13 Hours (2016) / The Florida Project (2017) / Beautiful Boy (2018)

THE FLORIDA PROJECT [2017, A-/B+] – Immersive but unobtrusive. Vibrant but grounded. Patiently assembles scenes of seemingly sporadic buildup but rich characterization, only to accumulate its emotional gut punch by its finale. Baker realizes palpable life in every shot. The cast!

BEAUTIFUL BOY [2018, C] – So much potential in the material. So what happened? Feels tentative. I don’t approve of overarching visual style. Some odd editing, music choices. Tried to be a dual-faced family drama, only to serve an undercooked version of both sides. Chalamet MVP.

13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI [2016, B-] – Starts really dull with forced, half-baked backstories. Eschews deeper political discourse for more focus in action. Excellent sound design. Overlong, but delivers the thrills, if not covering new grounds. Quite engrossing.

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