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Rating Title/Year Author
Midsommar (2019) Alison Willmore Midsommar mostly takes place in Sweden, but at its core is a particularly American sense of rootlessness. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
The Dead Don't Die (2019) Alison Willmore The Dead Don't Die is a notably sour movie, especially coming from someone like Jarmusch, whose previous work always seemed deeply affectionate about human weirdness, but who in this one basically waves humanity off as deserving its own extinction. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2019
Us (2019) Alison Willmore Us revolves around an allegory that's more elastic and resistant to parsing than megahit Get Out. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
Pet Sematary (2019) Alison Willmore Pet Sematary [is a] fable fueled by a sense of culpability for things that aren't always explained. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
Eddie the Eagle (2016) Alison Willmore The overkill indicates an awareness that none of these would-be messages ring true. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2018
First Man (2018) Alison Willmore This is a movie that - flag or no flag - doesn't need to take a political stance to make a political statement. ● EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2018
A Star Is Born (2018) Alison Willmore This movie has everything: a swept-off-your-feet romantic fantasy, an underdog-makes-good journey, a wrenching substance abuse drama, and an industry cautionary tale combined. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2018
Crazy Rich Asians (2018) Alison Willmore Feels blithely liberated from the obligation to offer up suffering that has long been part of the implicit bargain made with so many mainstream movies focused on characters of color-that they are treated as marketable in relation to the pain they portray EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2018
Mission: Impossible -- Fallout (2018) Alison Willmore Fallout is thrilling in a way that is out of sync with blockbuster fashions. It doesn't try for any sort of political resonance, and while it's a more direct sequel than past installments, there's still nothing you really need to know in advance. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2018
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) Alison Willmore Fallen Kingdom is the silliest and most purely enjoyable variation on a story that a few big studio productions have been offering recently. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2018
The Tale (2018) Alison Willmore It is, instead, a startlingly effective act of fiction, in which [Jennifer] Fox turns her abuser into an accessory in her own narrative, a means to an ending. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2018
Django Unchained (2012) Roxane Gay The film is at times brilliant but mostly infuriating. It is a good movie in that masturbatory way most Tarantino films are good. EDIT
Posted May 25, 2018
Identity Thief (2013) Roxane Gay There's something to offend everyone in Identity Thief: racist jokes, gay jokes, the word "vagina" wielded as an insult. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2018
Tully (2018) Alison Willmore The emotions Tully surfaces aren't comforting, and they have less to do with the actual realities of motherhood than with the idea of motherhood as something that leaves you forever changed and cut off from your younger self. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2018
Ready Player One (2018) Alison Willmore It is, despite Spielberg's claims, neither a purehearted popcorn flick nor a Paul Verhoevenesque subversion, but something uneasily in between, cowed by the idea of the fanboy demographic. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2018
Annihilation (2018) Alison Willmore Annihilation is some heady nightmare fuel, but its most striking quality may be how little it has in common with the current trends in mainstream science fiction. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2018
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Alison Willmore But while that is a rage that's exhilarating to witness, it's a rage that's not available to everyone. Just as not everyone in Ebbing can claim the protection of being considering "good," we still don't live in a world where everyone gets to be angry. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2017
The Snowman (2017) Alison Willmore ... the movie itself is an inept misfire - the kind of entrancing train wreck that makes you long for a behind-the-scene tell-all to explain what, exactly, went so wrong. EDIT
Posted Oct 26, 2017
Happy Death Day (2017) Alison Willmore But the film doesn't just find a clever way to refresh a maybe-calcified genre. It also overturns some of the genre's more puritanical tendencies. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2017
The Florida Project (2017) Alison Willmore The sun-washed reality of The Florida Project, which concludes with a touch of poetry that might break you in two. It's not a happy ending, but it is, like the rest of the film, pretty much perfect. EDIT
Posted Oct 12, 2017
Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Alison Willmore Blade Runner 2049, on the other hand, manages to be prettier but far more prosaic. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2017
Stronger (2017) Alison Willmore The boldest thing Stronger does is trust enough in Maslany's performance and in the writing of her character to allow Erin to do something that a lesser movie would never even attempt. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2017
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) Alison Willmore If the first Kingsman was a work of lol-nothing-matters provocation with a real mean streak, the second is a work of lol-nothing-matters laziness... EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2017
Molly's Game (2017) Alison Willmore When Molly's Game digs into the business of gambling and the whims and vulnerabilities of powerful men who spend mountains of money trying to one-up each other, it is witty, gossipy, and very entertaining. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2017
