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Mafia Inc
(2019)

A well-crafted crime drama.
"Mafia Inc" is a well crafted crime film chronicling the rise and fall of the Montreal mafia featuring stellar lead performances. . In this crime drama set in 1990s Montreal, when the Paternò crime family disowns one of their key men after a monstrous act, war begins. . Walking into "Mafia Inc." I didn't know what to expect; would this be a melodramatic take on mobsters, would the facts be flaky or would this be a solid crime drama. "Mafia Inc." exceeded my expectations. The film wastes no time getting down to the nitty gritty and the cast is spectacular. Italian actor Sergio Castellitto as the head of the family is a masterwork. Calm and collected yet brutally vicious, with every shot he's in, Castellitto takes command of his role. Marc-André Grondin proves yet again he one of Quebec's finest actors and can take on any role thrown at him. "Mafia Inc." is a crime drama with a slow burn taking you through the highs and lows of the Canadian mafia.

Honey Boy
(2019)

A greatly profound film.
"Honey Boy" is incredibly well acted, profound and a really great film. Shia LaBoeuf continues a winning streak of films as a man who's matured and accepted his troubles. . In this drama, a young man reflects on his struggles to reconcile with his father and deal with his mental health. Based on Shia LaBoeuf's real relationship with his father. . I can imagine that Shia LaBoeuf's self reflective film is like a form of therapy for him. Written by LaBeouf, "Honey Boy" is an emotional ride and sometimes a tough film to get through. The cast is sensational, Noah Jupe, Lucas Hedges and FKA Twigs deliver provoking performances. As much as "Honey Boy" is tough, it's beautiful and you can't keep your eyes off the screen. LaBoeuf needs to continue this streak of fantastic films (see last years "The Peanut Butter Falcon") and this could be a grand resurgence for the star. I loved this film. .

The Gentlemen
(2019)

Fun, sleek and entertaining!
"The Gentlemen" is thoroughly enjoyable, sleek and smart. It proves writer/director Guy Ritchie has still got it. . In this crime comedy, an American tries to sell off his highly profitable marijuana empire in London, triggering plots, schemes, bribery and blackmail in an attempt to steal his domain out from under him. . Backed by an all-star and killer cast, "The Gentlemen" is tons of fun and well executed. Matthew McConaughey is fantastic, Hugh Grant is hilarious, Charlie Hunnam is great but Colin Farrell steals the show. A funny and twisted performance. I really enjoyed how the film was shot kind of like a "film within a film" (once you see it you'll get what I mean). Ritchie's dialogue is sharp as ever and his storytelling is still worth watching develop. I had a lot of fun with "The Gentlemen".

Dolor y gloria
(2019)

Good, but not Almodovar's best.
While I don't think "Pain And Glory" is Almodovar's best work, I do think that this film reflects how the filmmaker feels in this day and age, and how one copes with the feeling of getting older. . In this drama, a film director reflects on his life and the choices he's made as his world comes crashing down around him. . Antonio Banderas delivers an incredible performance in "Pain And Glory", definitely very worthy of an Oscar nomination. You can feel his pain, his tiredness and frustrations. Almodovar's film is beautifully shot and told but I did think it dragged on at some points. I am pleased that Almodovar is back in the spotlight but I don't think this is his best film. It's a good film don't get me wrong, but I expected something more from all the hype. "Pain And Glory" is worth the watch for Banderas' fantastic and gripping performance. .

Dolittle
(2020)

"Dolittle" is such a bore.
"Dolittle" suffers from a lack of imagination and relies way too much on CGI rather than giving viewers the reboot it deserves. . In this family film, a doctor who can talk to animals is asked to obtain medicine from a healing tree in order to save the Queen of England. . The fact that "Dolittle" was directed by Stephen Gaghan; the same person who wrote the Oscar-winning "Traffic" and "Syriana" is beyond me. The plot is so thin, the jokes are so stale and the CGI is way too much. Animatronics would've worked out so much better. The animals look bad and some of the voice cast doesn't match up. I love Robert Downey Jr, but this was not the role for him and I'm also throwing in that it was very difficult to understand his accent. "Dolittle" is a mess and should be forgotten about the moment you leave the cinema. Here's to another January disaster film.

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot
(2019)

A reboot that feels nostalgic but didn't need to happen.
"Jay And Silent Bob Reboot" isn't a reboot that needed to happen, but it still manages to be entertaining if you're a fan of Kevin Smith's universe. . In this comedy, Jay and Silent Bob return to Hollywood to stop a reboot of the 'Bluntman and Chronic' movie from getting made. . For me, it's always great to see Smith's characters back on the screen but at times "Jay And Silent Bob Reboot" felt forced and even tries too hard. There are funny and even nostalgic moments throughout even though I feel the gags are recycled and sometimes overused. "Jay And Silent Bob Reboot" is worth the one time watch but unfortunately isn't Kevin Smith's best work. .

