Jean-Luc has written 5 reviews for films rated ★★★★½ during 2016.

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★½

    Arrival is the perfect answer to the disastrous state of blockbusters in 2016. It’s science fiction, but it’s smart science fiction. It’s science fiction that posits a future in which being intelligent and empathetic are the most important character traits one could have. It’s an all out rejection of the typical first contact narrative, and its subversion is one of its most significant strengths.

    In Arrival, director Dennis Villeneuve and writer Eric Heisserer, along with an incredible cast, weave an…

  • Café Society

    Café Society

    ★★★★½

    Considering that I’m writing this review in a Starbucks, I’m sure there’s a very topical joke to be made; however, one isn’t coming to me. Instead, you get this mediocre intro.I can’t tell if that’s better or worse, but I’m leaning towards worse right now. Who knows?

    Anyways, for those of you who read my review of Kubo and the Two Strings, you’ll know that I was slipping into a swift depression because I hadn’t gotten the opportunity to see…

  • Kubo and the Two Strings

    Kubo and the Two Strings

    ★★★★½

    Kubo and the Two Strings is a film that has had an interesting trajectory, in terms of my interest in it. I had heard about it at the start of this year and allowed myself to be cautiously optimistic about it. The last two Laika outings, 2012’s visually enticing but ultimately dull Frankenweenie and 2014’s mediocre the Boxtrolls, hadn’t impressed me. But I knew the studio was still capable of great things–they made Coraline, after all–and Kubo certainly sounded cool…

  • Nocturnal Animals

    Nocturnal Animals

    ★★★★½

    Part of me wishes that I’d skipped Nocturnal Animals in theaters.

    That’s a weird thing to be writing, coming out of a movie that I really enjoyed. But it’s true–I’ve never before felt such a powerful urge to get up and walk out of a theater. Had I watched it at home, a couple months from now, there are multiple points where I would have just paused it and gone for a walk to cool down. That’s how stressful an…

  • The Neon Demon

    The Neon Demon

    When 2016 comes to a close, I would not be surprised if The Neon Demon wasn’t the most profoundly unique film of the year. Of course, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise to fans of Nicolas Winding Refn’s past work – both 2011’s Drive and 2013’s Only God Forgives certainly claimed that title as well. At this point, then Neon Demon should be par for the course for Refn. And yet, the fact of the matter is that his…