Noah Thompson’s review published on Letterboxd:
Take My Breath Away
I am very much a proponent of the theory that film and art as a whole is something that, while having aspects where you can measure criteria in an objective manner, is collectively a subjective experience. Some people are much better at defending their taste than others, but you also shouldn't have to write a multi-page essay with sources to be able to have an opinion on something. I say this while also outright admitting that, in very rare instances, I have a reaction to something that is so against the commonly shared reception of something that I either question myself or everyone else. Death Note, as you can see by my rating and the fact that this is my fourth time watching it, is one of those movies. I think this thing rules. Some fantastic cinematography, generally creative visual design, and at its stands both in its aesthetic and narrative, about as great of an American translation as you can have for this kind of story. I've liked Nat Wolff and Margaret Qualley more and more with each subsequent viewing I have of this, gladly embracing them as demented losers who get power that should never have been anywhere near them. It's like the quiet kid in the back of the classroom who's very smart but also highly emotional and, at least in their current state of mind, shouldn't hold any positions of authority yet gets all of said authority in the world. I think it works really well. LaKeith Stanfield also outright gives one of my favorite performances from a movie from 2017, which I'm sure you remember being a stacked year for strong acting. I understand certain liberties taken from the original material being harder to swallow than others, the changes with L being one of them. However, as someone who has read the manga but doesn't have as much of a necessity for its adaptation being a one for one creation, seeing L with a fantastic costume and Stanfield really dialing up the emotion with the detective is something I would say I outright love. There's a bit here you could dig into with how it portrays bloodlust in the country, how that bleeds into retribution fantasies from bullying, how many people may secretly want a force to just take out all the "bad" people in the world as harshly as possible to give the "good" people some form of catharsis, so on and so forth. Mainly, I think this is just a fun ass movie, and Adam Wingard deserves the world for being one of the coolest and most enjoyable genre filmmakers to watch the work of right now. Good eatin'.