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2018 Reviews

So... I swapped grading systems in September 2017!  I've always hated that there are star-grading-systems out of 5 stars, and some out of 4, such that I always need to specify!  And I've found that conversationally I use letter grades more often, as there are more grade options, allowing for greater specificity.  So I figured that with my new approach of posting video-reviews on Instagram, now's a good time to swap grading systems.  Heeeere we go: letter grades it is!

Also, if you think I'm too nice given that most of my reviews are rather positive, remember:  I'm not a critic who's paid to see all movies including the bad.  I only go to see movies that I think I will like, and I'm pretty good at gauging that :) 

ACTION POINT (C+)  [Instagram post]

ANNIHILATION (B+)  [Instagram post]

AT ETERNITY'S GATE (B-)  [Instagram post]

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (B+)  [Instagram post]

BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (B+)  [Instagram post]


BEAUTIFUL BOY (B+)  [Instagram post]

BEN IS BACK (B)  [Instagram post]

BLACK PANTHER (B+)  [Instagram post]

BLACKKKLANSMAN (B+)  [Instagram post]

BLINDSPOTTING (A-)  [Instagram post]

BLOCKERS (B)  [Instagram post]

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (B-)  [Instagram post]

BOY ERASED (B)  [Instagram post]

BUMBLEBEE (B+)  [Instagram post]

BURNING (C+)  [Instagram post]

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? (A-)  [Instagram post]

COLD WAR (C+)  [Instagram post]

COLETTE (B)  [Instagram post]


CRAZY RICH ASIANS (B+)  [Instagram post]

DEADPOOL 2 (B)  [Instagram post]

THE DEATH OF STALIN (A-)  [Instagram post]

DESTROYER (B+)  [Instagram post]

EIGHTH GRADE (A-)  [Instagram post]

THE ENDLESS (B)  An intriguing supernatural story about brothers who escaped a cult years ago and decide to go back and pay a visit... only to fall deeply into the mystery of "Wtf supernatural sh*t is going down on this cult's land?!  Or is everyone f'ing with us?"  It definitely gets you to lean in with curiosity, and lots of the images and ideas are very interesting.  But there are a few frustrating holes, and it doesn't land anywhere as interesting as you crave it to.

FAHRENHEIT 11/9 (No Rating)  [Instagram post]

THE FAVOURITE (A-)  [Instagram post]

FIRST MAN (B+)  [Instagram post]

FIRST REFORMED (C)  [Instagram post]

FREE SOLO (B)  [Instagram post]

THE FRONT RUNNER (B+)  [Instagram post]

GAME NIGHT (B+)  [Instagram post]

GEMINI (C)  [Instagram post]

GREEN BOOK (A)  [Instagram post]

HALLOWEEN (A-)  [Instagram post]

THE HAPPYS (B+)  My friend John Serpe co-wrote & co-directed this feature!  It was lovely.  Set in Los Feliz (The Happys) LA, it features a colorful collection of characters, and it's fun to watch the onion layers of each peel away, bringing us close to some rich cores.  Some of the dialogue & acting didn't land for me, but it's lovely to soak in and was quite moving at times!

THE HATE U GIVE (B+)  [Instagram post]

HEREDITARY (A-)  [Instagram post]

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (A-)  [Instagram post]

INCREDIBLES 2 (B)  [Instagram post]

INSTANT FAMILY (A-)  [Instagram post]

ISLE OF DOGS (A-)  [Instagram post]

JOURNEY'S END (B+)  [Instagram post]

LEAVE NO TRACE (C+)  Really?  People loved this story of a man (Ben Foster) and his daughter (newcomer Thomasin McKenzie) striving to live off the grid despite the law trying to prevent as much?  Intersting premise & potential, but while it lacked glaring flaws, it was suuuuper boring.

LOVE AFTER LOVE (B-)  Andie MacDowell and Chris O'Dowd star in this gentle family drama, about them coping with the death of her husband / his father (same human).  It's one of those movies where you sit back and think "hmm, the acting is great, the pace is nice, the relationships & circumstances are well set-up, and there are some great scenes; but... I'm super bored and don't know why this movie was made."  So, oh well.

LOVE, SIMON (A-)  [Instagram post]

MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN (B+)  [Instagram post]

MARY POPPINS RETURNS (B)  [Instagram post]

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT (A-)  [Instagram post]

THE OATH (B+)  [Instagram post]

OCEAN'S 8 (B+)  [Instagram post]

THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN (A-)  [Instagram post]

ON THE BASIS OF SEX (B-)  [Instagram post]

OPERATION FINALE (B-)  [Instagram post]

PADDINGTON 2 (A-)  [Instagram post]  & upgrade to an A! [Instagram post]

THE PARTY (C+)  [Instagram post]

PRIVATE LIFE (A-)  [Instagram post]

A PRIVATE WAR (B)  Rosamund Pike crushes it as war journalist Marie Colvin, and the movie is often fascinating as hell, but it doesn't quite enthrall.

A QUIET PLACE (B+)  [Instagram post]

RBG (A-)  [Instagram post]

READY PLAYER ONE (B+)  [Instagram post]

ROMA (A-)  [Instagram post]

SEARCHING (B+)  [Instagram post]

SHOPLIFTERS (C+)  [Instagram post]

A SIMPLE FAVOR (B)  [Instagram post]

THE SISTERS BROTHERS (B)  [Instagram post]

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (C+)  [Instagram post]

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (A-)  [Instagram post]

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (A-)  [Instagram post] & upgrade to an A! [Instagram post]

STAN & OLLIE (B+)  [Instagram post]

A STAR IS BORN (A-)  [Instagram post]

SUSPIRIA (B-)  [Instagram post]

TAG (B-)  [Instagram post]

THOROUGHBREDS (B+)  [Instagram post]


TULLY (B)  [Instagram post]

VICE (A-)  [Instagram post]

WHAT THEY HAD (B-)  [Instagram post]

WIDOWS (A-)  [Instagram post]

THE WIFE (B-)  [Instagram post]

WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (A-)  [Instagram post]

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE (B-)  [Instagram post]

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