ian has written 15 reviews for films rated ★★★½ .

  • Laurence Anyways

    Laurence Anyways

    ★★★½

    the way Dolan creates little moments of tension is remarkable. consummate storytelling.

  • The Counselor

    The Counselor

    ★★★½

    THE COUNSELOR was terrible, except when it was excellent. Often it was both at the same time.

    The cast, with the exception of Cameron Diaz, was uniformly excellent. There were scintillating visual moments, courtesy of Ridley Scott's great eye, and fantastic monologues poured from Cormac McCarthy's pen. But in aggregate, the movie did nothing, said nothing, was nothing.

    It failed as a thriller; I never knew what was at stake, or why I should care.

    It failed as philosophy, as…

  • The Wolf of Wall Street

    The Wolf of Wall Street

    ★★★½

    Literally just finished watching out, so my thoughts are still coalescing, but:

    1. Scorsese's use of pop-music cues is officially out of control. He needs an intervention.

    2. Related to #1 above, his reliance on voiceover, direct address, and now telepathy (hearing what his characters are thinking) is another crutch he uses whenever the mood seems to strike him. There's no obvious rhyme or reason to how it's employed, it's just whatever.

    3. I don't need any movie to have…

  • Captain Phillips

    Captain Phillips

    ★★★½

    I'm not saying it made me shit my pants, but I'm not saying it didn't. An old-fashioned Hollywood thrill ride.

  • Wrong Cops

    Wrong Cops

    ★★★½

    I've started and deleted this review about a dozen times because I simply can't find words to describe WRONG COPS. If you like idiot humor, non-existent narrative, and weed, this is the movie for you.

    Spoiler alert: writer/director/cinematographer/editor Quentin Dupieux also scored the film as Mr. Oizo.

  • A Field in England

    A Field in England

    ★★★½

    A solid return to form after the abortion that was "Sightseers." There are echoes of "Kill List" in tone (and cast) if not content.

  • Hell Baby

    Hell Baby

    ★★★½

    I know this wasn't a "good" film by objective measures, but I'll be damned if I didn't laugh my ass off throughout the entire thing. I thought the script (by Lennon and Ben-Garant) was excellent, and Keegan-Michael Key stole every scene he appeared in. Yeah, they kinda forgot to write a 3rd act, but fuck it. I laughed a LOT.

  • Room 237

    Room 237

    ★★★½

    Can't remember a more polarizing doc -- people seemed to either love this or it actually made them angry to the point that they couldn't finish it. That makes me wonder what people were hoping to get out of it. Me, I was satisfied to hear these lunatics hold forth on their crazy theories. I mean, we're all those lunatics, aren't we? It's just a matter of degree.

  • Computer Chess

    Computer Chess

    ★★★½

    The dreamy, gauzy quality of the output of the vintage Sony AVC 3620 video camera matched perfectly with the increasingly odd narrative arc, resulting in a strangely wonderful film. Was it intentional or accidental? Ultimately it doesn't matter.

  • No

    No

    ★★★½

    I would watch Gael Garcia Bernal do pretty much anything for 2 hours, so watching him in a period-set drama that aligns with my personal politics was a gimme. There aren't many feel-good stories set during the Pinochet regime, but this was one.

  • The Punk Singer

    The Punk Singer

    ★★★½

    Shows Kathleen Hanna as a three-dimensional human being with all her gifts and foibles. I would've gladly sat thru another hour or two of recollections and anecdotes.

  • Muscle Shoals

    Muscle Shoals

    ★★★½

    Pretty straightforward documentary approach; the story does the heavy lifting here, and what a story it is.