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Detroit Cineaste

Reviews of movies and television programs

The Courier

A well made and well acted cold war spy movie that never quite catches fire. Worth a look if you’re a fan of this genre.

Nobody

A tremendously funny and tremendously violent bit of middle-aged wish fulfillment, centered by Bob Odenkirk’s auditor in hiding. Highly recommended!

Soul

A heady mix of existentialism and jazz, Soul is a treat for the eyes and the head. It doesn’t reach the emotional height of Inside Out, but its underlying message of enjoying life is well received. Highly recommended!

Freaky (2020)

A mashup of the slasher and body-swap genres, the results of which are highly entertaining. Vince Vaughn reminds us how funny he can be with the right material. Highly recommended!

Promising Young Woman (2020)

A sharp-edged black comedy that will make you laugh nervously at what enfolds. Features terrific acting all around, as well as a surprise ending that is a genuine surprise. Highly recommend.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel (Netflix)

A true crime limited series that tries to be all inclusive, but ends up tarnishing the reputation of the filmmakers in the process. Ironically, it garners sympathy for a death metal musician hounded to the brink of suicide by a mob of would-be internet sleuths. Not recommended.

Sound of Metal (2020)

A story about a drummer who suddenly loses his hearing and learns to adapt. Riz Ahmed gives an excellent performance. Highly recommended.

Minari (2020)

A solid drama about the life of a Korean farming family in the eighties. Minari’s choice to focusing on a family of immigrants brings fresh insights into a familiar plot. Definitely recommended.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

A haphazard distillation of the trial of the Chicago Seven. Aaron Sorkin’s dialog is typically sharp, but his direction muddles what should have been a powerful message. Recommended for Sacha Baron-Cohen’s performance only.

Pieces of a Woman (2020)

The acting is exceptional, and the childbirth scene is a riveting scene to behold. After the initial tragedy, the movie becomes a character study in grief, and is effective because the performances are so honest. Recommended.

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