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Thursday, January 31, 2019

[5.25/10] Nobody's Fool (2018)

Nobody's Fool (2018)

Quick Review: A schizophrenic mix of dumbass comedy overloaded with 'black' slapstick humor, and corny love story with predictable outcome, "Nobody's Fool" is neither genuinely funny, nor affectionate enough to work as either, let alone a hybrid of the two, and even though it's easy to watch, and features one or two sympathetic characters, this insipid attempt at rom-com is loud, uneven, and contrived, and further let down by Haddish overly obnoxious clown- like goofy performance.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

[6.75/10] Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

Quick Review: Absolutely exquisite to look at, "Mary Queen of Scots" works as a history lesson, as it does as a feminist tale of a royal rivalry and a quiet battle for supremacy between two women with power and attitude, played dazzlingly by Ronan and Robbie, and even though the pacing a bit off and story is overly busy, the latter is so rich in drama, intrigue, death, passion, love, and even lust, it keeps you involved till the inevitably dark finale.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

[4.75/10] Serenity (2019)

Serenity (2019)

Quick Review: A far-from-thrilling mystery, sunk to the very bottom of absurdity by a ludicrous twist that makes the whole story all the more fishy, "Serenity" would have worked better if it was more straightforward, but it choses to go in a senseless direction instead, with the end result being a frustrating experience with sense of style, breezy 'island' feel, and some solid performnaces, which is sadly neither as entertaining, nor as smart as its overthought 'bipolar' concept intented it to be.

Monday, January 28, 2019

[5.50/10] If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

Quick Review: As authentic in its visual presentation as it's forced in feel, "If Beale Street Could Talk" is a beautifully-shot adaptation featuring an award-worthy performance from Regina King, but the all-too-ordinary romance lacks the emotional weight of Jenkins' previous effort, being a painfully sluggish, uneventful, and empty depiction of a troubled love story that is neither affecting, nor sensual, nor captivating enough to work on dramatic level.

[6.50/10] The Wife (2018)

The Wife (2018)

Quick Review: Though seemingly straightforward at first, judging by Castleman's facial expressions you could say that something's gonna get very wrong in "The Wife" later on, and it sure does, but it's not the revealing twist that makes this book adaptation work on dramatic level, it's the deep character study, and Close's bravura performance as the devoted wife who hides a shocking secret covered with pain that makes this otherwise simple-looking film so emotional and powerful.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

[7.50/10] Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

Quick Review: An intriguing actual story about loneliness, misery, and despair told with a grim sense of wit that is equally sad and funny, and capably directed by Heller, who not only brings out the best of the cast, but also gives this biopic a visually warm tone and pleasant retro feel, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" works because of McCarthy's superb turn and her talent and skill to transform a flawed character into a likable and deeply compelling one.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

[5.75/10] Sicilian Ghost Story (2018)

Sicilian Ghost Story (2018)

Quick Review: The metaphorically titled "Sicilian Ghost Story" is a sad and moving 'missing person' fact- based story about love, loss, and hope that revolves around the frank and pure connection between the two young lead characters, but the almost poetic approach, slow pacing and and far too many unnecessarily dragged out scenes of nothingness make this prettily-shot Italian drama a bit too subtle for such a subject metter, plus, the questionable acting brings it down a bit, too.

Friday, January 25, 2019

[6.75/10] Close (2019)

Close (2019)

Quick Review: Derivative, if luckily not as obvious as it appears to be at first, as it shakes its familiar plot by throwing a big curveball towards the end, "Close" is a tautly-paced, constantly gripping, and nail-bitingly suspenseful action thriller, spiced up with oriental visual flavor, and filled with lots of thrilling action and harsh violence, which is effortlessly led by Rapace's tough yet vulnerable main character, who she portrays with an emotional depth, whilst showcasing enviable physical skills.

