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  • The Thin Red Line

    The Thin Red Line

    ★★★★★

    "If I never meet you in this life, let me feel the lack."

    Fifth viewing on the big screen alone, added to a couple more on home video, and this hasn't lost a single bit of its power. If anything, when stacked up next to KNIGHT OF CUPS, it's some kind of alien wonder now. As much as I adore BADLANDS, there's just nothing that ever came before this -- by Malick or anyone -- that was anything like this…

  • Spotlight

    Spotlight

    Such an arrogant piece of self-congratulatory lecture-theater that it’s gotta be a lock for Best Picture. I lost count of the number of scenes that end on sick truth bombs, but perhaps that’s because I was already losing count over the number of times McCarthy stitched two scenes together using a locked-down exterior shot accompanied by Howard Shore’s piano-tinkling compositions. (Given that this is a Boston-set film about rapist priests, no surprise they commissioned a score from the guy who…

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  • Marty

    Marty

    ★★★½

    Not at all the same Chayefsky who would go on to be the bitter cynic stabbing his audiences with poisoned daggers in films like THE HOSPITAL and NETWORK. This is unrecognizable -- warm, sweet, and tender. Borgnine deserved his Best Actor Oscar, IMO: he uses his meaty paws like a cuddly teddy bear, the butcher with a heart of gold, and within ten minutes you know how he'll react in every scene for the rest of the film. Perfectly defined…

  • Psycho II

    Psycho II

    ★★½

    Imagine being a first-time director who, long after the death of Quentin Tarantino, gets hired to make PULP FICTION 2, which centers around Samuel L. Jackson's character as an old man, retired from his days as a pro hitman. How would you kick it off, knowing you don't remotely have QT's chops? How about just show 5 uninterrupted minutes from the original, with John Travolta and Uma Thurman bantering and dancing? Then maybe you slowly bring in some opening credits…

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  • Mission: Impossible

    Mission: Impossible

    ★★★★★

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

    It's all about the scene in the third act when Ethan and Jim reunite and have a drink together. Jim is trying to convince Ethan that Kittridge is the mole, not knowing Ethan already figured out it was Jim because of the Drake Hotel bible. So Ethan, having the upper hand, narrates a flashback where he pretends to realize how Kittridge did it, all for Jim's benefit -- meanwhile, DePalma's visuals tell a different story: the way Ethan is seeing…

  • Devs

    Devs

    ★½

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

    Even if this show didn't feature what is probably the single worst lead performance of any major prestige drama in the last 25 years (but it does: Sonoya Mizuno is deeply, all-encompassingly terrible in a way it's hard to fathom, episode after episode), it would still be a failure of ideas. ANNIHILATION is starting to feel more and more like an anomaly; its clever sci-fi concept had the courage to perform an existential autopsy of the human condition without pulling…