Just Mercy
(2019)

A deeply moving and inspiring film.
"Just Mercy" is absolutely sensational from start to finish. An utterly moving, powerful and beautiful film. . In this drama based on a true story, a civil rights defence attorney works to free wrongly convicted death row prisoner. . I expected "Just Mercy" to be good, but I didn't expect it to be this good. I loved this movie; from the extraordinary performances by Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx, to the stunning and eye-opening story. I was literally moved to tears because the final twenty minutes are so moving. Jamie Foxx is outstanding in this role and really gives us his best performance since the Oscar winning "Ray". I urge everybody to go see "Just Mercy" and be swept away by its amazing story. .

Bad Boys for Life
(2020)

"Bad Boys For Life" brings back the dynamic duo.
"Bad Boys For Life" is a bloody action-packed romp that never let's go, but at the heart of this film is the synergy of leads Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. . In this action film, Mike and Marcus join a new elite team in order to take down a ruthless drug cartel. . Even though we were introduced to these characters 25 years ago (I feel very old), the same energy and electricity is there. If anything Mike and Marcus age like fine wine. The one thing that turned me off was all the CGI in the action sequences; I miss the days of stunt men/women and real explosions. Aside from that "Bad Boys For Life" has tons of action, laughs and huge revelations. The most important part of this film is the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence and that is definitely not lost.

Amazing Grace
(2018)

A spine-tingling movie going experience.
Finally got around to seeing "Amazing Grace" and it's just as amazing as you'd think. Aretha Franklin electrifies the screen with her performance. . In this documentary concert film, American singer-songwriter Aretha Franklin records her live gospel album "Amazing Grace" in 1972, which becomes the best selling gospel album of all time. . You literally cannot take your eyes and ears off what you're watching. To witness a portion of this incredible album live is sensational. It might not be complete but you're thankful that someone decided to film these special concerts. Franklin is so effortlessly grand, flawless and at the top of her game, it's inspirational. Every musical number will make the hair on your neck stand-up. A must-see documentary concert for any music lover.

The Two Popes
(2019)

"The Two Popes" is a solid drama.
"The Two Popes" is a great film and what makes it even greater is watching legendary actors Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce act alongside each other. . In this drama based on a true story, the conservative Pope Benedict and the liberal future Pope Francis must find common ground to forge a new path for the Catholic Church. . Director Fernando Meirelles' vision in "The Two Popes" is something like a fairytale. The script is solid and the acting is once again worth the entire watch. There's something about seeing Hopkins and Pryce side by side that creates movie magic. They're both fantastic in their roles respectively. An emotional, yet funny and honest film.

1917
(2019)

"1917" is a cinematic achievement.
"1917" hits you so hard it will leave you pinned to your seat. A masterful technical achievement and a breathtaking piece of cinema. . In this war drama, two young soldiers during the First World War are to deliver a message deep in enemy territory that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap. . Director Sam Mendes ("American Beauty", Skyfall") has always been one of my favourite filmmakers just because he is so subtle, yet makes some of the best films out there. "1917" is great and should be seen on the big screen. From the opening scene you will find your eyes glued to the screen and your gut boiling with intensity. Cinematographer Roger Deakins ("The Shawshank Redemption", "Blade Runner 2049") holds the bar for his style of creating beauty and pulse pounding frames, especially here with his "one-shot" takes making the film seem like one continuous shot. I do not agree that "1917" is the best film of the year, but I do agree with the all the hype it's been receiving and you should all go out and see this film for yourselves.

Underwater
(2020)

"Underwater" should stay there.
"Underwater" works best while making viewers feel claustrophobic, but in the end this is a boring rip off of great films of the same genre. . In this sci-fi horror film, a crew of underwater researchers must find safety when creatures attack them after an earthquake. . Did I mention that "Underwater" is boring and a rip off? Yeah, it really is. The first twenty minutes of the film are quite entertaining but after that, it's a complete downward spiral that sinks into oblivion. It tries too hard to be like "Alien" in the water, when it should really be something original on its own. Deep flaws, clichés and poor jump scares make "Underwater" one to forget. Welcome to January movie releases, folks.

