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  • Unhinged

    Unhinged

    ★★½

    Obviously gonna be a payoff at the climax when the kid gratuitously mentions his secret Fortnite strategy - and there is, but it's surprisingly perfunctory (the set-up is acknowledged without really adding anything). Social critique, the opening-credits idea of an angry society rocked by a plague of "incivility", also turns out to be perfunctory, the main event being Russell Crowe in a kind of twilight-of-career excelsis, sporting a mindset out of early Talking Heads (he hates people when they're not…

  • The Peanut Butter Falcon

    The Peanut Butter Falcon

    ★★★

    Gutted that I shortchanged Shia LaBeouf in last year's Skandies (because the film looked insufferable, basically), but I figure I'd have given him 10-12 points which wouldn't have been enough for a Top 20 placing, so that's something. LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson are miraculous, but it's obviously the presence of a non-actor (with Down's Syndrome, no less) that inspires them; you can see them being competitive, doing actorly tricks to avoid being upstaged - bits of business, imaginative line readings…

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  • Margaret

    Margaret

    ★★★★★

    Held me spellbound for three hours, if nothing else (extended cut, fwiw). 25th HOUR-ish - New York movie, moral drama about Doing the Right Thing, symphonic score over jagged rhythms - also Desplechin-ish for the sweep and scale, but more ambitious than either: an epic of human disconnection, based around the fact that language is such an imperfect way of trying to connect - emotion is easier, but we lose it as we grow older ("It is Margaret you mourn…

  • Aloha

    Aloha

    ★★★★

    File with James L. Brooks' How Do You Know as a late-period rom-com that may seem inept because it dispenses with the usual pretence of realism (the magical setting helps, like it did, in a different way, in Almost Famous; maybe Crowe's peculiar sensibility needs the licence of an anything-goes milieu to really take flight). Myths and omens appear prominently. There's an emphasis on the touchy-feely - Danny McBride as Colonel "Fingers"; Bill Murray giving an impromptu massage - over…