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)

Inception (2010)

Inception-movie-poster

A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO. (IMDb)
The (literal) levels to which Nolan expounds upon his (literally) mind-bending premise are extraordinary, and his resulting film is nothing short of spectacular, as he (mostly) tactfully exposits his fascinating concepts through two complimentary and converging tracks: One action-oriented and exciting; the other character-focused and emotional. Brilliant cinematography (Arthur’s hotel fight is one highlight), engaging turns, and excellent music decorate this exhilarating and exquisite thriller.
9.5/10 (Breathtaking)

 

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Eight years after the Joker’s reign of anarchy, the Dark Knight is forced to return from his imposed exile to save Gotham City from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman. (IMDb)
The entertainment value here is again sky high, with nary a dull moment; the narrative is wonderfully layered with constant twists and turns at each level. It doesn’t feel quite as deep or dark as its predecessor, and Hardy’s Bane isn’t quite as interesting as Ledger’s Joker (although that was a tough act to follow), but the plot’s new lows of despair for Batman and Gotham, along with the cast additions of Hathaway and Gordon-Levitt, add freshness and help craft for it its own positive identity.
9/10 (Amazing)

 

Brick (2005)

The ultra-melodramatic dialogue is the most obvious standout here, with its nod to classic noir films. It creates a really cool and unique feel for the film, even if some of the slang goes over your head the first few times, and Gordon-Levitt and the rest of the supporting cast smoothly act it out without it feeling awkward or unemotional. The violence and drugs of the dark plot, meanwhile, fit perfectly with the slick script and bleak cinematography. An engaging teen crime drama.
8/10 (Great)