[4.00/10] A-X-L (2018)

A-X-L (2018)

Quick Review: An uninspired rip- off of many other movies revolving around a human-robot and human-animal friendship, which uses every single cliche from this genre, "A-X-L" is a cheesy, predictable, and pretty forgettable sci-fi flick with the cheap looks and the questionable special effects of a TV movie, in which the human characters lack personality as much if not more than the robo- dog itself, and whose fairly passable ideas behind the 'fun' premise are rather poorly-executed.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

[8.00/10] Suspiria (2018)

Suspiria (2018)

Quick Review: Entering an even darker territory than Argento's 1977 original, "Suspiria" is a mesmerizing experience with inexplicable depth, filled with constant sense of dread, in which Guadagnino's elevates the freaky nature of the source material one step further to deliver a surreal, thoughtful, and deeply provocative slow burner horror with diabolically creepy final act that benefits from its haunting atmosphere, tastefully grim cinematography, and Swinton's truly extraordinary multi-turn.

[6.75/10] Boy Erased (2018)

Boy Erased (2018)

Quick Review: Delicate, sad, and quietly shocking, Edgerton's 'coming out' drama may be subtle in tone, and understated in its approach, but its refined style contrasts beautifully with the sensitive, albeit profoundly disturbing subject matter about gay conversion therapy, and gives "Boy Erased" a bleak feel that matches with the terrifying practice it explores in its intimate real-life story, brought to life by the outstanding ensemble cast and their equally as convincing and stellar performances.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

[6.00/10] Anna and the Apocalypse (2018)

Anna and the Apocalypse (2018)

Quick Review: If you expect brain, polished looks, or true scares from "Anna and the Apocalypse" you may end up disappointed with it, as the latter offers neither of these, but this British zombie comedy musical mix still wins points for uniqueness by successfully putting a fresh spin on the tired subgenre with its "Glee"- inspired approach and Christmas-y savor. The sympathetic characters, joyful musical numbers, and piles of gore make it bloody fun.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

[5.50/10] Glass (2019)

Glass (2019)

Quick Review: An underwhelming conclusion to Shyamalan's Eastrail 177 trilogy that clumsily murges the two previous entries, whose distinct tone and feel are too different to be blended seamlessly, "Glass" is an intriguing, if disjointed and thrill-free finale with poor directing decisions, and a bunch of weak twists, which shatters to pieces in the end, and fails to work as both a 'grounded' superhero movie, and an effective psychological thriller, despite all the talented actors involved.

Monday, January 21, 2019

[6.25/10] Vice (2018)

Vice (2018)

Quick Review: Entirely driven by Bale, who's physical transformation is every bit as extraordinary as his powerfully diverse performance, and beautifully complemented by Amy Adam's strong turn, "Vice" is nothing short of brilliant in terms of acting, but one the other hand, this is a heavily political biopic with complex plot structure, whose real busy and overly eventful story is moderately gripping, yet difficult to follow, and not particularly enjoyable despite its nuanced comedic vibe.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

[4.75/10] Polar (2019)

Polar (2019)

Quick Review: Tonally wrong and stylistically distasteful, "Polar" can't decide if it wants to be a fun shoot- em-up caper with a touch of goofy comedy, or a dark assassin thriller with an emotional twist, with the end result being a tacky-looking clutter with mediocre dialogues, a generic plot with an even weaker backstory, fabricated comic book feel, cheesy villain, random violence, and "John Wick"-ripped-off action, which even the charismatic Mikkelsen struggles to truly invest himself in.

Friday, January 18, 2019

[7.00/10] Colette (2018)

Colette (2018)

Quick Review: The representation of both 19th century Paris and rural France is beautifully authentic and successfully take you back in times, this period biopic offers much more than that, telling a compelling story about a sensual and gifted phantom writer and the tainted marriage with her dominant husband, but "Colette" also has a bit of a kinky side about itself, exploring the sexuality of its protagonist, played rather alluringly by Keira Knightley, in a delicate, yet very provocative fashion.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

[6.50/10] Escape Room (2019)

Escape Room (2019)

Quick Review: Robitel's familiar in premise, if visually inventive horror is mostly a fun riddle-solving puzzle of panic, fear, and claustrophobia, with some highly creative production design, great attention to detail, and flashy effects, and though "Escape Room" succeeds in unlocking the thrills and suspense in its tension-filled first hour, it slips into senseless absurdity during its last act, despite the curious reveal of the backstory connection between the fairly smart, yet unlikable characters.

