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2020’s

[8] Barbarian is about the worst Airbnb rental in the history of the universe. Writer/director Zach Cregger builds suspense from the get-go, with co-stars Georgina Campbell and Bill Skarsgård giving convincing performances as strangers double-booked at a house in the middle of a highly sketchy Detroit neighborhood. They agree to share the house, but then strange things start happening. A secret door is discovered in …

[4] Writer/director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) takes a stab at cinema’s most over-exposed superhero, casting Twilight‘s Robert Pattinson in the title role. Pattinson, totally fuckable in the cowl, plays detective with Commissioner Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) to determine the identity of a serial killer named ‘The Riddler’ (Paul Dano) who is offing political figures in an attempt to get Batman’s …

[6] Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum star as a romance novelist and her cover model who find themselves running from a villainous treasure-seeker (Daniel Radcliffe) on a jungle island. Over the course of their adventure, Bullock learns to let go of her somber past and take a chance on a future that might include romancing hunky Tatum. The Lost City channels other rom/com adventures like …

[7] [SPOILER WARNING] Writer/director Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) delivers his third solid horror-mystery with Nope, the story of sibling horse wranglers (Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) who discover a UFO hiding in a stationary cloud above their gulch ranch. At first the pair decide to get rich by capturing the first high-resolution photographic evidence of the phenomenon. But when the UFO reveals itself to …

[5] Thor: Love and Thunder is another Marvel movie. It is better than a few other Marvel movies, but not as good as most. It was never torturous to watch, but if a storm knocked the movie theater’s power out, I would not have been sad to leave at any point. Thor: Love and Thunder is another Marvel movie. It tries to be cute and …

[6] Benedict Cumberbatch makes his first official sequel as Marvel’s Doctor Strange, although he’s appeared in many other Marvel movies since the first film was released in 2016. The core concept of this movie has dramatic potential, casting one of the good guys, Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff, as the new villain. Wanda’s character arc is one of the more compelling ones in the Marvel universe. …

[5] Director François Ozon (8 Women, Swimming Pool) adapts a French young adult novel (Aiden Chambers’ Dance on My Grave) about a sixteen-year-old boy who falls in love with a slightly older boy who rescues him when his sailboat capsizes off the shores of Normandy in summer, 1985. Summer of 85 begins by warning us that the older boy will be dead by tale’s end, …

[1] Roland Emmerich must be stopped. Since 1996’s Independence Day, the director has been obsessed with apocalyptic disaster movies like Godzilla, 10,000 BC, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012 — each one exponentially dumber than the preceding. When I heard he was directing a movie about the moon falling to Earth, I though, ‘Well, of course he is.’ I knew to expect mass destruction and …

[6] A 13-year old boy is kidnapped and locked away in the basement of a serial killer. As the killer tries to engage the boy in mind games, the boy starts receiving otherworldly phone calls from a disconnected phone on the basement wall. The callers? The killer’s past victims — with advice on how to survive the ordeal and kill the killer. I was weary …

[9] Writer/director Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation) serves up this intimate horror/thriller about a woman (Oscar nominee Jessie Buckley) who escapes London for the English countryside after the death of her ex-husband. Once there, however, she encounters several strange men who make her increasingly uncomfortable. First there’s the cottage owner who seems disappointed she is unmarried. More alarming is the nude man who chases her …

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