Author: Cody Lakin

October 9, 2019 /
September 20, 2018 /
May 20, 2018 /


I’ll give you a hint: the key is in the title.

Major Spoilers ahead.

In this reviewer’s opinion, You Were Never Really Here is undoubtedly the masterpiece of 2018 so far, so much so that it’s hard to imagine any film surpassing it. Crafted with a sense of immaculate style that assaults your every sense, it tells the story of Joe, a veteran suffering severe PTSD that stretches all the way back to a scarring and abusive childhood, as he is tasked with saving an underage girl from the sex trade. But when things go wrong, he uncovers a conspiracy that, as some plot descriptions have said, could lead either to his death or his awakening.

For a simple review of the film, I refer to my earlier review. What I want to do here is dissect the film, to some degree, in order to aid others in seeing the deeper meanings that unfold as the plot of the film moves along.

May 9, 2018 /
May 3, 2018 /

Hostiles tells the story of a legendary army captain (Christian Bale) who is known for the hundreds of Native Americans he has killed. He is tasked with escorting a dying war chief (Wes Studi) and his family to their homeland, which he accepts with intense reluctance. This is a journey that will test all involved, and could be the army captain’s greatest redemption.

April 14, 2018 /

The Brilliant Existentialism of The Grey: An Analysis of an Overlooked Film

When The Grey (2011, directed by Joe Carnahan) was first released, it was marketed—very wrongly, might I add—as another Liam Neeson action vehicle, but this time it’s out in the wilderness and Neeson is fighting wolves. The general reaction was as to be expected, and I recall feeling indifferent toward the trailers.

However, I recently saw The Grey for the first time, and I found myself caught entirely off guard. To put my reaction in context, I read that Roger Ebert was so impressed with his screening of The Grey that he walked out of the next movie, feeling that it would be unfair to watch another movie and to criticize it in the wake of how The Grey had affected him.

March 2, 2018 /

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, directed by Martin McDonagh (2017)

(Minor spoilers regarding the film’s themes)

It’s interesting and usually nothing more than annoying when “Oscar Backlash” strikes a film. And the controversy usually comes from out of context, has very little to do with the film(s) it surrounds. In the case of Three Billboards, there’s some small, passing, and certainly annoying (in a “mosquito buzzing near your ear” kind of way) backlash claiming that the film glorifies racism. This has to do with Sam Rockwell’s character, who is a racist cop. I will avoid plot details and instead focus on the themes explored through his character.
After seeing the film, it was difficult for me to even understand the source of the backlash other than maybe it was due to McDonagh’s dark sense of humor, but then I realized—and later read—that the controversy surrounds how the story treats Rockwell’s cop, the arc he follows. And I’m disappointed that there is backlash at all.

December 7, 2017 /
October 14, 2017 /