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Thursday, June 17, 2021

[5.50/10] In the Heights (2021)

In the Heights (2021)

Quick Review: A lofty celebration of Latino community and legacy, "In the Heights" tells an emotional story about family, friends, love, dreams, and aspirations in a lively, feel-good and cheery fashion, led by a bunch of alluring characters, and flaunting elaborate musical numbers, but the whole thing feels a bit too stagey, plus, singing or rapping pretty much every line quickly loses its charms, and goes from pleasurable to loud and irritating, and even exhausting towards the sugary end.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

[4.75/10] Things Heard & Seen (2021)

Things Heard and Seen (2021)

Quick Review: Seyfried is solid as the anxious Catherine dealing with her toxic husband and uncovering dark secrets about their new home's past, but "THS" is too obvious, often predictable, and hackneyed mystery thriller that leans on the same old 'haunted house' tropes, instead of further exploring all the interesting elements its story has to offer, and the final result is a dull, draggy, and muddled effort, let down by messy script and a weak twist.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

[6.25/10] The Water Man (2021)

The Water Man (2021)

Quick Review: A poignant, sad, and inspiring family drama with a touch of adventure about a bright and imaginative boy, who, inspired by an urban legend and driven by faith and hope, takes on an unsafe journey into the woods to save his dying sick mother, "The Water Man" certainly has heart, as it deals with courage, bravery, belief, family love, and building new friendships, but its dreamy approach might be deceitful for those anticipating some proper fantasy elements here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

[6.50/10] Four Good Days (2021)

Four Good Days (2021)

Quick Review: Exposing a totally new, different side of Mila Kunis who demonstrates acting diversity in an unusual role, paired with the always brilliant Glenn Close, "Four Good Days" depicts the struggles of drug addiction in familiar, yet engaging and moving way, but it works even better as a 're-connection' domestic drama about forgiveness, help, and support, following the tough journey of rehab, which is as agonizing for the heroine junkies themselves as is for their beloved ones.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

[7.50/10] The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

The Conjuring 3 (2021)

Quick Review: Taking a new, less demonic, if just as sinister direction you won't see coming, "Conjuring 3" creates a dread-filled tone through the low-key lighting and murky color palette, and delivers a few effective frights, notably during the exorcism opening and the twisted finale, but the true horror here comes from the chilling mystery around the Warrens dark descent into the unknown, and the vulnerability of Ed and Lorraine, despite their powerful personal and professional relationship.

Friday, June 4, 2021

[7.00/10] Profile (2021)

Profile (2021)

Quick Review: Just as captivating and believable, as it's suspenseful and deeply unsettling, "Profile" has much more depth than your regular 'desktop' affair, as on one hand it's a true eye-opener in exposing ISIS' manipulative recruitment tactics and radicalization through social media, while it also explores catfishing on another level, and the final result is an uneasy, intense, and horrifying voyeuristic thriller-turned-disturbing cyber romance that gets under your skin with chilling effect.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

[4.50/10] Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021)

Spiral (2021)

Quick Review: The stylized use of lighting and color makes it flashier looking than most of the previous entries, but despite the sort-of-new direction it takes, the lack of fresh ideas, imagination, and most of all Jigsaw, turn "Spiral" into a gimmicky, contrived and badly miscast reboot with a predictably generic twist that offers more of the same without any impact, and although the few nasty traps a grisly and well-executed, the real torture is the film's tendency to over-explain everything.

Monday, May 31, 2021

[7.00/10] Cruella (2021)

Cruella (2021)

Quick Review: A tastefully-crafted, glamorously dashing, and gloriously fashionable take on an iconic villain, with a chic 60s retro vibe and ultra- stylish costumes, "Cruella" uncovers the origin of its delightfully wicked, shape-shifting anti-hero, who Stone is having a blast playing, but it is the other Emma as the self-absorbed, snobbish and possessive Baroness, who oozes cruelty throughout their hilariously twisted ego/talent rivalry, filled with tricks, secrets, and darkly dramatic turn of events.

