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  • The Dead Don't Die

    The Dead Don't Die

    ★★★½

    Laid back nearly to the point of laziness and laced with meta-genre humor that is quirky and stilted but still manages to entertain, Jarmusch’s zombie flick feels being on the outside of an inside joke; almost but not quite getting it. With such a deep ensemble, everyone feels underused to some degree. And with zombies, you are already kind of painted into a corner, monster-wise; allegorically, they are a base reflection of humanity and they are slow and stupid and only powerful en masse. This film is almost exactly what I expected which is fine, but not revelatory.

  • Just Friends

    Just Friends

    ★★½

    Ryan Reynolds gives an energetic impersonation of Jim Carey while Anna Faris steals the show.

  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco

    The Last Black Man in San Francisco

    ★★★★½

    A tone poem, a paean to San Francisco and a profound lamentation of gentrification, racism and the selfish greed and cruelty inherent in capitalist society, this film is populated with big ideas, big problems and big feelings that are deftly handled. The fact that the film is heartbreaking as well as humorous is a testament to the dualities which the characters embody; no one is just one thing any more than a single city is just one way, or by and for a single group. A beautifully shot, emotionally resonant film that stalks the razor's edge of sentimentality and (almost) never slips past it.

  • I Am Mother

    I Am Mother

    ★★★½

    If you rhink that a post-apocalyptic cocktail of M Knight Shyamalan’s “The Village” meets “The Terminator” sounds like a good mix, then you will likely enjoy this one. Some tense moments, a few good surprises but a lot of predictable points as well make for entertaining though not groundbreaking  viewing.

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters

    Godzilla: King of the Monsters

    ★★★½

    Millie Bobby and Coach Taylor together at last! By going to see this movie, you are entering into a contact in which you suspend all expectations and prepare for an onslaught of fighting monsters. The film delivers on its end of this contract so whether or not you enjoy it is entirely up to you.

  • The Perfection

    The Perfection

    ★★

    A horror film that isn’t scary, a thriller void of suspense, flashbacks that are completely predictable, lazy direction and glossy cinematography cannot be overcome by a great central performance by Alison Williams. Such a frustrating waste of a solid premise and a handful of scenes which, in isolation, are kind of fun garbage but when taken as a whole add up to a played-out genre film that lacks bite; De Palma it ain’t.

  • Booksmart

    Booksmart

    ★★★★

    Sold as ‘Superbad but with girls’ in the trailer, Olivia Wilde’s film is much more emotionally nuanced and honest than that. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein are a hilarious comedy duo that deserve to be praised alone as well as for their chemistry on screen. Although it ocassionally falls prey to the ‘grown-ups writing kids like adults’ in places, I still thought it was more hot than miss and was charmed throughout. More smiles than lolz, but that’s fine.

  • John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

    John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

    ★★★★

    An opera of violence in which plot is rendered irrelevant, JW3 delivers an innumerable body count of faceless, nameless assailants to be sacrificed on the altar of this franchise. The kills peak early, so by the finale you are a bit desensitized. But that isn't to say that it isn't fucking awesome, which it pretty much is, despite lacking the emotional resonance and connection of the first film.

  • I Am Easy to Find

    I Am Easy to Find

    ★★½

    The most interesting aspect of this film is that it was a catalyst for the National album of the same name, which is an incredible record; full of passion and wit and pathos - the film; not so much. Imagine if PEN15 was a pretentious, humorless  art movie. Sure, there are some memorable passages and lovely shots, but as a whole, a stand alone work, the best and only truly interesting part is undoubtedly the music. I’m not anti-Mike Mills; I loved Beginners. This is just too slight and precious, so whispy it can easily be brushed aside in favor of just listening to the album.

  • A Vigilante

    A Vigilante

    ★★★★

    Centered around a profoundly physical, visceral performance by Olivia Wilde, this revenge thriller about an abused woman turned, well, vigilante, deliveres on its title and then some. A twist in the middle doesn’t make or derail the story, and although we can see how things will end, it doesn’t make the denouement any less satisfying. A short, fierce film with heart and terror and some shocking jumps along the way.

  • Non-Fiction

    Non-Fiction

    ★★½

    At the core of the film is an unfortunately dated, clichéd and lengthy assessment of the death of the printed word, auto-fiction and its affect on the solely white French bourgeoisie. When cloistered to melodrama, sex and politics, Assayas is at ease; delivering clever banter and breezy wit. This is, however, too little too late in a film that adds little to the age-old scenarios of the Parisian middle class and their dissatisfactions, which are deep and many.

  • The Connection

    The Connection

    ★★★½

    The French side of the French Connection, this film is an entertaining but more or less by the book police procedural thriller.