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matt has written 438 reviews for films rated ★★½ .

  • Bad Boys for Life

    Bad Boys for Life

    ★★½

    In BAD BOYS II, they sneak a small army into Cuba. In this one they fly commercial to Mexico.

    Not without its moments, including a handful of good lines and some nice handheld longer takes and assorted camera gags in the relatively legible action sequences. Otherwise this is mightily generic. You'll be longing for the manic, gorgeous awfulness of Bay's plastic poison.

  • Harriet

    Harriet

    ★★½

    Some interesting threads get tugged a little here, about stark differences of class and gender and education among slaves and black abolitionists alike, but not hard enough to overcome what's mostly some very generic biopic stuff. And personally I would have loved a lot more of Tubman's Union Army career.

  • Murder at 1600

    Murder at 1600

    ★★½

  • Never Talk to Strangers

    Never Talk to Strangers

    ★★½

    But by all means feel free to bite their butts. Discussed on Episode 26 of The Suspense is Killing Us.

  • The Brothers Bloom

    The Brothers Bloom

    ★★½

    Certainly it's not news that Johnson's movies are often too clever by half, but for me this one totally escaped him and hits an almost instantly irritating wavelength, Wes Anderson scratching a chalkboard. I've seen it three times now but have never gotten through it in one sitting.

  • Hustlers

    Hustlers

    ★★½

    I'm as happy as anyone for the representation, the sex-work-is-work throughline, and the celebration of straight material greed we've let men have in movies forever, but this is shot like bland prestige TV (you can always tell: mostly handheld and exactly one thing to look at per shot) and seems shockingly pleased with itself simply for being about what it's about as opposed to actually interrogating the premise. But who cares what I think, I'm into Scorsese movies, what the…

  • The Good Liar

    The Good Liar

    ★★½

    "Call this an unfair generalization if you must, but old people are no good at everything."

  • Judy

    Judy

    ★★½

    "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."

    Good advice from Garland that nobody here took.

  • Queen & Slim

    Queen & Slim

    ★★½

    Way too safe. I'm sure I'll hear about it but everything in this seems platitudinous to me. Matsoukas' visuals are as precise as in her tremendous music video work but applied to exploitation it lacks grit, it's airless, schematic. The provocations of the narrative remain just that; with one vaguely incoherent exception (the riot/sex scene) there's very little here that's confrontational, and it's calculated mainly to reinforce what we already know, what we're already comfortable being (very correctly, but still)…

  • The Goldfinch

    The Goldfinch

    ★★½

    I think I experienced some kind of time-dilation anomaly because after finishing this allegedly 2 1/2 hour film I discovered that many years had passed here on Earth, my children were now grown adults, miserable from my abandonment of them, etc, just like right out of fuckin INTERSTELLAR.

  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    ★★½

    Your choice: eat a toe, spiders come out of your face, or Vietnam.

  • The King

    The King

    ★★½

    So glad they took all that pesky Shakespeare out of Henry V.