Oscar Winners

[7.5] Director/co-star Bradley Cooper decided it was time for a fourth version of A Star is Born (previous versions were released in 1937, 1954, and 1976). I haven’t yet seen any of those versions, so I’m coming into this one without the burden of comparison. I was expecting a romance movie with a lot of singing. So I was expecting to hate the movie, honestly. …

[7.5] Spike Lee directs the stranger-than-fiction true story of a black Colorado police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. John David Washington stars as Ron Stallworth, who struck up a relationship with local KKK members over the phone and acted through a white surrogate for face-to-face encounters. Adam Driver plays Stallworth’s partner in the investigation. Just how much is truth and …

[6.0] Somewhere in Africa, there’s a secret society hidden away by fancy technology. They have, like, a really super-strong metal there that the rest of the world wants, but the secret African people know the rest of the world will just destroy itself if it ever gets their metal, so they don’t share it. But then one of their metal weapons is found in a …

[10] In picturesque Italy, 1983, a seventeen-year-old boy falls in love with an older man who is working as his father’s research assistant. That’s it. That’s all Call Me By Your Name is about. And it’s marvelous. So many other coming-of-age, coming out, and gay-centered love stories focus on outside forces exerting pressure on the characters. But James Ivory’s (Maurice, The Remains of the Day) …

[8.5] Margot Robbie is Oscar-calibre as disgraced Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding, who was stripped of her titles and banned from the sport after her husband spearheaded an assault on her competitor, Nancy Kerrigan, in 1994. I, Tonya paints the picture of a young girl growing up poor and fatherless, with only a ruthless monster of a mother to guide her. Allison Janney (The West Wing) is in …

[7.0] Guillermo del Toro serves up a fantasy love story set in the 1960s in which a mute janitor at a top-secret research facility falls in love with… well, a fish man. Sally Hawkins plays the janitor and Doug Jones (a Del Toro regular) plays the fish. Hawkins is endearing and Jones is always reliable, but the supporting players outshine them here. Richard Jenkins is great …

[9.0] Not since 1980’s Ordinary People have we had such a genuinely affecting movie about loss and mourning. In Manchester by the Sea, a man with a tortured past discovers he is the legal guardian of his late brother’s teenaged son. Casey Affleck is remarkable and nuanced in the lead role, playing a character who has repressed his feelings for so long that the mere …

[9.0] Seven months after the rape and murder of her daughter, a grieving mother challenges her local police department to find the culprit when she advertises on three incendiary billboards. Frances McDormand (Fargo) headlines Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which is being advertised as a comedy featuring fowl-mouthed McDormand chewing the scenery and ripping characters new assholes. And to be fair, that’s definitely part of this movie. …

[7.0] In the third Bond film, agent 007 (Sean Connery) is trying to stop a nefarious gold tycoon from breaking into Fort Knox. Goldfinger is still one of the most popular entries in the franchise because it has everything we’ve come to expect in a Bond flick. Goldfinger himself is the quintessential Bond villain. He knows it’s not enough just to have a wicked plan. …

[7.5] It’s formulaic, overblown and downright preposterous at times, but it’s also everything moviegoers want in a summer action movie. Speed has a tight, rapid-fire script, awesome sound design, a remarkably kinetic score, and surprisingly good acting for a movie of its type. Sandra Bullock gives a sweet, naturalistic performance as a woman stuck driving a bus full of passengers that will explode if it …

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