7_BerkeleyStill 6.5

FAIL STATE Review

Shebanow’s driving energy is always apparent although sometimes it’s left, frustratingly, just out of reach.

Film Title: First Man 7.5

FIRST MAN Review

It’s a movie with an unwavering faith in the lessons we can learn from the past, but it shuns inappropriate nostalgia or uncritical revisionism.

Sadie-at-etsu-2 7

SADIE Review

Sadie is, above all, a meditation on life spent without access: to money, to answers, to safe outlets for confusion and anger.

tea-with-the-dames-trailer-still 7.5

TEA WITH THE DAMES Review

The film’s greatest asset is its ability to convey the lively spirit of the conversations without feeling selective or artificially emphasizing points, beyond spare bursts of archival footage or the occasional question posed from Michell himself.

cold water 1 8

COLD WATER Criterion Blu-ray Review

Cold Water is an absorbing, pensive look at what such desires feel like on the inside, with its handheld close-ups on faces and careful observance at objects and structures, as if to seek answers from everything in equal measure.

operation finale 5.5

OPERATION FINALE Review

Operation Finale is the historical film at its most safely crafted, even as individual production elements, such as Alexandre Desplat’s pushy score – heavy on everything from marimbas to choirs – suggest departures from a cookie-cutter approach that aren’t reflected onscreen.

wild boys 8

THE WILD BOYS Review

It’s the kind of enigmatic art that contains multitudes but ultimately speaks for itself.

asians3.0 7

CRAZY RICH ASIANS Review

Crazy Rich Asians is a work of pure intent and wide potential, utilizing Hollywood’s most popular, time-tested devices and razzmatazz with a wise and lovely embrace.

MWP_3279.tif 6.5

TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE Review

As we finally expunge the traumatic memories of The Kissing Booth from our minds, Netflix has delivered To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, a teen comedy just as formulaic, but significantly less appalling.

the-meg-4 5.5

THE MEG Review

Neither inventive enough to wow us, nor lovably dumb enough to cheekily win us over, The Meg winds up in a bland middle, at the intersection where the simplicity of giant sharks and the complexity of tentpole-budgeted film financing and risk assessment meet.

ARMOMURHAAJA_mets+ñ2 5.5

EUTHANIZER Review

Euthanizer’s ideas about human interactions through karmic desire often run flat, as the film’s stylistic choices betray the capabilities of its lead actor and what the script has guided him up to that point.

skyscaper 6.5

SKYSCRAPER Review

Skyscraper falters when trying to over legitimize its otherwise carefully concocted nonsense.

bowling-for-columbine1 7.5

BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE Criterion Blu-Ray Review

As the Eric Hynes essay in the Criterion booklet astutely points out, it’s best to consider Moore’s films as a kind of dynamic presentation, mixing traditional storytelling techniques and operatic hellraising with the kind of infuriating horrors that can only come from simply discussing aspects of real life as they stand.

AS__ASF4603.NEF 7

ALEX STRANGELOVE Review

Regardless of the notion that its young target audience is more inclined to stream than to head out to a theater, writer/director Craig Johnson is allowed to play more liberally with profanity, engage with his characters’ sex lives more frankly, and create broadly irreverent running jokes that a major studio would cull into a nicer package.