Joel has written 57 reviews for films rated ★★★★★ .

  • Coco



    Pixar's latest animated film is about a young boy, Miguel(Anthony Gonzalez),that wants to grow up to be a musician, but his family hates music and wants him in the family shoe business and from this premise we get a heartfelt story of self discovery, family, life and death that is steeped in Mexican culture(most notably Dead of the Dead) and delivers so many lovable characters and heartfelt moments as only Pixar can deliver.
    Pixar once again delivers on amazing animated…

  • The Big Sick

    The Big Sick


    One of the funniest movies of the year, The Big Sick brings together the great director of Michael Showalter(writer/director of 2015's My Name Is Doris) and the brilliant comedy writing and timing of Kumail Nanjiani who brings his comedy performance to a movie that also has a lot of heart, drama and a love story that avoids all the cliches by being honest in its approach and not trying for the stereotypical romance.
    The Big Sick is loosely based on…

  • Logan



    In what is the swan song for Wolverine(Hugh Jackman), James Mangold crafts a version of Old Man Logan that is brutal, genuine, engaging and above all-fun. Years after the apparent demise of all the mutants, Wolverine and Professor X are the last two X-Men but that's when X23, a young girl (Dafne Keen) with the same powers as Wolverine, appears in their lives and kicks off a buddy road adventure that has an Unforgiven vibe in a post-apocalyptic world.

  • Room



    The story of a mother-son locked away in a small shed for years and making a life for themselves and the story to try to free themselves, Room is such an intimate film told from the eyes of a five year old, which helped make the awful nature of the film tolerable and unique (with a great performance from Jacob Tremblay).
    Brie Larson brings a strong performance to the role as well(An Oscar worthy one in my opinion) as she…

  • Suspiria



    Hoop-tober film#1

    Possibly Dario Argento's masterpiece, Suspiria is about a girl that goes to a ballet school that may be more than meets the eye. Jessica Harper is great as this outsider coming into this odd world, but the star of this film is the beautiful cinematography coupled with this intense brutality that works so well together. The story is simple, but works well with the tension the film brings with the film score that is just so perfect for…

  • The Martian

    The Martian


    Matt Damon stars in the film about a lone astronaut, Mark Watney, stranded on Mars and the lengths he and his team will go to keep him alive. The film is cinematically beautiful showing off the full scale of outer space in all its wonder. Damon shines as he brings this natural humor to the role as it never feels forced or out of place. The inclusion of the journal helps Damon's character stay involved in the story and give…

  • Inside Out

    Inside Out


    Pixar once again proves that they are at the forefront of animation with Inside Out, a charming story of a young girl Riley and how her emotions, Joy(Amy Poehler), Disgust(Mindy Kaling), Sadness(Phyllis Smith), Fear(Bill Hader) and Anger(Lewis Black, all work together to make Riley who she is.
    The film works on such a simple level, making the functions of the brain and memories seem so easy for children to grasp but also intricate at the same time with the use…

  • It Follows

    It Follows


    A return to the cinematic feel of the 80's horror genre, It Follows is about a STD(sexually transmitted demon) that passes to the next victim by sexual intercourse and how Jay, Maika Monroe, will deal with it.
    The film creates this eery atmosphere that gives the film this dark edgy presence with these slow lingering shot and panoramic pans and wide shots that are so beautifully shot and at the same time so nail biting as you stay on the…

  • The Fast and the Furious

    The Fast and the Furious


    The film that kickstarted the franchise and ran off the success of street racing at the time to bring audiences the story of Brian O' Conner(Paul Walker), a LAPD police officer going undercover as a street racer to infiltrate the crew led by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) to stop semi truck hijackers and gets too close to them.
    The cars look amazing, the races are a lot of fun and the story developments are entertaining (if not mostly predictable) and…

  • Yojimbo



    The film that served as the archetype for the spaghetti western and the character that was the man with no name long before Eastwood emerged in the role, Yojimbo tells the story of a samurai forced to take a side during a battle. The film has such great style in incorporating masterfully shot battle scenes with great scenes that bring some chuckles from the story as well.
    Toshirô Mifune plays the unnamed samurai and its great to see the way…

  • A Single Man

    A Single Man


    An insightful film about love, loss and regret from a fashion designer in his directorial debut with such a low key complex performance by Colin Firth is so well told and delivered thanks mostly to the enthralling Firth performance of a man that struggles to cope with the loss of his lover. It also takes an unusual Hollywood relationship (not too many homosexual relationship film done in mainstream media) and show it in such an honest simple way(more about the…

  • How to Train Your Dragon 2

    How to Train Your Dragon 2


    A rare sequel that actually stay faithful to the world, story and feel of the original with its great animation and heartfelt story of a boy, Hiccup( Baruchel) and his dragon, Toothless, while adding to the story in a unique way that pushes the boundaries of the story and keeping audiences of all ages engaged in the film. Its everything a sequel should be. Congrats Dreamworks.
    My Take: Should have won the Oscar but still it was good to see it honored. A great sequel with an emotional story to tell.