• Black Widow

    Black Widow

    ★★★½

    Pretty Good (72%) -> MCU Ranking (#17/27) & 2021 Ranking (#22/32)

    I’m glad they didn’t go the Red Sparrow route with this and kept it character focused. The family unit at the forefront (played by an excellent cast of actors) is where the film shines most. Florence Pugh steals the show, as usual, and I hope this isn’t the last we see of her character. While it still falls into some generic trappings, Black Widow has the laughs, action, and family fun you’d expect from a standalone MCU movie, and its memorable characters help it stand out amongst the weaker films in the franchise.

  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    ★★★

    Favorable (68%) -> Conjuring & Insidious Ranking(#11/12) & 2021 (#30/31)

    James Wan’s direction is the main reason the first two Conjuring films work so well; so, naturally, replacing him with the director of The Curse of La Llorona is bound to go south. The scares are decent at best with no standout moments like the “clap” scene or “Valak”. Ed & Lorraine’s relationship was effectively explored in The Conjuring 2, and this third film attempts to do the same, but a few flashbacks don’t add any new layers to their bond. While the story is interesting enough, the film lacks that inventive flair to set it apart.

  • In the Heights

    In the Heights

    ★★★★½

    Great (84%) -> 2021 Ranking (1/29) & A Favorite Movie For Each Year I’ve Been Alive

    As someone born and raised in Washington Heights to Dominican immigrants and as a first generation college graduate, I have never felt more seen. I’ve shared excitement for the recent increase of representation in film, with Crazy Rich Asians being a prime example. However, for Jon M. Chu's second effort to be a film that finally lets me feel that sense of representation for myself,…

  • A Quiet Place Part II

    A Quiet Place Part II

    ★★★★

    Very Good (79%) -> 2021 Ranking (7/28)

    A Quiet Place is one of the most memorable theater experiences I’ve ever had, so if there ever was a film to bring me back to the theater it would be this sequel. John Krasinski not only returns to direct, but he also takes on sole writing responsibilities, and he makes sure this film is just as good if not better than its predecessor.

    As the film transitions from its thrilling, white-knuckle opening…

  • Shithouse

    Shithouse

    ★★★★½

    Great (83%) -> 2020 Ranking (#5/74)

    Watching this with my best friend, it felt like this film was made specifically for us. From the way they spoke to the situations they found themselves in, every character in this movie shared uncanny similarities with people we met in college. The dialogue here was too spot on; it was just so damn relatable, and it's exactly the type of humor that really hits home with us. The film’s relatability is much more…

  • The Man Who Sold His Skin

    The Man Who Sold His Skin

    ★★★½

    Pretty Good (72%) -> 2021 Ranking (17/27)

    Just when I thought I’d have to catch this one post-Oscars, Hulu comes in clutch and drops it the week of. Having now seen it, if there was a foreign nominee to skip, this one would be fitting as it’s easily the weakest of the bunch. However, it’s still a good film with lots to like, and it’s worth seeking out for my fellow completionists out there.

    Loosely based on true events, this…

  • The Assistant

    The Assistant

    ★★★½

    Pretty Good (72%) -> 2020 Ranking (#45/73)

    Kitty Green’s transition from directing documentaries to feature films coincides with one of the first dramatic portrayals of the #MeToo movement, and in both aspects, this film is a big win.

    The story follows a day in the life of an assistant to a major film production executive in New York, and it’s clear that this is not how she envisioned her big break into the industry. Even though she’s the first to…

  • Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry

    Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry

    ★★★½

    Pretty Good (70%) -> 2021 Ranking (22/26)

    Though I’m sure her fans would love this to pieces, you don’t even need to like her music to appreciate this intimate look into her life and be blown away by how much she’s accomplished at her age. The fact that this film showcased Billie’s virtues and flaws alike made it so much more interesting and I did gain a newfound respect for her. Seeing her make these hit songs in her room with her brother just shows how anything really is possible.

  • Little Fish

    Little Fish

    ★★★★

    Pretty Great (80%) -> 2021 Ranking (5/25)

    Olivia Cooke can’t catch a break with these on screen relationships; first her boyfriend loses his hearing in Sound of Metal and now her husband is losing his memory in this one!

    This film has such an interesting premise, set during a pandemic where instead of getting sick, people are struck with memory loss. Considering this finished filming before 2020, it’s incredible how many parallels there are to the state of the world…

  • Bad Trip

    Bad Trip

    ★★★

    Favorable (69%) -> 2021 Ranking (#23/25)

    The success of a movie like this depends almost entirely on whether or not the pranks are actually funny and gladly, this checks that box. Some of the stunts pulled here are insanely wild and the reactions they’re able to get are quite hilarious. However, the central plot and scripted scenes between the characters are expectedly subpar. Luckily the pranks take up the majority of the runtime and the acting talent helps elevate the scripted material resulting in a fun ride overall.

  • Menace II Society

    Menace II Society

    ★★★½

    Good (73%)

    A bleak, ultra-violent portrayal of the harsh and sad realities of growing up in the hood. Some friends recommended this to me, hailing it a classic and I can definitely see the impact it has had on other media tackling this subject matter (especially GTA: San Andreas). While it has its fair share of clichés and often feels indulgent in its portrayal of violence, memorable characters and hard-hitting scenes make this a captivating and unforgettable viewing experience.

  • Shiva Baby

    Shiva Baby

    ★★★½

    Good (77%) -> 2021 Ranking (#11/24)

    This was such a claustrophobic and anxiety-inducing experience. The situation the protagonist finds herself in (stuck in a Jewish funeral service in which she runs into both her ex-girlfriend and sugar daddy) makes for plenty of awkwardness and hilarity but it's the dodging of those uncomfortable questions from family members about your unclear future plans that I related to the most. Strong performances, a witty script, and confident direction make this an overall impressive debut for Emma Seligman.