Writer’s note: This review briefly discusses a plot point involving stalking, if you need resources on stalking and domestic violence, please visit https://www.thehotline.org/.
Upon finishing Antebellum, I needed about half an hour to gather my thoughts. I then needed another two hours when I saw the overall critics and audience consensus on Antebellum was definitively disappointed. Did I miss something? Are these people all discussing the same film I just watched?
Among many other things, 2020 has turned the mental checklist of “phone, keys, wallet” to “phone, keys, wallet, and mask.” You can’t walk outside without coming across someone wearing a mask (hopefully), and when it comes to movies, any new one that has a prominent mask is immediately linked to the current moment in some way. Yet, as we know, the mask has been a vital piece of film for almost its entire existence, acting as shorthand for thievery, identity crises, heroism, and pure evil. Also, putting a mask on a character almost always looks neat!
The Social Dilemma is one of the latest Netflix Original documentaries to be released by the platform. In many ways, it feels like an unofficial prequel to The Great Hack, another anti-social media documentary by Netflix. Unlike its predecessor, however, The Social Dilemma largely fails as an educational tool. It offers up surprisingly little in terms of new information and instead relies far more heavily on an overly-dramatic short story. This may not be the most informative documentary in the world, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have something to offer.
It is rare that I am pleasantly surprised by a movie, especially a Netflix movie. Especially a Netflix movie that so far, has been deemed mediocre by critics and fans alike. Especially an allegedly unimpressive Netflix movie that focuses on Appalachian religion in the 1950s and 1960s. Yet, The Devil All The Time comes in, and I genuinely liked this movie. I never want to watch it again, but Antonio Campos does a great job of building a lot of narrative suspense, which ultimately pays off. It was too long, and the story threads came together in a way that ultimately felt forced, but the all-star cast and general atmosphere still made for, what I thought, was an interesting story.
In case you were not aware, Goodfellas actually doesn’t have good fellas in it. I don’t mean the actors — the actors are great and are on par with every other Martin Scorsese film. What I mean is that there is no one in this movie to root for.