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  • Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

    Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

    ★★★★½

    There is a lot to unpack here, even as the film sits back, arms crossed, laughing to itself about all those poor souls undertaking the fools' errand of trying to unravel fact from fiction, missing wholesale the greater, grander truths laid bare before them.

    If you're not the young New England woman as the house lights come up fighting to retain composure before finally succumbing to the depth of your emotions and the deluge of your tears, weightless and freighted…

  • Jesus, You Know

    Jesus, You Know

    ★★★★

    A slyly engrossing formalist twist on the silence of God, which uses a series of confessions and confidences to create an austere portrait of projection -- of guilt, of hope, of doubt, of fear, of culpability, of agency -- and dependence, particularly the way that frustrated interpersonal connections can be sublimated into spiritual longing.

    I don't for a second buy the documentary conceit (there are two credited screenwriters, including Seidl) but neither do I believe that there isn't a vérité…

  • Vice

    Vice

    ★★★

    It's either its greatest strength or its biggest flaw, but Adam McKay's portrait of Dick Cheney plays very much like a civics book for kids (like, for instance, We The People: The Story of the Constitution, written by none other than Cheney's wife Lynne): distilled to its essence, gussied up with colorful illustrations, and simplified to aid comprehension, more concerned with breadth than depth.

    This isn't an inherently bad thing -- not every political biopic needs to be Nixon --…

  • The Other Side of the Wind

    The Other Side of the Wind

    ★★★★

    There is, unsurprisingly, far too much to unpack here after only a single viewing, so I will not even try to untangle and explicate the refracted autobiography at the film's narrative center or speculate how much of its collage-like assemblage was by design rather than out of necessity. (Or, for that matter, how much can properly be credited to Welles and how much was speculation and conjecture by Marshall, Bogdanovich, Murawski, and company.)

    For the time being, I'll content myself…

  • A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born

    ★★★½

    Overwrought, maudlin melodrama in the typical Hollywood mold which loses its steam just about every time it steps offstage, but holy shit did Matthew Libatique shoot the hell out of it. Can we give the man an Oscar already?

  • BlacKkKlansman

    BlacKkKlansman

    ★★★★½

    A fierce, funny, infuriating polemical, BlacKkKlansman is Spike Lee's best joint in years. I have no interest, however, in discussing what is likely going to dominate the public discourse surrounding the film, namely the historical liberties taken by Lee and his co-writers (including CSA writer-director Kevin Willmott) or the obvious resonance with and relevance to the current political climate; the former is the purview of those more familiar with the actual events, and the latter is low-hanging fruit. What's more…

  • The Touch

    The Touch

    ★★★★

    The Touch is immediately jarring for anyone acquainted with the somber, anguished films upon which Bergman's reputation rests, and not only because it is his first English language feature. Following Karin (Bibi Andersson) first as she learns of and mourns the death of her mother and subsequently as she reëntrenches herself within the daily routines of homemaking, the first act of The Touch has a playfulness and freewheeling levity which feel more in line with the French New Wave films…

  • Jim Jefferies: Bare

    Jim Jefferies: Bare

    ★★½

    Watch his brilliant twenty minute riff on gun control on YouTube; skip the remainder.

  • Mom and Dad

    Mom and Dad

    ★★½

    Not nearly enough infanticide. Not in essence, not for the premise, and certainly not enough to make up for the abject lack of any kind of visual-spatial competency -- forget the 180 degree rule, I feel like Brian Taylor somehow managed to break the 360 degree rule. Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair hunting their own children: this should have been a slam dunk, but Taylor has even less of an idea what to do with his premise than he does his camera. A huge disappointment.

  • Mr. Freedom

    Mr. Freedom

    ★★★★

    #MAGA

  • Tomb Raider

    Tomb Raider

    ★★½

    Pointless and implausible, but also not unentertaining, especially when it remembers to have a sense of humor about just how ridiculous it is.

    If you needed further proof that Alicia Vikander is a proper star of considerable talent, here it is. She has the rare skill of being able to convey thoughtfulness (convincingly) on screen, which goes a long way in grounding and adding depth to what is essentially a cartoon character trying to straddle the line between onanistic fantasy…

  • Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?

    Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?

    ★★★★

    A delightfully absurd, hyper-reflexive mix of Fellini, Godard, and Lester, with shades of early Borowczyk and Watkins. Klein skewers the fashion industry with which he was so well acquainted, while also critiquing the superficiality of western entertainment, from the fairy tales on which we're raised to the pop culture -- specifically American -- which we consume. The manic pace flags at points, but there's more than enough irreverent charm, ingenuity, and satire to make up for its few stumbles.