Little Women
(2019)

You'll fall in love with "Little Women"
"Little Women" is empowering, refreshing and an absolutely lovely film backed by an incredible cast. . In this drama, the March sisters are four young women each determined to live life on their own terms. Based on the classic novel of the same name. . I had neutral feelings about "Little Women" as I walked in to take my seat, but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed this film. A sweet, sensitive and powerful film that will remain timeless like its source material. The cast of leads is terrific but Florence Pugh steals the show. Pugh will become one of the great leading ladies in the biz (see also "Fighting With My Family", "Midsommar"). "Little Women" is garnished with beauty and a joy to watch. You will fall in love with this film.

Jexi
(2019)

"Jexi" could be a whole lot greater.
"Jexi" will definitely relate with those addicted to their smartphones but the laughs are ultimately cheap shots. . In this comedy, a self-aware smartphone becomes attached to its socially awkward owner. . I'm already not a big fan of Adam Devine, but in "Jexi" he plays a somewhat different role than others he's portrayed. Which is a good thing. The real movie savers are Alexandra Shipp, who makes "Jexi" watchable and Rose Byrne who voices the clingy smartphone. Overall the laughs are sporadic but don't come often enough. You'd think a comedy directed by the guys who wrote "The Hangover" would be so much better but in the end it's simply decent.

Bombshell
(2019)

"Bombshell is well made and timely.
"#Bombshell" is a film that is well made, well casted but also timely and important. . In this drama based on a true story, a group of women take on Fox News head Roger Ailes. . The real star of "Bombshell" is the electrifying Charlize Theron. The actress lights up the screen in every scene she's in and embodies anchor Megyn Kelly. The film overall is good, but not great. I felt it drag on at some points and the script could've been improved. "Bombshell" really shines because if it's stellar cast and the different approach it takes to tell this uncomfortable true story.

Dark Waters
(2019)

"Dark Waters" will open your eyes.
"Dark Waters" is a stunning and surprising film that gets under your skin. . In this drama based on a true story, an attorney takes on an environmental case against a large chemical company exposing a lengthy history of pollution. . From the beginning of the film, "Dark Waters" never lets go. It's a shocking and informative drama that will have you questioning if you've been exposed to this type of pollution. I was very surprised how much I enjoyed this film and thought that Mark Ruffalo was fantastic in the lead. It's a solid dramatic thriller that will have you enthralled throughout and have you talking about it afterwards. .

Richard Jewell
(2019)

"Richard Jewell" is a terrific film.
"Richard Jewell" proves that director Clint Eastwood is still in fighting form and at the top of his game. An intriguing and frustrating film that will burn in your memory. . In this drama based on a true story, security guard Richard Jewell is investigated as the bomber of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. . Eastwood has put together a sensational all-star cast and has made one of his best films in many years. Paul Walter Hauser is fantastic as Jewell, and has a way of playing a certain type of character to a tee (see "I, Tonya"). "Richard Jewell" is a frustrating story and you are pinned to the edge of your seat throughout. Eastwood creates this aura of tenseness that you will feel in the pit of your stomach. I really enjoyed this film.

A Rainy Day in New York
(2019)

"A Rainy Day In New York" is recycled filmmaking.
"A Rainy Day In New York" finds Woody Allen bringing together Hollywood's talented young blood of actors, but too bad the final result is a mixed bag of recycled filmmaking. . In this comedy, a young couple arrive in New York for a weekend where they are met with bad weather and a series of misadventures. . If this turns out to be Woody Allen's final film, "A Rainy Day In New York" is one of the more familiar of Allen films but it feels really overused at this point. The cast is solid and the locations are gorgeous but the film overall doesn't feel fresh. Personally, the film felt over long and I really hoped it would've been better.

Jumanji: The Next Level
(2019)

A fun, action-packed and adventurous sequel.
"Jumanji: The Next Level" brings the game back to life in this action-packed and adventurous sequel that is pure entertainment. . In this action-adventure sequel to the 2017 film, the gang returns to rescue one of their own but now the game has changed and more danger lies ahead. . In the rare occasion that sequels are just as good as their predecessor, "Jumanji: The Next Level" really nails it and keeps things interesting. The addition of Danny DeVito and Danny Glover to the cast is awesome, and having Johnson and Hart portray them in the game is hilarious. I could listen to Kevin Hart play Danny Glover all day long. Tons of action, laughs, surprises with hommages to the original 1995 film. This is a fun film to see over the Holiday season and solid popcorn flick.

