Vice (2018)

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The story of Dick Cheney, an unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider, who quietly wielded immense power as Vice President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today. (IMDb)
Loved the creativity on display here: the quasi-documentary style with its narration, freeze frames, and media footage (both real and created), the mischievous artistic flourishes including hilarious faux-end credits and a Shakespearean dialogue. That said, it hinders the biopic angle from achieving significant character depth, and conversely, the biopic scope (30+ years) and focus (one man) prevents the political docu-drama angle from having as significant an impact as the content warrants.
7/10 (Good)

 

Arrival (2016)

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A linguist is recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications. (IMDb)
The “communication” thematic perspective is refreshingly down-to-earth (nailed it) for an alien flick, but a mid-movie voiceover somewhat mars its thoughtful slow pace, its human-human angle feels a little forced, and the rash rebel interruption is unfounded, not to mention cliche. Small flaws aside, this remains a smart and exquisite-looking sci-fi with a memorable final act, as the bits of Louise’s emotional backstory are masterfully eased into the forefront, unraveling a stunning twist.
8/10 (Great)

Her (2013)

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A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need. (IMDb)
Jonze’s poignantly prophetic near-future world is thoughtfully crafted, as the story subtly showcases its cultural milieu (see the letter writing job, voice-activated tech) and gorgeous, washed-out cinematography captures its streamlined urban isolation. The tenderness and tragedy of the central relationship (Phoenix and Johansson excel), meanwhile, offers more technological intrigue (Samantha’s development is fascinating-almost terrifying) while delicately examining the constructs of love.
9.5/10 (Amazing)