The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

The story of 7 people on trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. (IMDb)
It’s a dialogue-heavy courtroom drama with all the humour, high-stakes intensity, and fiery one-liners (“What’s your price?” “My life”) of an action film. The script and editing masterfully ramp up the pre-, during-, and post-protest tension simultaneously (adding in Abbie’s stand-up was a cool touch) and the cast is excellent (Rylance and Cohen are standouts). The prominence then disappearance of Seale’s poignant sub-plot is the only real misstep here (the ending is schmaltzy but effective).
8.5/10 (Amazing)

Private Life (2018)

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An author is undergoing multiple fertility therapies to get pregnant, putting her relationship with her husband on edge. (IMDb)
Almost perfectly crafted (the titles were unnecessary), with thoughtful music and camerawork (the handheld sequences were a nice touch), great turns (the main trio is magnetic), and a beautiful script (see the many beginning/end parallels) that naturally capture all the awkwardness, beauty, and pain not just of fertility treatments but of family, marriage, and growing up/old. Some threads are left hanging (see Sadie’s “our baby” comment), but that’s the way life goes (see the cliffhanger end).
8.5/10 (Amazing)

The Highwaymen (2019)

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A pair of Texas Rangers come out of retirement to catch the infamous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde. (IMDb)
Old-timey feeling, and in a good way (aside from being a little long..in the tooth), with aging protagonists (with great chemistry) appreciably not dressed up as action stars (see their post-chase wheezing), a gorgeous folksy soundtrack + Americana landscapes cinematic combo, and a tried and true buddy cop plot. Hints at deeper themes (criminals’ humanity–see Hamer with Clyde’s dad–and police violence: see Maney’s mesmerizing story around the card table) are unfortunately never followed up upon.
7/10 (Good)