I, Tonya (2017) Alison Willmore Its Tonya acquires a untidy grandeur because of her contradictions, not in spite of them, crushing out cigarettes with her skate blade and skipping over inconvenient details the film delves into anyway. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2017
mother! (2017) Alison Willmore The honesty might be real and raw and compelling, but you're also left having to figure out if you'll ever be able to look at them the same way again. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2017
Death Note (2017) Alison Willmore Netflix's Death Note fails Asian-Americans in the more mundane way that most Hollywood releases continue to . EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2017
Logan Lucky (2017) Alison Willmore Logan Lucky lands somewhere between Magic Mike and the Ocean's trilogy. Turns out, that's one hell of a sweet spot. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2017
The Dark Tower (2017) Alison Willmore [Idris] Elba alone can't make The Dark Tower worth watching. But he can make the case, yet again, that he deserves better material than this. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2017
Good Time (2017) Alison Willmore The masterfully scuzzy feel-bad Good Time is the kind of movie that demands consideration for all the post-YA choices Robert Pattinson has been making. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2017
Atomic Blonde (2017) Alison Willmore It's a calorie-free serving of simple pleasures, and sometimes that's exactly what you need. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2017
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) Alison Willmore You don't watch The Fifth Element for its storytelling, you watch it for its joyous, ridiculous sense of place and style, and that's doubly true for Valerian -- a movie that isn't nearly as memorable, but that works just fine as a tribute. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2017
Girls Trip (2017) Alison Willmore There's nothing embarrassing about the Posse in Girls Trip, which depicts the friendships these characters have sustained not as vestigial remnants, but as a guiding force toward being true to oneself. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2017
Dunkirk (2017) Alison Willmore It isn't a standard war movie, but it sure is some beautiful, difficult thing. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2017
Lady Macbeth (2016) Alison Willmore A corrosive, intelligent costume drama from first-time director William Oldroyd. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2017
To the Bone (2017) Alison Willmore Ultimately the most resonant message To the Bone has to offer is that there is no one certain way to heal from anorexia, and no one right way to tell stories about it either. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2017
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Alison Willmore A film that smuggles in a delightfully dorky high school saga under the banner of a too familiar superhero one. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2017
A Ghost Story (2017) Alison Willmore A wondrous, delicate shell of a movie EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2017
Okja (2017) Alison Willmore Okja unfolds like a fable about a child and their nonhuman pal that's been warped into something bleak and outrageous -- E.T. by way of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2017
The Beguiled (2017) Alison Willmore The Beguiled isn't Coppola's strongest film, but it's her smartest and most skillful in portraying how the dynamics of a group of women can warp and weft under outside pressure, turning from community to competition. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2017
My Cousin Rachel (2017) Alison Willmore There's a sense of simmering rage beneath its fetching surfaces -- the ire of a woman who's been taught that acting in her own self-interest is a subversive act, but who senses freedom so close at hand. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2017
The Mummy (2017) Alison Willmore The Mummy promises a fantastical world of supernatural beings colliding and collaborating, forgetting that if no one cares about any one of these beings in particular, they're not going to be sold on seeing them together, either. EDIT
Posted Jun 9, 2017
Wonder Woman (2017) Alison Willmore What's striking about [Wonder Woman] is the movie's sense of elated lightness. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2017
Alien: Covenant (2017) Alison Willmore It's an Alien movie for our times, one in which mankind isn't just under the thumb of an oppressive corporation but sowing the seeds of its own destruction on a more sweeping scale. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2017
Snatched (2017) Alison Willmore An exhausted dead end for a type of comedy that Schumer and Lena Dunham, in particular, became famous for in the last decade. EDIT
Posted May 12, 2017
Casting JonBenét (2017) Alison Willmore Scolding rather than revealing. EDIT
Posted May 12, 2017
Risk (2016) Alison Willmore Risk's strongest point is in its insistence that portraying one need not come at the expense of the other, that misogyny and acts of alleged abuse are in no way negated by some grander-scaled pursuit of justice. EDIT
Posted May 5, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Alison Willmore [Yondu's] presence kicks the idling movie into gear, and into a final third act for which all of the previous meandering can be forgiven - and the talk of family finally accrues the weight the film has been trying to put on it. EDIT
Posted May 5, 2017
Ghost in the Shell (2017) Alison Willmore Splendid-looking but otherwise dreadful EDIT
Posted Mar 31, 2017
Beauty and the Beast (2017) Alison Willmore "Remake" isn't a strong enough word to describe the relationship between Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast and the company's beloved 1991 animated movie. EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2017