Night Moves (2013)

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The story about three radical environmentalists coming together to execute the most intense protest of their lives: the explosion of a hydroelectric dam. (Letterboxd)
For the most part, it’s an understated and masterfully crafted thriller; with gorgeous nature shots and slick guitar-led score in tow, the pre-event procedural plays out each scene to slow-burn perfection, with the uneasy aftermath adding further sweaty tension. It’s the character writing that has a few missteps; namely, the film showing’s awkward attempt at explaining their motivations when the plan was already in place, and more significantly, the extreme climax of Josh’s arc in the third act.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

Garden State (2004)

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A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother’s funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade. (IMDb)
Should’ve ended with that great climactic exchange at the quarry (“Good luck exploring the infinite abyss” “You too”) or at least before that saccharine final scene at the airport, because everything previous is nearly perfect in its achingly poignant and tastefully quirky young adult character study that nails its depiction of depression, awkward homecoming, and early romance through thoughtful dialogue, strong performances, calm cinematography, and a fittingly melancholy soundtrack.
8.5/10 (Amazing)

Black Mass (2015)

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The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf. (IMDb)
Depp puts in a good turn as the menacing lead (the “I thought it was a family secret” moment is excellent), but while Bulger’s biography is well-paced and structured, there’s nothing unique or spectacular to separate it from other similar gangster movies; it covers all the bases but never soars high or digs deep. Instead, it’s Edgerton’s slimy FBI agent that steals the show, particularly in the final act as he starts to flounder in his falsities. A better “cop” flick than a “robber” one.
7/10 (Good)