Bad Boys for Life
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Understated and characterized by frightening realism, The Assistant is a tense, atmospheric, and crucial film that highlights patriarchal toxicity in the workplace and brilliantly places the experience of the victim (and not the perpetrator) at the center of the story. It's an immersive and anxious watch - an important mirror to and a stinging commentary on our times. Julia Garner gives an award-worthy performance, while the overcast cinematography and skilled direction perfectly cultivate a feeling of dystopian dread.
Taking cues from classics such as The Shining and Carrie, and modern day prestige horror such as The Witch and Hereditary, The Lodge is possibly the most chilling and unnerving horror film I've seen in theaters. Does it, however, stick the landing as a film? Somewhat. The first half of the film is a masterclass in building dread - with its mix of religious anxiety and ripped from the headlines horror - while the remaining half, though successful at keeping the audience at the edge of their seats and causing heart palpitations, makes the inevitable descent into modern, atmospheric horror cliches. The film has a premise that is original enough, but contains too many moments of "we've seen this before" to truly rise to the level of absolute excellence. Despite the flaws, however, The Lodge is a worthwhile experience for horror film lovers who seek subtlety and religious themes in their horror.
Beautifully constructed, filled with deep emotions, and endearing with its humor and heart, Weathering with You is a pure delight and a tearfully gorgeous triumph that demands several viewings. It combines romance with apocalyptic sci-fi, urban sprawl anxiety, and millennial angst - and in this way, is an earnest and comforting story for our times.
1917 is an achievement in immersive filmmaking - with its impressive cinematography, film editing, and set design. It's a near-perfect film - deftly balancing the tension and coldness of war with deep human emotions - but suffers from less-than-stellar dialogue and segments that slow down rather than propel the story.
A stylish, minimalistic, and effective thriller, Thelma isn't groundbreaking - apart from its LGBTQ representation (which is fantastic to see in this genre) - but it engages the viewer and tells a coherent story that sticks the landing in the end.