Rane has written 17 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2016.

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★

    A truly cinematic experience in glorious conflict with modern modes of Hollywood filmmaking, but its optimistic outlook on communication's abilities to reach understanding is the film's most otherworldly aspect at this particular moment in time. And while I adore the use of film language (particularly its use of the auditory and flashback-cuts) as another means of interpretation and communication, I have a sneaking suspicion that a rewatch may punch some large holes in the movie's most affecting moments. But movies like ARRIVAL simply aren't made often, and that deserves unreserved appreciation.

  • Holy Hell

    Holy Hell

    ★★★★

    We're this not the year of OJ: Made in America, this might be my pic for doc of the year (so far). Needs less VO and over-explains both Michel and his disciples' various rationales, but otherwise terrific. Love the bleached-out aesthetics of the old video footage, especially compared to the talking heads' sharp realism.

  • Sing Street

    Sing Street

    ★★★★

    Carney's warmest film to date, and some of his (and co-writer Gary Clark) best music as well. That fantasy prom video is utterly heartbreaking.

  • Obsession

    Obsession

    ★★★★

    My favorite of De Palma's Hitchcock riffs yet, twisting VERTIGO's underlying sexual atmosphere into a feverish blend of grief, longing, regret and duplicity against a dazzlingly lit Roman/New Orlean backdrop. Cliff Robertson's no Jimmy Stewart (and Genevieve Bujold no Kim Novak), but John Lithgow's hilariously entertaining N'awlins accent easily makes up for any and all performance gaps.

  • Songs from the Second Floor

    Songs from the Second Floor

    ★★★★

    Blessed be the man who sits through this von Trier-level cacophony of human misery with any optimism or hope left for humanity.

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier

    ★★★★

    There's a key scene in this film where an incognito Steve Rogers visits a Captain America/WWII museum that directly mirrors another scene from The First Avenger. In that movie, a weak Rogers visited an enlistment station, naturally featuring a ton of WWII propaganda. In one shot, Rogers finds his too-short face reflected in a mirror with a US uniform painted around it, unsubtle but still effective. Now 70+ years in the future, he's become the absolute symbol of American exceptionalism,…

  • All the President's Men

    All the President's Men

    ★★★★

    I'm a little shocked at all the impressive world-building tucked into the corners of this film. Tracking shocks, background actions, and editorial meetings all reveal that even a story as big as Watergate was just a microcosm in the vast landscape of a single newspaper. All of this detail really makes the movie feel lived in, rather than simply the presentation of a single story. I wish it were twice as long, though. For all of the excruciating detail put into depicting the investigation, those final typewriter shots are really unsatisfying.

  • WarGames

    WarGames

    ★★★★

    I expected this movie to be ridiculous (and was not disappointed). I did not expect it to be this good.

  • True Romance

    True Romance

    ★★★★

    If I had to pick a film that served as a distillation of Tarantino - all of his excellence, all of his flaws, his obsessions and his worldview - it would be this movie. The title is a misnomer, as the romance unfortunately gets lost amongst all the guns, drugs, dialogue and movie references. But it's just so thoroughly entertaining that you don't even notice until it's all over. TRUE ROMANCE, Tarantino's first script, is obviously a send-up to the…

  • City of Gold

    City of Gold

    ★★★★

    A delicious intersection of international food cultures and criticism that only occasionally veers into hagiography.

  • 10 Cloverfield Lane

    10 Cloverfield Lane

    ★★★★

    Not a huge fan of the last ten minutes or so (c'mon, a Molotov cocktail?), but everything else is pure excellence. If the Cloverfield movies to come operate like this, parallel to one another but within singular, condensed narratives, it has the potential to become a truly great franchise.

  • Amy

    Amy

    ★★★★

    The rare post-mortem portrait that captures both the singular talent of its superstar subject and the relentlessness of the demons that ultimately drove her to her grave.