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A Rainbow Without Rain

Like a big, consensual hug from a nonbinary person dressed in a sheep costume, Queer Japan is the very best kind of documentary: the kind that leaves you feeling very intimately connected to its subjects. Writer Anne Ishii and writer/director Graham Kolbeins opt not to lecture or preach, not to anchor the film on a […]

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Dollars and Incensed

Clearly, if America needs anything right now, it’s more stuff to be mad at and worried about! If you’ve finished the appetizer that is our ongoing pandemic and would like a side of economic injustice to go with the entrée of racial inequity America is maybe/kinda/sorta ready to finally eat, chow down on Capital in […]

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E-I-E-I-Woe

People can have a weirdly upsetting reaction to things that are excessively adorable or beautiful. It is a phenomenon known as “cuteness aggression.” If you are prone to this condition, maybe watch Minari by yourself? Set in 1983, writer/director Lee Isaac Chung’s film tells the simple story of a Korean family starting a farm in […]

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The “I” of the Tiger

A Walt Disney fairy tale about El Chapo told through the language of Gabriel García Márquez and visually painted as if guided by Frida Kahlo’s hand, Tigers Are Not Afraid is some kind of special. Writer/director Issa López obliterates genre boundaries to tell a story about the globally ignored collateral damage of cartel violence: orphaned […]

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Twenty Times the Horror for 2020

Editor’s note: We need your help! Support content like this by becoming a Reader member here. FYI: My paid movie reviewing career is now officially old enough to vote. I can promise it’s not going third party… Over all these years, the question I have been asked most as a film critic is “This is more of […]

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Drown Me in a Sea of Spider-People

Watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the single closest feeling I’ve had to the first time I cracked open a comic book, beginning a lifelong love affair with a legendary onesie wearer. The same way Steve Ditko’s pencils popped my eyeballs, Spider-Verse explodes like a shotgun blast of pop-art, right to the kisser. Infused with […]

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The Rise of the Murder Dads

To be fair to Liam Neeson, who among us hasn’t confessed to being possessed of a racist, murderous rage when asked an innocuous question at a press junket for a movie about a killer snowplow driver? When given a chance to clarify his WTF, Neeson proved why actors have smarter people write what they say. […]

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Hell Is Your Family

Toni Collette spends nearly the entirety of Hereditary playing an unopposed game of Twister using only her facial features. The film is understandably being sold as “one of the scariest movies of all time,” but that’s only because “one of the most physically unsettling movies of all time” isn’t as apt to put butts in […]

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Fun With Fascism

I hesitate to write the word anywhere near his name but maybe the only “endearing” quality about Donald Trump is that artists have an uncanny ability to get under his skin. If America really is going to do the whole “throw a tantrum over the rapidly changing demographics of our country by electing a white […]