Friday, May 28, 2021

[7.25/10] Wrath of Man (2021)

Wrath of Man (2021)

Quick Review: Stylish in execution, gloomy in looks, smartly-edited, and driven by Statham's grieving, albeit cold, merciless, violent, and totally badass H, who takes no prisoners in his quest for vengeance, "Wrath of Man" has a fairly simple plot, but the clever narrative structure in 3 acts gives it layers of depth by merging the main story with a sub-story and a tragic backstory into one riveting, enigmatic and action-packed whole, even if it goes a bit out of control in the mayhem-y third act.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

[6.50/10] Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021)

Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021)

Quick Review: What this classic action thriller with e fiery twist makes up for its strictly conventional plot is Sheridan's slutry direction, the taut pacing, slick execution, and a bunch of intense scenes involving a couple of menacing villains, notably Gillen, but what really drives the film is the chemistry between the terrified and grieving Connor, and the audacious smokejumper Hanna with traumatic past, who the striking Jolie portrays with sass and charisma.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

[5.00/10] The Unholy (2021)

The Unholy (2021)

Quick Review: A sinister premise with great potential, let down by a sub-par execution, use of same old tired jump scares, and supposed-to-be ghastly images ruined by sleazy CGIs, "The Unholy" benefits from its gifted lead, creates an eerie tone, and reveals an effective twist, but it refuses to dig deeper into Mary's intriguing backstory, nor it delivers genuine suspense or true frights in its sluggish main plot, and the end result is a shallow, tedious and often cheesy religious horror.

Monday, May 24, 2021

[5.75/10] Army of the Dead (2021)

Army of the Dead (2021)

Quick Review: After the supercool mayhem-y opening, "AotD" gets into generic mode with a sluggish 'build the team' setup, but makes up in its second half, thanks to the eery king and queen of the undead, who help it remain watchable and fairly fun, in spite of the tonal and pacing issues, but considering its overlong runtime the film fails to deliver a satisfactory zombie action and gore, or a fresh apocalyptic setting, and it's let down by largely uncharismatic characters you can hardly root for.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

[4.50/10] The Woman in the Window (2021)

The Woman in the Window (2021)

Quick Review: A Hitchcockian-ish mystery thriller with little sense of enigma, flimsy suspense, and thrills that are either cheap or obvious, "TWITW" relies on Adam's ability to carry the story, but due to a weak script, its "Rear Window"-esque plot ends up more dull and messy than intriguingly puzzling, and culminates with an underwhelming twist, plus, the film wastes a brilliant secondary cast, who all play underwritten, one- dimensional characters.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

[7.75/10] The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

Quick Review: A creative blend of classic animation and polished CGI work that results in an imaginatively-designed and vividly-crafted visuals with a touch of quirk, "M vs M" is a real treat for the eyes, and though straightforward, it's still a fun, wild, witty, and hilarious road trip family story with a poignant dad-daughter 're-connection' at its heart, but what dazzles as bright as the graphics is the charmingly zany characters and the vigor between them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

[4.75/10] Great White (2021)

Great White (2021)

Quick Review: A predator flick with little to no tension, zero bite, dodgy CGIs and occasional shark attacks, "Great White" is your average shark affair with generic plot and shallow characters you can hardly care for, but at least it takes advantage of its natural surroundings, offering some beautiful aerial ocean shots during the overlong, sluggish and tiresome build-up, which leads to a passably  thrilling, albeit predictable final act with a few worthy scenes that fail to make up for the rest of it.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

[6.50/10] Oxygen (2021)

Oxygen (2021)

Quick Review: Making out the best of its limited, yet hi-tech and utterly claustrophobic setting, as well as Laurent's talent, presence, and her ability to single-handedly carry the entire movie, portraying fear, panic, and despair with credible tension as a women trapped in a cryochamber, who tries to figure out who she is, how did she get there, and how to escape, "Oxygen" is a well-directed and constantly taut sci-fi thriller with twists, turns, and clues which lead to shocking revelations.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

[6.00/10] Shiva Baby (2021)

Shiva Baby (2021)

Quick Review: Those who struggle with limited settings may find it a bit monotonous, as the film takes place entirely at a crowded Jewish funeral service, and it kinds of stereotypes this ethnic group in certain areas, but thanks to the clever script with a dose of raunchiness, and Rachel Sennott's truly show-stealing central performance, "Shiva Baby" ends up being an intense, moody, wit-filled, anxiety-ridden comedy that perfectly captures the impactful uneasiness of its charming heroine.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

[7.00/10] Riders of Justice (2021)

Riders of Justice (2021)

Quick Review: Spicy, outrageous, and ultraviolent, if sweet, poignant, and darkly comical, "RoJ" blends a personal 'anger issues' story, family drama, black 'buddy' comedy, and revenge thriller about a bunch of guys connected due to unfortunate circumstances, and the final result is a tonally balanced Danish hybrid of cinematic quirkiness, led by the captivating turn from Mikkelsen, who the rest of the cast complement so brilliantly, they work like a well-oiled machine for vengeance.