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Saturday, December 23, 2023

My Top Ten Movie Picks of 2023

1. Ferrari * * * 1/2 Stars

-A return to form for director Michael Mann as he creates old-world art with his bruising biopic about Enzo Ferrari. 

1. (tie) The Passenger * * * 1/2 Stars

-A well-acted and crisply edited thriller, like a non-art house version of 1973's Badlands.

2. Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed * * * 1/2 Stars

-A documentary about an acting icon that unfolds like a skulking sledgehammer.

3. Inside * * * 1/2 Stars

-A psychologically stealth and real time perceived vehicle, made effective by Wilem Dafoe's physical acting and Vasilis Katsoupis's deft direction.

4. Mercy * * * Stars

-A B-flick that's as mean as a snake. It doesn't hold your hand as a viewer.

5. Plane * * * Stars

-Another Gerard Butler actioner that spritzed-up nicely for the more distinguished, bargain basement crowd.

6. Hidden Exposure * * * Stars

-Combines a little bit of 2010's Black Swan and Woody Allen's Match Point to give you something dangerous right around the corner.

6. (tie) The Iron Claw * * * Stars

-A slow mounting drama about pro wrestling that hits you like a brick (or a clothesline if you know what I mean). 

7. River Wild * * * Stars

-A more indie-like version of the original The River Wild from 29 years back. Dense and atmospheric stuff. 

8. Air * * * Stars

-This is Ben Affleck's Moneyball or his All the President's Men for hoops. 

9. Girl in the Closet * * * Stars

-A Lifetime drama about human trafficking that has no filter. Effectual yet disturbing. 

10. Fear the Night * * * Stars

-A violent and remorseless ride that has Maggie Q scowling at the audience while getting her kill on.

Honorable Mention: Nightmare School Moms, Retribution, 97 Minutes, The Mill

And the worst....

1. White Men Can't Jump * Star

-Rotten remake of the '92 classic. It just doesn't get what made that film much more superior.

2. House Party * 1/2 Stars

-Updates the 1990 original and as a result, fails to possess a reason for being.

3. You People * 1/2 Stars

-An unfunny comedy that should've never been made. What were you thinking Jonah Hill and Eddie Murphy?

4. On a Wing and a Prayer * 1/2 Stars

-Imagine watching the lovechild of God's Not Dead and Airport 1975. On second thought, don't.

5. A Christmas Heist * 1/2 Stars

-Ho ho ho humdrum. 

List compiled by Jesse Burleson

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