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Created Jan 26, 2018 11:05PM PST • Updated Jan 26, 2018 11:05PM PST

The Great, Really Great & Perfect new movies I’ve seen in `18: new movies I graded 4.0, 4.5 or 5 beams out of 5. Includes movies officially designated 2017, but not out wide till 2018.

Average

  • Really Great
  •  
  • 77 Points
Title Released Trust Weighted Summary Viewable
1st 12 Strong
2018 Great 83 Points
_100

12 Strong is no run of the mill war movie, to be valued on its moral complexity and clever comebacks. No, 12 Strong is morally simple and often wooden, making it rather unfashionable in our morally confused era. Of course, we also live in the Islamist Era, sharing God’s Earth with a medieval minority of the world’s largest religion, many of whom want to die while dramatically slaughtering innocent women and children.

September 11th seared that reality into our American consciousness, stunning us and bringing us together, briefly. 12 Strong starts then and continues for the followin…

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Added Jan 26, 2018 11:05PM PST • Updated Jan 26, 2018 11:05PM PST
2nd Hostiles
2017 Great 83 Points
_100

The American Indian Wars were mostly over by 1892. Bad blood ran deep, with bands of crazed killers roaming the land, as other combatants try to move on with life after wartime. Writer-director Scott Cooper adroitly uses this brutal and beautiful milieu for a piercing story about a cavalry captain, an Indian chief and a frontierswoman, plus those in their orbits. The result – Hostiles – is the best revisionist Western in years.

Cooper’s movie operates in Unforgiven territory, with a clear echo of The Searchers

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Added Feb 07, 2018 12:23AM PST • Updated Feb 07, 2018 12:23AM PST
3rd Black Panther
2018 Really Great 66 Points

In Theaters Now

_100

Black Panther joins Wonder Woman as the second cultural-phenomena superhero blockbuster in half a year, each a terrific specimen of the superhero genre, yet transcending it in social impact. Females saw themselves anew in Gal Gadot; The African diaspora gains a new and fantastic folklore in Black Panther.

Oh yeah, Black Panther is also a really great movie, instantly enshrined in the pantheon of the vaunted Marvel canon. Frequently funny, pleasantly witty, often quite moving, occasionally thought-provoking, not to mention genuinely thrilling, it deserves its hosannas from across …

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Added Mar 04, 2018 01:05AM PST • Updated Mar 04, 2018 01:05AM PST
4th Game Night
2018 Really Great 83 Points
_100

If the Seinfeld crew returned in 2018 and were into game night with friends, Game Night would be their movie. It’s that funny, that deadpan, that banal yet brilliant. How so? One terrifically executed comedic setpiece after another, from the meet-cute opening montage all the way to the comically creepy conclusion.

Pitch perfect drollery, dead-on satire and more than a bit of star power make a terrific night at the movies. It’s also intriguing: more substantial than it appears, biting but not divisive, naughty but not really nasty.

Now, a hitman does get sucked through a jet engine…

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Added Mar 11, 2018 12:27AM PST • Updated Mar 11, 2018 12:27AM PST
5th Chappaquiddick
2018 Really Great 66 Points
_100

Being a Kennedy came with compulsions, including sailing, drinking, womanizing, and the presidency, those last with fatal effect. Ted Kennedy’s date with death didn’t lead to another dead Kennedy, but to the manslaughter of a loyal supporter: Mary Jo Kopechne, a name familiar to baby boomers across America.

Now, this very well done docudrama lays bare what happened before, during and after that infamous night.

Chappaquiddick is a quintessential tale of 1-percenters lording over common Americans. The Kennedys were/are the ultimate 1-percenter family. Fourth son Teddy was the final sc…

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Added Apr 12, 2018 10:24PM PST • Updated Apr 12, 2018 10:24PM PST
6th Ready Player One
2018 Great 83 Points

In Theaters Now

_100

Ready Player One is plenty of fun, yet is leavened by SciFi seriousness. It’s also kind of a cult movie, yet worked for a newbie like me. The more pop culture you know, especially 80s pop culture, the more fun it is.

Steven Spielberg’s best SciFi in 25 years is often an extended visual tickle, albeit too extended at 2⅓ hours. Long and adolescently rambunctious, it brings out the kid in Spielberg, which is where he made his bones.

He hasn’t lost his youthful fastball. Just consider the performance he gets from Tye Sheridan. Still young, but no longer a kid, the great Sheridan enters …

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Added Apr 21, 2018 12:04AM PST • Updated Apr 21, 2018 12:04AM PST
7th Avengers: Infini...
2018 Great 83 Points

In Theaters Now

_100

Nearly two dozen major characters populate Avengers: Infinity War, a massive cast if not an infinite one. Many are major movie stars — Downey, Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Cumberbatch, Pratt, Boseman, Brolin. They can be very proud of Infinity War. It’s formulaic, but so were the great symphonies. There’s no way to tell this many stories – super-powered or not – this well without the structure, at this scale or otherwise.

Massive starpower is essential but not sufficient. The Russo Brothers’ Infinity War deftly weaves half a dozen strands of the Marvel Cinematic Universe into one reasona…

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Added May 11, 2018 11:57PM PST • Updated May 11, 2018 11:57PM PST
8th A Quiet Place
2018 Really Great 66 Points

In Theaters Now

_100

A Quiet Place is a primo horror movie for non-horror fans, such as John Krasinski & Emily Blunt. He wrote, directed and starred in this 90-minute masterpiece. She “only” stars in it, meaning he directed his real-life wife in the movie’s cruel crucible of silence. Interesting choice for a couple of non-horror fans!

Their movie is brilliantly economical and outstandingly conceived. Its cast mostly consists of Blunt, Krasinski and three kids. Yet Krasinski employs 18 stuntmen, or three per cast member. Impressive.

The now-famous premise is that predatory aliens hunt humans based on sou…

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Added May 18, 2018 06:19PM PST • Updated May 18, 2018 06:19PM PST

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