First Man (2018)


A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969. (IMDb)
Immersive and boldly chosen visuals and sounds on the ships (blurry, claustrophobic, loud) are paralleled by more shaky-cam close-ups and tense drama on earth, leading to stunning physical and emotional release on the bleak, vast, and silent lunar landscape (Gosling is solid throughout). The blip on the radar is how the great “Whitey on the Moon” critique (“I can’t pay no doctor bill, but Whitey’s on the moon”) is only followed up with, well, more movie about white guys going to the moon.
8/10 (Great)

Den of Thieves (2018)


A gritty crime saga which follows the lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. and the state’s most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank. (IMDb)
A capable cops and robbers flick with grit, an exciting heist, and a good twist is soured substantially by its terribly chauvinist treatment of women–they’re only things to be controlled, even as it’s trying and failing to make its males sympathetic (see the pointless prom date bit; Nick cheating on the mom, losing his daughters, going back to the strip club). Lose these scenes and you won’t be breaking any ground in female representation but you sure will have a tighter and less gross script.
6.5/10 (Alright)