Category: 3.5/4

Excellent!

Coco [2017] ★★★½

 I feel bad for missing out on “Coco” on the week of its release, but now that I’ve seen it I can finally weigh in on this extraordinary film from Disney/Pixar. The concept itself is unprecedented, which makes “Coco” even more original than any animated film I’ve seen […]

Stronger [2017] ★★★½

“Stronger” may be a Hollywood product, but it is absolutely real, and certainly one of the year’s finest films. It’s also a perfect showcase for Jake Gyllenhaal, who delivers one of the best performances of his career, playing Jeff Bauman, a 28 year-old Boston man who lost both […]

The Insult [2017] ★★★½

Lebanese filmmaker Ziad Doueiri needs no introduction, having directed a series of successful films over the years. While “West Beirut” will forever remain my favorite movie, his latest effort, “The Insult”, further confirms his skill as a talented storyteller. In short: it’s one of the most intense Lebanese […]

Germany Year Zero [1948] ★★★½

Roberto Rossellini’s “Germany Year Zero” is a frightening portrait of post-WWII Berlin, from the point of view of 12-year-old Edmund, who lives with his family in terrible conditions. The war may have ended, Hitler’s third Reich has fallen, but Berlin has never been more miserable. Edmund’s only concern […]

Rome, Open City [1945] ★★★½

Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini kicked off his so-called “war trilogy” with “Rome, Open City”, a harrowing look at Rome during the Nazi occupation of 1944. Though the events that take place in the movie are strictly fictional, Rossellini knows exactly how to deliver an authentic experience. The main […]

Dunkirk [2017] ★★★½

Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” is a knockout. But it’s also a rare example of a war movie that isn’t purely made to satisfy a mainstream audience. In a recent interview with Criterion, Nolan has named Terrence Malik’s 1998 masterpiece “The Thin Red Line” as one of his favorite films. […]

Baby Driver [2017] ★★★½

Forget the Fast and the Furious movies, if you want a truly original car movie that pumps up your adrenaline level with first-rate action scenes and a killer soundtrack, “Baby Driver” is the summer film for you. This instant classic from director Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead”, […]