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  • A Hidden Life

    A Hidden Life

    ★★★★★

    For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light... everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light."
    - Ephesians 5:8-14

    What is the meaning of the darkness?
    At the core of this question in A Hidden Life, Terrence Malick’s latest film, is that familiar visual sense that has come to define his style. Here he weaves darkness and light as both literal cinematic functions and metaphorical…

  • The Rider

    The Rider

    ★★★★½

    An unconventional film that uses the raw performances of its non-actors to underscore a potent spiritual core. The Rider is not afraid to dig into the human experience without the glamour and the polish, and what surfaces are some deeply rooted questions about what makes life worth living.

    There are a few ways in which The Rider could compare to another recently released and well received indie film with untested performances and an unconventional narrative style- Eighth Grade. I bring…

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  • If Not Now, When

    If Not Now, When

    ★★★

    There's a work(wo)man like presence to the fundamental componants of this relationship drama. Following four woman from a childhod experience to later adult trauma, the strength of their bonds comes straight from the pages of their history. There's nothing flashy or unsurprising here, except perhaps in the way it really does find a way to mine the depth of this history-laden bond through a standard, by the books format, but the more I got into this film the more I was drawn into the narrative, leaving me happy to have spent time with this group of friends for a perfectly watchable hour and a half.

  • A Bump Along the Way

    A Bump Along the Way

    ★★★★

    Don't let the frenzied nature of the film's opening 20 minutes or so, which appear to leave the tone and characters in this film (and their choices and circumstance) undefined and chaotically rendered, fool you. There is a really solid and effective character and family drama lingering and waiting to emerge.

    Subtle but stong performances anchor the mother-daughter dynamic that really forms the films central focus and concern. Where the relationship is at first represented as one thing, the story…

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  • Soul

    Soul

    ★★★★½

    This film is everything that we need right now during these tough times.

    Or maybe its everything I need. It finds a way to break through the clutter of these pent up feelings and emotions and offers a simple message of hope amidst all the potential for anxiety and depression and exhaustion.

    Just don't mistake that simplicity for a lack of depth. This is a film about complex emotions. Topics like purpose and meaning are not necessarily the kind of…

  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    ★★½

    Thank you Kaufman for aptly tricking me into sticking with a story that appears interested in the early going in exploring smart and intuitive existential questions about life, death, aging, purpose, and then succinctly pulling the rug out from this essential exploration for the sake of giving us one of the most dire, depressing, hopeless and purposeless stories I've seen in a long, long time.

    Succinct might be the wrong word altogether, because nothing in this film happens abruptly. I…