Dune (2021)

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Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. (Letterboxd)
The Messiah narrative thread with Paul and the Fremen is a bit white-saviour-y, but will hopefully be nipped in the bud in the sequel, and the plot is otherwise excellent: a twisting tapestry of planet-hopping politics, breathtaking sci-fi/action, moody mysticism, and compelling coming-of-age/family drama fare. Strongly acted (Paul and parents in particular), with incredible sound and visuals (lots of big, immersive movie moments–the nighttime assault on Arrakeen being one highlight).
8/10 (Great)

No Country for Old Men (2007)

Llewelyn Moss stumbles upon dead bodies, $2 million and a hoard of heroin in a Texas desert, but methodical killer Anton Chigurh comes looking for it, with local sheriff Ed Tom Bell hot on his trail. The roles of prey and predator blur as the violent pursuit of money and justice collide. (Letterboxd)
Masterfully shot and acted (TLJ’s weary and witty ETB was my fav), with captivating violence and cat-and-mouse thrills, but it’s the film’s unique dramatic framing that really makes it stands out: namely, its perfect bookends (from the reluctant “OK, I’ll be a part of this world” to dreams of warmth and light in “all that dark and all that cold”) and fascinating use of distance throughout (the slow pace, the open landscapes, the lack of interaction between main characters, the removed villain).
8.5/10 (Amazing)

Skyfall (2012)

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Bond’s loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. Whilst MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. (IMDb)
The issue of Bond’s fallibility this time around could have been constructed better, but it certainly was a welcome change, and an amazing final showdown featuring teamwork, of all things–with two elderly people yet–adds further freshness. Also praiseworthy is the sinister score and opening credits, Bardem’s uniquely creepy baddie, and the beautiful cinematography (the scenes at Skyfall are especially gorgeous). The politics-turned-personal centered on M provides a nice underlying plot too.
8/10 (Great)