Uncut Gems
(2019)

"Uncut Gems" is a tense trip.
"Uncut Gems" is an anxiety filled trip that never let's go and shows how great of an actor Adam Sandler really is. . In this crime thriller, a New York City jeweller and gambling addict gets in over his head with loansharks and must retrieve an expensive gem in order to pay off his debts. . There's something so special about "Uncut Gems"; the way the Safdie Brothers lay out the plot and rip through Sandler's characters bad decisions is something to behold. I was on the edge of my the entire time and honestly my anxiety was so high, yet I didn't want the film to end. I wanted Sandler to keep making horrible decisions and see how far he could go. This is Adam Sandler's best performance since "Punch Drunk Love". He is so committed, so incredible, I think he should give up the comedy and take on more roles like this one. The Safdie Brothers know how to create a dark world and draw the viewer right in. I absolutely loved this film. .

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker
(2019)

The ending fans have waited for.
"StarWars - The Rise Of Skywalker" may not be the best film in the "Skywalker Saga", but the film remains action packed throughout until its fittingly nostalgic final moments. . In this sci-fi adventure film, a year after the events of "The Last Jedi", the surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more in the final chapter of the Skywalker saga. . The "Skywalker Saga" will go down as the greatest film franchise of all time and that's why despite mixed reviews, this ending could not be more fitting and I enjoyed this conclusion. I did feel that the film felt rushed at some points, but there's so much going on to end it all. There's tons of action, laughs, revelations, twists, turns and trust me not one detail is left out. Did I mention nostalgia? Tons of it. For me, the "Star Wars" films were apart of my childhood. I remember seeing "A New Hope" when it was re-released in 1997 and I've seen every "Star Wars" film on the big screen since then. I could not think of a a better way to end an epic franchise. Don't get me wrong, it's not as great as "The Force Awakens" or "The Last Jedi", but if you grew up watching these films, "The Rise Of Skywalker" will definitely leave a mark on you.

The Farewell
(2019)

"The Farewell" is unconventionally moving and funny.
Finally got around to seeing "The Farewell" and I was not disappointed. A fascinating and moving family dramedy with an exceptional performance from Akwafina. . In this comedy-drama, when a family learns that their grandmother has short while left to live, they decide not to tell her and schedule a family gathering before she dies. . A film that really grasps tender and emotional moments and also gives you an inside look at how another culture comes to terms with life events. "The Farewell" has some great performances from its supporting cast, especially from Shuzhen Zhao who deserves award nominations at the least. Will it make my top 10 of 2019, no, but I do understand the hype and rave reviews around this film. An unconventionally funny, sad and beautiful film.

6 Underground
(2019)

It's time to bury "6 Underground".
In "6 Underground", the action keeps on coming but the lack of story with an unmotivated cast makes for yet another Michael Bay disaster. . In this action film, after faking his death, a tech billionaire recruits a team to take down a brutal dictator. . Running over two hours, this action disaster proves Michael Bay still isn't done with explosions, over the top action, thinly written characters and zero plot. Anyone who enjoys "6 Underground" should seriously question what they think is "good" in their life. I also hate the fact that Ryan Reynolds is pretty much playing Deadpool in his role. He's capable of doing so much more as an actor. The action took my mind off the story but in the end it's a complete waste. .

21 Bridges
(2019)

"21 Bridges" should've delivered more.
"21 Bridges" has potential to be a superior crime drama, but never takes that leap and remains recycled. . In this crime drama, an NYPD detective begins a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers after uncovering an unexpected conspiracy. . The reason "21 Bridges" really works is because of Chadwick Boseman's dedicated and raw performance. JK Simmons is pretty good too, but I feel as though Hollywood is overusing his persona. Decent action sequences make this film entertaining but I still wanted more in the end. I knew what I was getting myself into, but I still had hope for a better outcome.

Marriage Story
(2019)

"Marriage Story" is powerful and triumphant.
"Marriage Story" is one of those films that will leave a scar. A tough, draining and powerfully acted family drama, that ranks among the years best films. . In this drama, a married couple go through a coast-to-coast divorce while still trying to remain a family for their young son. . Writer/director Noah Baumbach has always payed close attention to detail and in "Marriage Story" you'll find him searching for everything. Whether it may be closure, love, loss or divorce, this drama will affect you in some way. It's a beautiful piece of cinema. Scarlett Johansson is utterly sublime in a career best performance, while Adam Driver keeps on delivering and becoming an incredible actor. Laura Dern, Ray Liotta and the great Alan Alda all give fantastic supporting performances. Over the period of two hours and fifteen minutes, you see the decline in the two main characters and it is simply heartbreaking to the point where your stomach will be in knots. The "living room" scene is some of the most powerful and raw acting I've seen in a long while. It's safe to say that Baumbach has delivered one of his best films. Stream it now and see for yourself.

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