REVIEW: Phantom Thread [2017]

“You found me” I’m not sure there’s a better director working today than Paul Thomas Anderson. I don’t say this as a long-time fan that calls Magnolia his favorite film of all-time. I say it as someone who’s watched his career expand and evolve in orchestration, aesthetic, tone, and performance. There’s an air about his […]

REVIEW: 12 Strong [2018]

“There are no right choices here” War films generally come in two varieties: a gray introspective look at its emotional and psychological cost and black and white jingoistic propaganda. The former is generally acclaimed as award worthy while the latter is dumped during winter months so its target audience of NRA-loving Republicans in American flag […]

REVIEW: Sweet Country [2018]

“What chance have we got?” Director Warwick Thornton immediately connected to childhood friend and co-writer David Tranter‘s (with Steven McGregor) script because it provided an authentic context for the historical treatment of their indigenous Central Australian tribes. Based on stories passed down by Tranter’s grandfather as well as Wilaberta Jack’s true life 1920s self-defense killing […]

REVIEW: All the Money in the World [2017]

“‘Thank you’ is for strangers” It’s impossible to see a disclaimer at the end of an “inspired by” film reiterating with more direct language about how the “truth” has been altered without assuming the majority of what I just saw never really happened. Ridley Scott fades to black on a seething Michelle Williams before two […]

REVIEW: Mom and Dad [2018]

“Whatever” I have to imagine every parent at some point wonders where their life could have gone if they didn’t have children. This doesn’t make them bad people—only those who actually act on the urge by abandoning their families without so much as a goodbye fall under that label. It just proves they’re human. It’s […]

REVIEW: Proud Mary [2018]

“No one leaves” The first trailer for Proud Mary hit the internet in July of 2017. After that came a few badass 70s-style James Bond-like posters with star Taraji P. Henson in shadows, gun drawn. It was hard not to get excited for what appeared to be a stylized assassin flick in the vein of […]

REVIEW: River of Grass [1995]

“Murder is thicker than marriage” I wasn’t sure what to expect from Kelly Reichardt‘s debut feature River of Grass considering I’ve never quite been able to appreciate her films’ glacial pacing. It’s never made me hate anything of hers that I’ve seen, but it definitely had me checking out of Wendy and Lucy too often […]

REVIEW: This Giant Papier-Mâché Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy [2017]

“Water is life” Sometimes the only way to get a story off the ground is shooting it whether the finances are there or not. And if that project is a science-fiction film—a genre with historical precedent in low budget effects and shoddy production value—you can even spin your lack of money as an intentional aesthetic […]

REVIEW: Paddington 2 [2017]

“Where all your dreams come true” In true children’s book fashion, Paddington’s (Ben Whishaw) continuing adventures in London alongside the Brown family (Hugh Bonneville‘s Henry, Sally Hawkins‘ Mary, Madeleine Harris‘ Judy, Samuel Joslin‘s Jonathan, and Julie Walters‘ Mrs. Bird) would of course stem from something as seemingly innocuous as procuring a birthday present for his […]

REVIEW: Paddington [2014]

“Does anyone know where I can find a home?” I remember reading Michael Bond‘s Paddington Bear books when I was a kid and might have even had a duffle coat-wearing stuffed animal too. But I couldn’t tell you a thing about those stories if you put a gun to my head and asked. I recall […]

REVIEW: The Road Movie [2018]

“Did we record?” I’d like to know the regulations for automobile tires in Russia because Dmitrii Kalashnikov‘s dash-cam compilation documentary The Road Movie has too many violent fishtails and gravity-enforced overturns to not have its audience infer the country as being riddled with bald tires. Some incidents occur in snowy conditions, but others don’t. Speed […]