[6.00/10] Revenger (2018)

Revenger (2018)

Quick Review: The third act is a hard-hitting, ultra-violent thrill ride of sharp swordplay, and bloody brutal hand-to-hand fighting that combined end "Revenger" on a high note, but apart from that and Khan's amazing fight skills and strong presence, this highly intense Asian action-fest is sadly a 'westernized' overcrowded mess with no actual plot, ruined by some unnecessary goofiness and melodrama, whose authenticity is taken away by the partially English speaking Korean actors.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

[6.75/10] Cargo (2018)

Cargo (2018)

Quick Review: A fresh take on the 'apocalypse' sub-genre, set against the desolated, yet  hauntingly pretty Australian outback, which ends up being the film's visual driving force, "Cargo" is not your typical zombie movie, as it focuses more on the humans, rather than the horror or the action, with the end result being a touching post apocalyptic journey about loss, hope, and survival, led by Freeman's determined character, for whom saving the life of his child means faith in the future.

[6.25/10] The Quake (2018)

The Quake (2018)

Quick Review: An entertaining, if slightly contrived follow-up to "The Wave", this Norwegian disaster flick might not be as effective as the original, and much like the latter it takes quite some time to warm up, which time it utilizes not only to build suspense, but also to flesh out its characters, however, as soon as the actual quake kicks in, "The Quake" becomes a hyper tense experience of destruction and survival, visually enhanced by some realistic, hard- to-fault special effects.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

[5.75/10] Pledge (2019)

Pledge (2019)

Quick Review: Delivering enough fun, tension, thrills, and violence for its short and sweet running time, "Pledge" is a heavy on concept, but light on story a-fraternity-pledging- turned-into-tormenting-terror torture porn dark comedy with no real plot, despite its attempts to add value to itself with a clever twist in the end, but despite its shallowness and the pretty sub-par acting skills, Robbin's third feature is hardly boring, and succeeds in benefiting from its cool and very creepy setting.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

[6.50/10] Wildlife (2018)

Wildlife (2018)

Quick Review: Worth watching for the flawless acting alone, especially the expressive, very natural female lead performance by Mulligan, who conveys broad variety of emotions effortlessly, Paul Dano's debut is as much an adultery domestic drama about an innocent boy witnessing the downfall of his parents marriage as it is a sad and heartfelt coming-of-age story of premature growth, portraying the difficulties of poverty, set against the authentic backdrop of 1960s Montana town.

[5.50/10] Rust Creek (2019)

Rust Creek (2019)

Quick Review: It impresses with solid acting from a largely unknown cast, a decent direction, and some strong technical qualities such as scenery and cinematography, but in spite of these positives and the grim story's reasonable plausibility, "Rust Creek" never quite reaches the suspense it's supposed to, as the tension is often killed by some overextended scenes of dialogues, an unsatisfactory violence, and the one-note persecutors' overall lack of intimidating presence.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

[7.00/10] Beautiful Boy (2018)

Beautiful Boy (2018)

Quick Review: A bitter depiction of drug addiction, driven by the rough, yet genuine relationship between a dope addict teen and his struggling father, both acted strongly by Carell and Chalamet, "Beautiful Boy" is a touch journey through dependency, rehab, sobriety, and depression that gets more and more dark, sad, and devastating as the fact-based story unfolds, revealing many grim details around this terrible 'curse', and how it affects those who suffer from it as well as their loved ones.

Friday, January 11, 2019

[5.75/10] The Old Man & the Gun (2018)

The Old Man & the Gun (2018)

Quick Review: Redford truly owns Forrest Tucker -- the real person he portrays in what's said to be his last ever performance in this character-driven, based on actual events heist dramedy with a touch of lighthearted romance, but despite that and the film's warm retro visual tone, "The Old Man" is a thrill-free affair about a polite gentleman robbing banks with a smile on his face, that's too laid-back and sluggishly-paced to be gripping or enjoyable.