Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (26)
| Top Critics (12)
| Fresh (18)
| Rotten (8)
As with other mumblecore projects, the plot is secondary to mood, naturalism, and the relationship between the two protagonists, but in this historical context that approach is more of a frustration than a virtue.
"Men Go to Battle" isn't always effective, in that way DIY filmmaking sometimes irritates by deliberately avoiding "moments." But as an offbeat lens through which to view an oft-mined era, it has a quiet pull.
The acting here, like too much of the film, ends up registering as unfortunately amateurish.
Striking in its evocation of a demanding time and place, this intimate drama about individual and national transformation heralds the arrival of an arresting new filmmaking voice ...
Though the film never deeply transcends its basic thesis about the ramshackle lives of frustrated men, the final minutes are improbably touching for how the story eschews uplift in favor of a more honest conclusion.
With the exception of Ms. Korine, the performers often seem to have a hard time shaking off the aura of the contemporary. Nevertheless, there's much of value here.
[It] looks and feels very real. There is not a moment in this film that breaks the illusion of the material reality of its period (the middle of the 19th century) and location (Kentucky).
Light on plot and heavy on reflective imagery, the film operates as a restrained comedy, complete with the rhythms of a certain brand of American indie cinema, but not beholden to its tropes or clichés.
The hyperlocal Men Go to Battle-a microbudget affair to which critics have justly applied the adjective "resourceful" ever since its premiere at Tribeca last spring-also has subtler ways of imbuing the historical past with a sense of immediacy.
America was very different 150 years ago than it is now, and the filmmakers capture that well. They just do not do it under the microscope of the Civil War anywhere near as thoroughly as they had the opportunity or the foundation to.
The result is an odd but invigorating movie, and an intoxicatingly gutsy and personal take on historical fiction.
Hard not to admire its existence. Equally hard not to wish it was more daring.
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