• tick, tick...BOOM!

    tick, tick...BOOM!

    ★★

    Disliking tick, tick ... BOOM! feels a bit like booing a group of middle-school theater kids, but … boo.

    www.larsenonfilm.com/tick-tick-boom

  • Red Rocket

    Red Rocket

    ★★★½

    In Red Rocket, Simon Rex plays a con man who’s mostly conning himself. Looking like Bradley Cooper if he’d gotten stuck in a tanning machine for 48 hours, Rex plays Mikey Saber, a porn star who washes back up in his small Texas town after an (offscreen, undetailed) run of misfortune in Los Angeles. A motormouth given to easy distraction, Mikey nonetheless talks his way into the ramshackle home of his former lover, Lexi (Bree Elrod), and her mother (Brenda…

  • Children of Men

    Children of Men

    ★★★★★

    As harrowing and hopeful as the original Christmas story. To be discussed on the next Think Christian podcast.

  • Parallel Mothers

    Parallel Mothers

    Review to come.

  • Die Hard

    Die Hard

    ★★★★½

    "This is Christmas music!"

    And this is a Christmas movie.

  • House of Gucci

    House of Gucci

    ★★½

    There’s exactly one person who understands at what volume and pitch House of Gucci should be operating...

    www.larsenonfilm.com/house-of-gucci

  • Test Pattern

    Test Pattern

    ★★★½

    A strong, sobering writing-directing debut, Shatara Michelle Ford’s Test Pattern traces the contours of a relationship that is rocked when the woman is sexually assaulted while out with a friend. The next morning, her boyfriend guides her through the increasingly byzantine and bureaucratic process of filing a police report and obtaining a medical examination. In the early scenes, Ford nicely sets up the cozy, comforting rapport between Renesha and Evan (Brittany S. Hall and Will Brill, both giving confident, lived-in…

  • Spencer

    Spencer

    ★★★½

    A condensed biopic that also functions as a psychological horror film, Spencer dramatizes a Christmas holiday amidst the royal family as endured by Diana, Princess of Wales, on the eve of her divorce from Prince Charles. Aligned as intimately as it is with Diana’s perspective (no other member of the family speaks until a good third into the film), Spencer relies quite heavily on Kristen Stewart’s central performance. Once you adjust to the repetitive rhythm of speaking she employs—a rush…

  • The Power of the Dog

    The Power of the Dog

    ★★★★½

    Better than There Will Be Blood, Beau Travail, The Night of the Hunter, and Hitchcock's Rebecca - or just a brilliant concoction made from all of them?

    www.larsenonfilm.com/the-power-of-the-dog

  • Bright Star

    Bright Star

    ★★★½

    A very good - if uncharacteristically safe - Jane Campion movie, this is perhaps most notable as a crowning achievement for costume designer Janet Patterson, whose collars alone capture the artistic and personal indomitability of Fanny Brawne. (Nominated for an Oscar here, Patterson also worked with Campion on The Piano, The Portrait of a Lady, and Holy Smoke.)

  • Eternals

    Eternals

    ★★½

    Eternals is Chloe Zhao’s The Tree of Life. Ever since her debut, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, it’s been clear that Zhao’s visual style bears the influence of Terrence Malick. With Eternals, her unlikely Marvel Cinematic Universe entry after The Rider and the Oscar-winning Nomadland, that’s true in terms of theme, as well. An epic tale about a team of celestial beings who have presided over humanity’s evolution since the dawn of time, Eternals depicts figures amidst gorgeous natural backdrops,…

  • Mare of Easttown

    Mare of Easttown

    ★★★½

    A revisit of Holy Smoke, which reminded me of the awesome power of Kate Winslet, was the final nudge to catch up with this. Glad I did: she's astounding, and the small-town relationships are acutely observed. I wasn't quite as happy with the increasingly cranked up serial-killer genre elements, which the series gives itself over to completely in its final episode.