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  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ★★★★

    Ari Aster plays with genre tropes here in an unconventional way, attempting to blend horror with family drama while exploring themes such as grief and mental illness as well as creating an uncanny atmosphere through ominous music and skillful cinematography. And although the relentless misery and the story structure can make Hereditary lose its steam after a while and become occasionally predictable, it is further elevated by Toni Collette’s tremendous performance.

  • Spider-Man: Far from Home

    Spider-Man: Far from Home

    ★★★

    This is another average Marvel film that can be hilarious at times, is very watchable, and introduces a new phase to the MCU as well as for Peter Parker but without the necessary soul and character arcs to make it more emotionally involving. Besides, the comedic bits and teen romance can be forced and unconvincing at times, and the villain is not as inspired as the one in Homecoming.

  • Jackie Brown

    Jackie Brown

    ★★★½

    The expository dialogue and rather overlong runtime can make Jackie Brown sluggish at times, and some plot elements become simultaneously confusing and interesting in the second half of the film. Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable homage to blaxploitation with a terrific use of its cast combined with Tarantino’s superb music selection and stylish direction.

  • Toy Story 4

    Toy Story 4

    ★★★½

    While there are some insightful messages mixed in some questionable themes that lead to inconsistencies which will likely be overlooked by the film’s target audience, and a few characters could have been more thought-out, this is still another enjoyable adventure, if an unnecessary follow-up to a well-concluded trilogy, that is both wonderfully animated and equally funny and touching when it needs to be.

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★

    It doesn’t matter how competent the acting is, how unique the visuals are, or how nice the score is because that is mostly undermined by an adaptation that fails to effectively interpret Frank Herbert’s dense novel, and as a result of this and the film’s unsuitably bizarre nature, this is a confusing, laborious mess.

  • Miller's Crossing

    Miller's Crossing

    ★★★½

    A stylish and handsome but drab gangster flick that starts off slowly but never escalates to considerable heights, yet the fine production design and strong performances enhance its unidentified setting, and the simple plot obscured by convolutions keeps us engaged.

  • Leaving Neverland

    Leaving Neverland

    ★★★★½

    At four hours long, this is an incessantly intriguing, poignant, powerful, thought-provoking, and at times heartbreaking documentary that delves into the stories of two victims who were sexually assaulted by Michael Jackson and is told through a series of spoken testimonies, footage, and honest accounts that show the lifelong, detrimental effects caused by poor parenting, naivety, and pedophilia.

  • Rocketman

    Rocketman

    ★★★★

    When compared to last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman clearly surpasses that film in almost every department, defying expectations with an intelligent direction that captures the spirit of Elton John while successfully telling his story with the help of a smart integration of songs through fantastic musical numbers and a phenomenal performance by Taron Egerton.

  • The 400 Blows

    The 400 Blows

    ★★★★★

    Truffaut’s profoundly melancholy and achingly human portrayal of early adolescence, neglect, hardship, and youthful rebellion in an unforgiving country is this exceptional coming-of-age drama whose understated elegance and authenticity make it never less than engaging and always honest in its emotions.

  • Booksmart

    Booksmart

    ★★★

    Booksmart may have a new take on an unoriginal concept, but the strong performances and interesting direction from newcomer Olivia Wilde can only marginally stand out, as the comedy is often either too crude or exaggerated to be as effective as the moments that wring our emotions, whether poignant or painful.

  • Serenity

    Serenity

    ★★½

    The story is utterly ridiculous, and even more so once its preposterous twist is revealed, yet the the film takes itself so seriously and is acted and presented with such conviction and irony that it becomes incredibly amusing.

  • John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

    John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

    ★★★

    Parabellum struggles to be as original and exciting as the first installment of a franchise that refuses to end and does suffer from a lackluster villain, overlong runtime, and excess of drawn-out gunfights, but it contains a couple exhilarating and cleverly choreographed fight scenes to remember and is entertaining enough to outweigh its flaws.