The Vast of Night

There is something perpetually entrancing about the well-crafted low budget sci-fi thriller. There is a long and excellent tradition of such movies, with entries such as “Alien” and “Europa Report” being remarkably effective at telling an engrossing story with a very limited toolkit. “The Vast of Night” can also be added to this intriguing subset […]

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1917

Sam Mendez’s “1917” is an excellent manifestation of the raw power contained within a simple story. In an extremely controlled and limited view, this film somehow manages to capture the immense scope and fury of the drama of World War I without losing any of the remarkably personal intensity that comes from the story itself. […]

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Ford v. Ferrari

In the aftermath of one of the climactic races in this film, Ken Miles surveys his tremendous achievement and, in an understated reflection, simply says “it could be better.” Much the same could be said for the film itself. Ironically, for a film that centers around the theme of triumph and tragedy in the relentless […]

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Knives Out

A plot line that has been done to death is sometimes the hardest one to get right. There is a perpetual threat looming over the head of any director who attempts to work with traditional storylines. All storylines at this point have some precursors, so the potential to come off as derivative and cliched is […]

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Godzilla: He Goes to Eleven

2014’s “Godzilla” was something of a surprise for me when I saw it in theaters. It was, among other things, another excellent example of the efficacy of the “less is more” principle. The great King of the monsters was on screen for surprisingly little time, but made his presence felt. The rest of the movie […]

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Avengers: Endgame

A few years ago, when the sheer number of characters who were to inhabit the final two “Avengers” movies was revealed, I immediately saw red flags everywhere. Given that these movies were to be the culmination of a decade-long journey in the MCU, it wasn’t exactly surprising that all of the heroes would play a […]

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Shazam!(!)

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a movie to depart from the dark and dreary sepiatones of its lugubrious predecessors, a decent respect for the opinions of the audience must have impelled it to the separation. This particular film is far from groundbreaking or unique, but has its own lighthearted, […]

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Outlaw King

The scenery of Scotland is a glorious thing to behold, and “Outlaw King” plays that particular card to the nines, with sweeping shot after shot of the beautiful and bare scenery of the Scottish highlands. Visually, the film is glorious, capturing both the grandeur and vastness of the countryside, and the muck and grit of […]

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