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2018

Searching Review

Searching Review

RATING: (3 STARS) There are a thousand Searching‘s in the history of both film and TNT, but none quite look and feel like the one made by director Aneesh Chaganty and starring John Cho. Some have said it’s the first film to really get the digital age. I don’t think that’s quite true. (If it […]

Bohemian Rhapsody Review

Bohemian Rhapsody Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Few bands in rock history are larger than life in the same way as Queen. Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon incorporated elements of electronica, heavy metal, British pop, and opera into their catalog of songs, which is still play in stadiums, arenas, and karaoke bars and all over […]

The Best Films of 2018

The Best Films of 2018

This was a weird year—a great one for film, but a weird, confusing, exhausting one personally. I haven’t been all the way there when it comes to maintaining this site OR keeping up with the year’s best cinema. I’ve had prolific spurts broken up by life’s unpredictability, but I’ve seen enough that a post honoring […]

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Review

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen was originally meant to be an anthology series for Netflix, but somewhere between its conception and the Venice Film Festival this year, it became a two-hour, six-part anthology film. On the surface, this treatment will turn some viewers off, and “disjointed” and “uneven” will […]

FYC 2018: Magnolia Pictures

FYC 2018: Magnolia Pictures

This post includes mini-reviews of some of Magnolia Pictures’ 2018 releases with an eye on films they’re targeting for the 2019 Oscars and other end-of-year awards (including the OFCS awards which I’ll be voting on). If a film also has a full-length review, a link will be included. This will be updated through the end […]

FYC 2018: Documentaries

FYC 2018: Documentaries

This post includes mini-reviews of some of 2018’s documentaries with an eye on films various studios are targeting for the 2019 Oscars and other end-of-year awards (including the OFCS awards which I’ll be voting on). If a film also has a full-length review, a link will be included. This will be updated through the end […]

FYC 2018: Netflix

FYC 2018: Netflix

This post includes mini-reviews of some of Netflix’s 2018 releases with an eye on films they’re targeting for the 2019 Oscars and other end-of-year awards (including the OFCS awards which I’ll be voting on). If a film also has a full-length review, a link will be included. This will be updated through the end of […]

A Star Is Born (2018) Review

A Star Is Born (2018) Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Though A Star Is Born has been made now four times, the 2018 version directed by Bradley Cooper and starring Cooper and Lady Gaga (in her first major film performance), is my first experience with these story beats. Of course, they’re not unfamiliar ones. It doesn’t take intimate familiarity with the Janet […]

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

RATING: (1.5 STARS) Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park stands the test of time. It’s a remarkable action-horror hybrid that knows its greatest strength is the sense of awe. When Sam Neill turns Laura Dern’s head toward the real, live dinosaurs for the first time, it’s transcendent. The series only ever reached that point again once—in the […]

Eighth Grade Review

Eighth Grade Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Over the last few years, the horror genre has experienced a sort of renaissance at least partially on the back of some exemplary art-house titles released by A24, including The Witch and Hereditary. The studio’s latest horror film is a very different sort of movie. Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade doesn’t feature ghosts […]

Ocean’s 8 Review

Ocean’s 8 Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Ocean’s movies are tough to get wrong. It’s true that Ocean’s 8 is the first (at least this century) that’s been made by someone other than the incomparable Steven Soderbergh. But as good as his direction and sensibilities were for Ocean’s 11, 12 (especially), and 13, it wasn’t hard to imagine a […]

Mission: Impossible—Fallout Review

Mission: Impossible—Fallout Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) For the longest time, the Mission: Impossible franchise felt disjointed. Different directors—Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird—brought different styles to essentially the same story, and the supporting cast, while consistently enjoyable, was always changing to the point that it was difficult to connect with anyone outside of Tom Cruise’s […]

Ready Player One Review

Ready Player One Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Steven Spielberg became one of the most beloved filmmakers in the history of the medium on the backs of blockbusters like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., and Jurassic Park that transported viewers into fantastical worlds where anything seemed possible. Ready Player One is perhaps his […]

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, from Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville, is something of a safe lob down the middle for the adult movie-going public in 2018. Nostalgia and empathy are two of the strongest emotional pulls when it comes to non-fiction filmmaking. This film has loads of the former. Fred Rogers the […]

Avengers: Infinity War Review

Avengers: Infinity War Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) I haven’t truly loved an Avengers film yet. Both 2012’s original and Age of Ultron came out of the oven burnt and overdone. In an effort to give everyone a moment, the filmmakers made “moments” meaningless. (This was exacerbated in Marvel’s nadir: Captain America: Civil War.) With Infinity War, directors Joe and […]