Moonlight Review

By: Mark Di Stefano
Rating: 10 out of 10

moonlight_2016_film

With every passing year of film, I look back and divide up which movies go where in my head. These mental compartments have different categories and sub-categories (and, occasionally, some even have colored tags like on a Mac computer), but I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of what goes on in my head (we’ll be here all day). Generally, movies I watch go into one of three categories: Pass (“I’ll never see this again, except when I’m flipping channels and it’s on TNT”), Good (“I’ll go out of my way to watch it.”), and Masterful (“This needs to be shared and put in the Smithsonian, ASAP”). A lot of movies this year fell into that area between good and masterful, including a lot of this year’s Oscar contenders, but for one reason or another I found it hard to label any of them as “masterful.”

When I left the theater after seeing Moonlight, reeling over the experience I just had, it was clear that the only place I could put this film was on the top shelf. Moonlight is, without a doubt, masterful across the board.

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Manchester By The Sea Review

By: Mark Di Stefano
Rating: 9.5 out of 10

manchester

With movies, we’ve been accustomed to it’s structure, plot-beats, monologues and any other device used to keep us in our seats. Whether it’s cheesy dialogue, over-acting, or just defying all dangerous obstacles to save the world, no matter if it’s the bottom of the barrel or an Oscar winner we forgive these movies because, well, they’re movies. They’re not real.

Manchester By The Sea IS real. Yes, this is a movie; It has a beginning, middle and end like every other one out there, but it’s one that hits closer to home than most. It’s a powerful experience, grounded in spectacular realism that can’t be compared to anything else this year.

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