Those has written 14 reviews for films rated ★★★★½ during 2016.

  • Mildred Pierce

    Mildred Pierce

    ★★★★½

    Joan Crawford vs. The Three Faces of Adam (Smith). Match of the century.

  • Innocence Unprotected

    Innocence Unprotected

    ★★★★½

    Innocence Unprotected is my new favorite:

    -documentary
    -experimental film
    -narrative film
    -comedy
    -tragedy
    -action movie
    -musical
    -biopic
    -national epic
    -WWII movie
    -found footage
    -"found footage"
    -movie about movies.

  • Only Yesterday

    Only Yesterday

    ★★★★½

    Oof, my heart.

  • The Birds

    The Birds

    ★★★★½

    Werewolf Bar Mitzvah: Baby's First Hoop-Tober (3.0)

    When a bird or a mouse gets into the house, we freak out not because we think they can harm us but because we know that they don't belong there, that they've introduced disorder and dirtiness into the home we work so hard to keep nice and clean. Their presence indoors feels wrong, like they've violated some unspoken agreement that separates our world from theirs.

    The Birds takes that common anxiety and dials…

  • Distant Voices, Still Lives

    Distant Voices, Still Lives

    ★★★★½

    Between this film and the even better (somehow, as if that's even fair) The Long Day Closes I'm quickly realizing that Terence Davies is pretty much hands down the master of illustrating the act of memory on screen. He just nails it. The fragmentation, the way certain spaces (here, the childhood home and the local pub) act as anchors for memory's drifting back and forth through time, the way pop culture and history are organically threaded into the texture of…

  • Archangel

    Archangel

    ★★★★½

    This pretty much cements Maddin as one of my favorite directors. Dude just Gets Me.

    Updated Guy Maddin Intertitle Power Rankings:

    1. "Dance of the Hairless Boners" (My Winnipeg)
    2. "Good for dippin'" (Brand Upon the Brain!)
    3. "Forced to wear a leotard!" (The Forbidden Room)
    4. "Perhaps this Bolshevik would like a war medal for breakfast!" (Archangel)
    5. "The summons of the ice breast" (Cowards Bend the Knee)

  • Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America

    Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America

    ★★★★½

    Holy shit.

    I don't know why I expected this to be some kind of goofy lark. It is not. Oh boy is it not. A surface layer of wickedly clever deadpan satire barely restrains a genuine font of seething, righteous anger. There's a real conspiracy winding its way through all the fake ones, and it's far more insidious and horrifying (and banal) than any of the tinfoil hat classics Baldwin stitches together for this Avengers of the Conspiracy Theory Cinematic Universe.

  • Zorns Lemma

    Zorns Lemma

    ★★★★½

    I (child on swing)(bouncing balls)(peeling an orange)(split face) this movie.

    There are so many clever decisions here that make this film not only eminently watchable but also a surprising amount of fun. Like how some of the images have little visual stories that progress with each cycle (a wall is painted, a tire is changed, an orange is peeled), sometimes in unexpected ways (the stopping and sudden restarting of N, the weirdly suspenseful climax of H), or the way the…

  • Grey Gardens

    Grey Gardens

    ★★★★½

    What does it say about where my life is at right now that I viewed this as a cautionary tale?

  • Where Is My Friend's House?

    Where Is My Friend's House?

    ★★★★½

    Watching this movie made me painfully aware of how fundamentally self-absorbed most of our popular stories about children are. When the protagonists of those stories inevitably break free from the dull, adult-imposed strictures of daily life to go on their adventures, it's almost always mainly for their own personal gratification or edification, the rest of the world be damned.

    Here it's quite the opposite. Ahmed sets out on his journey for entirely selfless reasons, risking his own punishment to prevent…

  • It's Always Fair Weather

    It's Always Fair Weather

    ★★★★½

    Is it possible to love a musical without loving any of the actual songs? Because that's where I'm at right now with this one. But who really cares about the quality of the songs themselves when they're a pretext for watching Gene Kelly tap-dance on roller skates in open defiance of the laws of physics?

    I'm still just in awe that a classical Hollywood musical this bitter and melancholy and brutally satirical (tell us how you really feel about television, guys) can even exist.

    Also the entire movie takes place on my birthday, so that was neat.

  • Possession

    Possession

    ★★★★½

    Somebody really ought to tidy up that floor.