a challenging tangle…

  • Scorpio Rising

    Scorpio Rising

    ★★★★

    You're the devil in disguise.

    In which Anger impressively imbues homoeroticism into the toxic depths of American masculinity. A feverish and provocative juxtaposition of sex, classic rock and roll, leather, bikes and violence. Do I know what everything means? Nope. Is it still a fucking bop? You know it.

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  • Tenet

    Tenet

    Christopher Nolan is here to save cinema as we know it the only way he knows how, and in a way only his most fanatical devotees could love - an expensive looking, action-stuffed James Bond pastiche with funky video game mechanics. This movie has exactly two modes: ceaseless exposition and loud, convoluted setpieces, yet no matter how didactically it explains its physics to you, the mechanics never come close to making sense. It's horribly apropos that a third of the…

  • Mank

    Mank

    ★★★★½

    Full review here!

    Finally, someone made a history of Hollywood picture for acerbic word nerds. David Fincher's Mank, if it is a sign of the quality of the director's forthcoming partnership with Netflix, gives an astonishingly optimistic outlook for the future. Brilliantly cut and shot, this is the best film of the year. It is a remarkable technical achievement that in a just world would compete for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Lead Actor, Cinematography and most crucially Sound Mixing and…