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2022 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 :) 

AFTERSUN (C+)  I see why people were won over by this tender father/daughter tale, but I was massively bored.  I felt it was all surface and tone, with little underneath to draw me in.

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (A-)  [Instagram review]


AMERICAN SYMPHONY (B)  Doc about musician Jon Batiste. While this had many great facets to it, I personally was rather bored. Maybe I just don't care about music enough?

AMSTERDAM (C)  [Instagram review]

ARGENTINA, 1985 (A-)  [Instagram review]

ARMAGEDDON TIME (B)  [Instagram review]

AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (B)  [Instagram review]


BABYLON (A)  [Instagram review]

THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN (A-)  [Instagram review]

BARDO, FALSE CHRONICLE OF A FISTFUL OF TRUTHS (B+, for now?!)  [Instagram review]


THE BATMAN (B)  [Instagram review]


THE BLACKENING (B+)  A very creative horror comedy about a group of Black friends at a cabin in the woods, where a mysterious killer is afoot and forcing them to put their street smarts and knowledge of horror movies to test in order to stay alive. It's very smart & funny - perhaps a bit broad at times, but a great watch.

BLONDE (B-)  [Instagram review]

BODIES BODIES BODIES (C+)  [Instagram review]

BONES AND ALL (A-)  [Instagram review]

BROS (A)  [Instagram review]

BULLET TRAIN (A-)  [Instagram review]

CAUSEWAY (B)  Nice slice-of-life drama about the friendship between war vet Jennifer Lawrence and mechanic-with-a-missing-leg Brian Tyree Henry.  Their performances are lovely, especially BTH's, and the movie is quality but nothing to write home about.

DEATH ON THE NILE (C+)  [Instagram review]

DECISION TO LEAVE (A-) Excellent Hitchcockian Korean thriller - check it out!  But, warning: it's very hard to follow, so get ready to pay attention.

DON'T WORRY DARLING (B)  Not as bad as it got credit for - this Palm Springs-set modern day noir of sorts unfolded in ways that certainly surprised me, even if it had flawed writing & energy at times. It's intriguing, anyway...

ELEMENTAL (B+)  A solid Pixar effort - check it out, especially if you're a completist.

ELVIS (B-)  [Instagram review]

EMPIRE OF LIGHT (B+)  [Instagram review]

ETERNAL MEMORY (B)  As this is a documentary about a man with Alzheimers (and I had a mother with Alzheimers who passed months before seeing this), I was moved... but much less than I expected, as the pacing & rhythm of this movie was far too meh. It was nice, but failed to inspire in a lasting way.

EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE (A)  [First Instagram review, B+] [Re-review, A]

THE FABELMANS (B)  [Instagram review]

FINESTKIND (C+)  A Massachusetts-set fishermen drama that has some quality assets (including great supporting performances by my dear friends Charlie Thurston and Becky Gibel!), but somehow adds up to less than the sum of its parts, winding up a bit of a slog.

FIRE ISLAND (B)  Fun enough gay romp! A little cheesy & on the nose, but a good time.

GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY (B+)  [Instagram review]

GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE (A-)  This is a lovely and outstandingly acted two-hander with the great Emma Thompson having a series of visits in a hotel with a much younger sex worker (Daryl McCormack).  It begins light, and just gets deeper & rawer, unfolding into a beautifully layered character study.  One of Thompson's best performances, which is saying a lot.

THE GOOD NURSE (B+)  [Instagram review]



HIT THE ROAD (C)  Despite being deemed "the Iranian Little Miss Sunshine" and a having a promising start, I found this to be a profoundly boring and underdeveloped movie.

HUSTLE (B+)  [Instagram review]

THE INSPECTION (A-)  [Instagram review]

LIGHTYEAR (B)  [Instagram review]

LIVING (B+)  [Instagram review]

A MAN CALLED OTTO (A-)  [Instagram review]

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON (A)  [Instagram review]

MEN (B+)  [Instagram review]

THE MENU (A-)  [Instagram review]


MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS (B)  Cute, charming... Lesly Manville is a treat... Though I found it a bit uncompelling and fell asleep for a lot of it as I watched it on a plane...

MY POLICEMAN (B)  [Instagram review]

NOPE (B)  [Instagram review]

THE NORTHMAN (C-)  [Instagram review]

THE OUTFIT (B)  A perfectly entertaining and serviceable thriller with the inimitable Mark Rylance who finds himself, & his tailor shop, wound up in a mafia conflict, and works to keep himself safe from it all.  It's nothing to write home about, but it's taut and solid enough.

PASSAGES (C+)  I mean, I'll watch Ben Whishaw do a gay drama any time (and... his acting was good), buuuuut - MAN was this ultimately rather boring.

PEARL (B)  [Instagram review]

PERFECT DAYS (B-)  It's debatably quite unfair for me to review this at all, as I got very sleepy; but I'll say - this was a touching & precious character study drama that relied so much on the value of "slice of life" inspiration that I personally was tremendously bored.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN (B+)  Based on the true story of a crane operator who lies on an application form (saying he's a professional golfer, when he surely isn't) and gets admitted to the British Open.  Starring Mark Rylance, who's a delight in everything he does, this film is a sheer delight.  It's a trifle, but a yummy one.

PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH (C+)  The problem with the Pussiverse is that I'm wildly unfamiliar with it (no Shreks for me since Shrek 2 in 2004), and I find Puss to be an obnoxious character.  Throw in a sleep-deprivation-induced nap through most of the first half, and a growing apathy for the carbon copy energy that most animated movies seem to have, and you have yourself a TD C+.  BUT: I do see why most people are loving this movie (it is indeed moderately inventive), and I suppose I find it recommendable to most people who would consider seeing it.  I just should have known better that this wasn't for me.


RRR (A)  [Instagram review]

SEE HOW THEY RUN (B+)  [Instagram review]

SHE SAID (A-)  [Instagram review]

SPIRITED (B)  [Instagram review]

THE SON (C)  It's sad to learn that actors I love as much as Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern aren't as bulletproof as I had thought - watching this film is an exercise in watching revered actors flounder through bad dialogue.  It's too bad they didn't do more to right the off-course ship of Florian Zeller's poor writing/directing endeavor.

SPOILER ALERT (A-)  [Instagram review]

TAR (B+)  [Instagram review]

TILL (A-)  [Instagram review]


TO LESLIE (C)  [Instagram review]

TOP GUN: MAVERICK (B)  [Instagram review]

TRIANGLE OF SADNESS (A)  [Instagram review]

TURNING RED (B)  Slightly sub-par Pixar, but a fun enough time.


VENGEANCE (B+)  [Instagram review]

WEIRD: THE AL YANKOVIC STORY (A-)  [Instagram review]

THE WHALE (D+)  [Instagram review]

WHITE NOISE (B+)  [Instagram review]

THE WOMAN KING (B+)  [Instagram review]

WOMEN TALKING (A)  [Instagram review]

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