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Cut to the Quick

Cut to the Quick

"Knives Out" skewers the 1%
"Knives Out" is being marketed as a post-modern deconstruction of the whodunit genre—complete with a genius detective, a stacked cast of great actors and a plot so full of twists you might get whiplash from all the head shaking. Writer/Director Rian Johnson is such a cinephile that he's incapable of making something that doesn't at least poke fun at the strictures of genre, but more than being a clever riff on the nature of stories, he's made a perfectly executed and wildly entertaining mystery.

Film

 

Ice Ice Lady

"Frozen 2" doesn't quite recapture the magic
I don't have kids, so my relationship to the original "Frozen" is probably different than the one parents have with the 2013 Disney blockbuster. I didn't have to watch it a thousand times or hear "Let it Go" sung by well-meaning children until my ears screamed with the fury of a thousand better Disney songs.

Film

The Sound and the Führer

"Jojo Rabbit" is unforgettable
Almost every time I get hyped up for a movie, I walk out disappointed—especially if the hype gets to me months before a movie comes out. I have all that time to marinate in my expectations, and I always imagine something much grander than what I get.

Film

Seoul Survivor

"Parasite" Will Stick with You
I think this might be a little bit of a hot take, but the U.S. doesn't make the best movies. Sure, we make the biggest and flashiest ones and we've got some pretty astounding filmmakers, but no other country on Earth comes close to making films of the power, complexity and sheer entertainment value as South Korea.

Film

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

"Doctor Sleep" has ties to the terrifying "The Shining," but overlooks being scary
What do you get out of horror movies? The joy of a mild little spook that gets the heart racing and puts a smile on the lips?

Film

Neptune's Folly

"The Lighthouse" illuminates our dark corners
So, if "The Joker" is about a mentally ill man's descent into madness, then Robert Eggers' nightmarish "The Lighthouse" is about everyone's capacity for insanity and violence if society and civilization are just out of reach. This is one of those movies with a deceptively simple premise that touches on themes and ideas so massive that the film ends up being pretty profound in retrospect.

Film

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