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  • Beast Beast

    Beast Beast

    ★★★

    Chekhov’s Gun has never felt more ominous than as part of an arsenal on the wall of a lonely teenager’s bedroom in a slice-of-life movie about modern American high schoolers. In fact, it sometimes feels as if “Beast Beast” writer/director/composer Danny Madden has underestimated the dark cloud such a thing can cast over every inch of his story, even if the inevitability is so obviously the point (and even if the gun doesn’t go off when and where you assume…

  • The Banishing

    The Banishing

    ★★½

    There will never be too many atmospheric horror movies about breathy English women trembling down the hallways of a haunted Victorian mansion and growing paranoid about whatever it is they hear going bump in the night. So it should be an unalloyed pleasure to watch a new one as musty and well-polished as Christopher Smith’s “The Banishing.”

    All of the proper ingredients are in place, starting with a creepy old house based on the Borley Rectory (which occultist Harry Price…

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  • Wonder Woman 1984

    Wonder Woman 1984

    ★★

    Barbara Minerva: I used to be a nerd who nobody liked but now I am hot and bulletproof and can pull off Robert Smith-levels of eyeliner.

    Maxwell Lord: but don’t you want *more*?

    Barbara Minerva: i want… to be cat.

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    ★★

    spiritually corrupt, but — BUT! — also flat and artless in a way that not even the worst Star Wars movies have been before.

    thanks to paternity leave, i have no professional obligation to keep thinking about this hugely disappointing capitulation to the most feckless elements of studio filmmaking. and so i won't.

    EDIT: Babu Frik innocent.