Rane has written 37 reviews for films rated ★★★½ .

  • Game Night

    Game Night

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Hilarious. Plemons steals every scene he's in. Love than an obvious send-up/rip-off of The Game makes so many Fight Club jokes. Kind of shocked that any gun-related humor could make me laugh right now, but McAdams clearly knows how to make the most of a prop. Not to mention the movie has the best Denzel Washington joke we'll ever get. It's no Asscrack Bandit episode of Community, but still a very fun and very funny Fincher riff. (Be prepared to…

  • The Polka King

    The Polka King

    ★★★½

    Netflix Original (2018) #6

    Maybe it's the slew of bad movies that proceeded it, but I found this to be far more enjoyable than its reputation would suggest. Jack Black's performance is borderline offensive caricature, so your mileage may vary depending on how tolerable you find terrible Polish accents and broken English played for laughs, but the actor's natural charisma and exuberant nature make him a good fit for the part. Formulaic structure and plotting make this hard to recommend…

  • Colossal

    Colossal

    ★★★½

    Alcohol's a real monster. So is misogyny.

  • I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore

    I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore

    ★★★½

    Blair's kind of riding Saulnier's coattails here, but he might have a greater handle on the "comedy" half of black comedy.

  • mother!

    mother!

    ★★★½

    If we're talking Aronofsky movies that explore the director's preoccupation with the relationship between (Christian) theology and the natural world - here via baldly obvious metaphor - then I prefer Noah.

  • Irreconcilable Differences

    Irreconcilable Differences

    ★★★½

    I've found it: buried under a terrible soundtrack, some really outdated jokes (about fatshaming, slutshaming, speaking English, etc.) and a few story contrivances sits the first honest-to-goodness GOOD Nancy Meyers movie. Sure, it's cowritten and directed by her husband Schyer, but this script has Meyers written all over it, up to and including the strained relationship between co-screenwriter spouses. The premise seems hokey until it proves it isn't, creating a really moving snapshot of the trauma and heartbreak divorced parents…

  • Something's Gotta Give

    Something's Gotta Give

    ★★★½

    Standout bizarro Nancy Meyers moment #462: Nicholson cutting Keaton's turtle neck off with scissors during sex. She's a fucking auteur of rom-com weirdness and I won't hear otherwise.

  • King Kong

    King Kong

    ★★★½

    That little orange heart is misleading, as I don't "like" this film so much as I'm amazed by it. Because this film is INSANE - insanely misogynist, that is. A lot is said (and written) about the movie's racial politics, particularly the unsubtle image of a giant black ape stealing and obsessing over a screaming white woman. But the utter CONTEMPT these male characters have for women, expressed in nearly every line of dialogue prior to their encounter with Kong,…

  • John Wick

    John Wick

    ★★★½

    Suffers from "bad guy captures protag, doesn't immediately shoot him in the head" syndrome, but otherwise a near-perfect ballet of bloodshed in which the quiet ruminations on instinctual violence are only matched by its gonzo mythology and classic Keanu stoicism.

  • Green Room

    Green Room

    ★★★½

    A bit too uncompromising and inscrutable at times, particularly the manner in which Saulnier's script delivers exposition or imbues characterization, and the brutality borders on exhaustive. But while the setting may seem a little schlocky to some, I can't think of better monsters for a horror film right now than Nazis. Combine that with Saulnier's eye for lighting and penchant for subversion, and you have another strong color-coded outing for one of the better new breakout directors.

  • Fences

    Fences

    ★★★½

    Less of a film than an actors' showcase, with Washington as director showing little interest in making it much else. Camera movements and edits feel mostly perfunctory, with only a few lasting images adding to playwright/screenwriter August Wilson's script. Good thing, then, that the performances are dynamite, particularly Washington and Davis. Each cast member instills their character with an earthy nuance, breathing life and movement into near-ceaseless dialogue. Some parts of the play are weaker than others, like the overabundance…

  • Manchester by the Sea

    Manchester by the Sea

    I must be dead inside, because that much-adored Michelle Williams scene made me feel nothing. Everything here is solid, from accused sexual assaultant Casey Affleck's performance to Lonergan's masterful control of tone, but doesn't come close in achievement to the messy masterpiece that is MARGARET. Hoping a rewatched at a more emotionally available time will prove me wrong, because I hate to thing I'm missing something.