• F9

    F9

    ★★★½

    Family is the first and only word you’ll find in The Book of Toretto, a sacred text spanning nine movies anchored equally by extravagant stunts and a giant beating heart. This latest outing veers closer to scripture than any that came before it, invoking themes of betrayal, resurrection, faith, deliverance, and most of all…magnets. It’s a modern tragedy spurned by a wrench being cast in flesh, the ripples of an original sin reverberating across the vehicular carnage and intense buffoonish…

  • Better Luck Tomorrow

    Better Luck Tomorrow

    ★★★½

    An interesting coda to a Fast and Furious marathon to say the least. You not only get to see Sung Kang’s formulation of Han as a character, swaggering onto the screen with the blended confidence of both James Dean and Toshiro Mifune, but also Justin Lin coming into his own in the directors chair, experimenting with camera angles and editing to find his voice in a constant tinkering of style. There’s not a great handling of tone, especially towards the final…

  • A Quiet Place Part II

    A Quiet Place Part II

    ★★★½

    The single most frustrating sequel I’ve seen in a long time. I found the first film to be the ideal blend of concept and execution, but this is just a whole lot of nothing world building sandwiched between an extremely effective prologue and half earned emotional climax. It doesn’t feel like Krasinski had any trepidation about expanding the world either, there are bouts of creative inspiration here when exploring new locations and how other groups of people have adapted or…

  • Cold Pursuit

    Cold Pursuit

    ★★★

    Laura Dern straight up disappears from the movie after 20 minutes and still receives second billing. Her power.

  • In the Heights

    In the Heights

    ★★★★

    Beyond impressed by Jon Chu's ability to translate the corny theater kid rap of Lin Manuel Miranda into an effervescent work of summer fantasia that acts as an impassioned cry for community. Could've cut about 40 minutes, but then you wouldn't get any of those sweet personal moments sponsored by Tide to Go.

  • Fear Street: 1978

    Fear Street: 1978

    ★★★

    A very meat and potatoes summer camp slasher that doesn’t aim for reinvention or reflection, but for good old fashioned atmosphere and titillation. I can’t help but feel underwhelmed in the face of all the murderous glut that Part one offered, but what Part two sets out to accomplish it does so with flying colors. A few gnarly kills with little nuggets of Fier lore peppered throughout in the absolute weakest Friday the 13th pastiche imaginable. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Dog Day Afternoon

    Dog Day Afternoon

    ★★★★½

    Choices presented not in black and white, but gorgeously muted creams and browns. Uncharacteristically human for a crime movie, much more concerned with the why than the how of pulling off a heist, but just as tense all the same. Lumet’s characters aren’t the typical victims taken hostage or slick cold blooded thieves, they’re fallible humans all grappling with extraneous factors from the fallout of The Vietnam War to queer identity. Nothing short of a masterwork of empathy that still manages to be a highly entertaining itchy piece of 70s cinema.

  • Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

    Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

    ★★★

    Shreds the concept of a buddy film down to its last atom only to split it, triggering a cataclysmic explosion of unchecked egos and complete buffoonery. In trying too hard to be the coolest toughest movie in the room it winds up being a laughing stock that we just don’t see from very competently made middle of the road movies. You usually have to wade into the dark waters of cheaply made passion projects to get that kind of action. …

  • The Fate of the Furious

    The Fate of the Furious

    ★★★

    Feels too much like a bonus mission to leave any real impact (you even unlock a previous villain you vanquished as a full on playable character in this one!), but the set pieces here are too inspired to write the whole thing off as a complete failure. Zombie car swarm and baby shootout are really some of the best in the entire series if I’m being honest with myself, it’s the kind of deranged stimulation that’s a welcome reprieve from the standard chase and gunfire finale the series is starting to slip into.

  • Furious 7

    Furious 7

    ★★★★

    This series is probably the closest thing we have now to those loud one liner riddled actioners that were pumped out in the 80s by the likes of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, and really anyone else covered in baby oil at the time. Furious 7 returns that glorious loopy energy that I felt was missing from the previous installment, always moving at a steady clip and constantly finding new ways to top themselves in the same action scene. It doesn’t…

  • The Boss Baby: Family Business

    The Boss Baby: Family Business

    ★★½

    Unforgivable sin to recast Tobey Maguire, especially on the cusp of his resurgence.

  • Fast & Furious 6

    Fast & Furious 6

    ★★★

    Love the idea of introducing a whole Legion of Doom to rival The Family, I just wish they got a better showcase to antagonize in. The series has fully completed its metamorphosis into being a larger sweatier 007 spy caper, but chooses to go the Quantum of Solace route instead of the far more fitting Spy Who Loved Me Moore era fare. This does have Luke Evans maniacally pancaking cars with a tank, so it’s not all bad.