• Dallas Buyers Club

    Dallas Buyers Club

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The highest praise I can give this movie is that it felt absolutely real, almost like a piece of documentary. McConaughey, Leto, and Garner are all tremendous, but not overstated. Man, when McConaughey is on, he's ON. He is absorbed by his roles more than any actor I can think of. The filmmaking avoids self-indulgence (with the exception of the incessant ear-ringing noise, which got to be annoying asf) and sells this as a true historical drama.

    The first ending…

  • Interstellar

    Interstellar

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    My first viewing of Interstellar was in theaters during my senior year of high school. I saw it with friends, and it is among the best movie-going experiences of my life. Mad Max: Fury Road also came out during that school year, and I think those two movies above all else convinced me of the "power of movies. They blew my doors off.

    Interstellar inspires awe in me in its purest form. Space fascinates me, and to see it so…

  • Eyes Wide Shut

    Eyes Wide Shut

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Bill's nighttime journey, when he has a number of sexually-charged encounters of various types, plays like a parable or an adaptation of myth.

    I love the choice to leave many things ambiguous -- Sydney Pollack gives a great performance in general -- including whether or not Bill was dreaming. But the presence of the mask in the real world seems to indicate that perhaps not? Who's to say.

  • Tenet

    Tenet

    ★★★½

    This soundtrack, my god. Watching with at-home surround-sound instead of with a car radio, it immediately became clear that Ludwig Göransson's score is one of the best parts of this movie. Although similar to the Hans Zimmer recipe, I gotta say Ludwig has really upped the ante here. Much more staccato than I remember Hans being; also much closer to a hip-hop instrumental at times.

    The time reversal idea is still incredibly cool, although at times it doesn't make a…

  • North by Northwest

    North by Northwest

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Founding member of Pure Fun movies. Getting a horny ad exec confused for James Bond is an incredible set-up — he’s just irrationally confident enough to keep digging himself deeper into a hole — and every other piece of this delivers. I really don't know what to say other than I'd rewatch it again this instant.

    There's some big Burn After Reading energy in the government meeting in which they decide to leave Thornhill alone. This works on so many levels,…

  • Saving Private Ryan

    Saving Private Ryan

    Intense stuff. Some of the characterization seemed somewhat inconsistent (perhaps an over-reliance on trauma as an instigator of dramatic personal change), but mostly this was extremely moving.

  • The Prestige

    The Prestige

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The Nolan inter-cut: the movie.

    Seriously tho, this movie is such a flex. Nolan shows you his cards — the top hats at the very beginning, Angier’s death, Cutter’s opening monologue — but bets on his nonlinear narrative to still leave you guessing. And it does!

    Unfortunately, it also has one of Nolan’s other trademarks: the dead wife — or dead wives in this case. Not thrilled by that, especially Sarah’s suicide which feels half-assed from what we know of…

  • Palm Springs

    Palm Springs

    ★★★★½

    God I love this movie. Pretty much a flawless execution of its vision. This brings me so much joy.

  • On the Rocks

    On the Rocks

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A lot to like here — Rashida Jones is a charisma-machine, Billy Murray is Bill Murray (no one else is allowed to say “kiddo” ever again), the motor mouth friend — so this was a very pleasurable watch.

    It was exciting seeing Laura’s growth throughout the movie, although exchanging the watches was a bit on the nose, I thought. It did belie belief to see Felix convince her to go to Mexico, but whatever I’ll go with it. 

    Marlon Wayans…

  • David Byrne's American Utopia

    David Byrne's American Utopia

    ★★★★½

    Pure happiness.

  • Mank

    Mank

    ★★★½

    I have no idea how to rate this. The first half feels incredibly frantic, for reasons I can’t pinpoint (which makes me suspect that it’s the editing). The second half clarifies the subject matter — internal politics, the pressure put on writers, fake news — but does so in a way that still left me feeling slightly wanting. I admire the narrative structure, but something about Mank’s characterization is confusing. More specifically, how others perceive him at the chronological beginning…

  • Bacurau

    Bacurau

    ★★★★

    This is a trip that should be both felt and understood.

    Bacurau has the best faces of any movie I've seen this year. Nobody is overacting, but their facial expressions tell you all you need to know. The townspeople in particular are magnetic in their joyful moments and their violent ones. They look more real than any film has the right to.

    The allegory here is obvious (I think, unless I'm missing something deeper). But that doesn't mean the journey…