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  • The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

    The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

    ★★★★

    The ur-text of the template that on every criminal team, there’s always a leader, a loose cannon, the muscle, and the good one. (“Panic Room” combines the first and fourth into the same guy, in case you were about to argue with me.) 

    Anyway, this movie rules, its influences on later movies like “Reservoir Dogs” and “Speed” are fun, the supporting cast (Elizondo! Balsam! Jerry Stiller! Wilson from “Home Improvement”!) is a chest of wonders, and it is to municipal employees with New York accents what “The Fugitive” is to municipal employees with Chicago accents.

  • Bad Trip

    Bad Trip

    ★★★★★

    The most fun I’ve had watching a movie in a minute. Also, apologies for being a bitch, but: so much better than “Borat” that people should be embarrassed. It’s the difference between inviting real people into the reality of a dumb action comedy, letting them be the smart ones rather than foisting warmed over political comedy onto idiots. If I could I’d rate it seven stars, I would, with an extra star for the most welcome outtakes-over-credits scene in recent memory and another extra star for Eric Andre having a super cute butt.

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  • Class Action Park

    Class Action Park

    ★★★½

    It's good anyway, but this could easily have been 90 minutes of Chris Gethard riffing on Action Park and growing up in New Jersey in the '80s and I'd have been riveted/delighted.

  • Soul

    Soul

    ★★★★½

    I can't imagine I'd have reacted to "Soul" the way I did if I'd have seen it any other year. Which isn't to say I wouldn't have liked it; I'd certainly have appreciated the delicate story and liquid visuals and dreamily gorgeous original score (Reznor! Ross!) in any year. But now ... it's like how I ended up watching A Christmas Carol differently this year, too (which is to say: I watched "The Muppet Christmas Carol"), at least the part…