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Mara [2018] Mardaani 2 [2019]
Marebito [2004] Marrowbone [2017] The Marvels [2023]
Mary [2019] The Masque of the Red Death [1964] The Matador [2005]
The Matrix [1999] The Matrix Reloaded [2003] The Matrix Resurrections [2021]
The Matrix Revolutions [2003] May the Devil Take You [2018] May the Devil Take You Too [2020]
Mayhem [2017] Maze Runner 3: The Death Cure [2018] Meander [2020]
Meatball Machine [2005] Melancholia [2011] Memento [2000]
Memoirs of a Murderer [2017] Memories of Murder [2003] Men [2022]
Men in Black: International [2019] Mercy Road [2023] Message from the King [2016]
The Messengers [2007] Metal: A Headbanger's Journey [2005] Metamorphosis [2019]

Mercy Road [2023]

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Man kills his ex-wife's husband and searches for his daughter. Nearly every moment in the film is centered around the car and its driver as he takes and makes phone calls. This idea was great providing lots of tension and works well as a driving force in the story. What brings it down is a couple things. Sustaining that for 90 mins got old and I think this premise would be far more effective as a 40-45 min short film. Secondly, the ending is terrible. The reveal I saw coming and nothing I've experienced is explained leaving me frustratingly perplexed. *sigh*

The Marvels [2023]

Our superhero trio team up to battle the Kree warrior, Dar-Benn, who's destroying worlds in an attempt to rebuild her own. Perhaps this film's weakness is exchanging the seriousness of what this implies for a humorous approach. Does that make it a bad film? Didn't for us. My wife and I were thoroughly entertained by it all. Highly imaginative stuff including the 'entanglement' idea, a Bollywood style dance and, my goodness, the Flerkens ...what a laugh-out-load riot! If it doesn't live up to expectations, perhaps stop expecting something and just enjoy it. Awesome!

Men [2022]


After the death of her husband, a woman stays at a country estate to sort things out but it appears the local men are... um... not sure really. That's both the beauty and the frustration of this film. The incredible performances of Jessie Buckley (Harper) and Rory Kinnear (nearly every man in the movie) and the strangeness of the scenarios ropes you into a fully immersive series of events that's slow and unnerving, prompting you to figure it out but leaving you to your own thoughts as to what it all means. Some are going to hate the ending but I really enjoyed it.

Meander [2020]

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A woman wakes up in a room and must travel through various trapped corridors to find a way out. This has a great premise but there's very little imagination applied to it. The rooms have markings on the walls like Morse code so I immediately thought this was an escape game with puzzles! But no. It's basically just a woman being led around, like a donkey with a carrot, through an obstacle course to a vague conclusion that had me going, "Huh? Really?" By not giving her puzzles or a pro-active course of action, she meanders for 90 mins. So much wasted potential.

The Matador [2005]


A hitman strikes up an friendship with an average guy which has a major impact on both their lives. The trailer makes it look like an intense thriller but it's actually a talky comedy/drama ...with a whole lot of talky. The acting is exceptional, the characters are likable and compelling, the story played out nicely with a couple good twists and, overall, enjoyable entertainment. But, the scenes of jabbering, meant to be humorous, came off as droll and long-winded and I found myself wondering when the next scene was going to begin on several occasions.

Mary [2019]

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A man takes his family on an open sea excursion aboard the 'Mary', a supposed ghost ship he just bought on auction, and bad things start happening. Pretty typical ghost story with the usual horror tropes and a multitude of jump scares. It has two main problems. There's no mystery; we know from the start exactly what's happening and where it's going. The other is the whole police interrogation subplot was terribly written presenting us with a totally unbelievable and ineffective interrogator. However, it wasn't nearly as bad as the ratings would suggest.

Memento [2000]

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A man uses tattoos, notes and photographs to hunt down his wife's killer as he has lost his ability to create new memories. This early effort by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception) is sheer genius. Starting at the end of the story and then continually leap frogging back short periods denies the viewer any memory leading up the current events placing them in the same mental condition as our protagonist. Despite this, the end, which is the beginning, still manages to provide a profound twist revealing a dangerously broken psyche. Masterpiece!

May the Devil Take You [2018]

aka Sebelum Iblis Menjemput


For a summary, just think Evil Dead, Indonesian style. That's all you need to now. This highly effective fright fest, loaded with extreme, high-octane nightmare fuel, drags one along at a break neck pace that leaves one shaking and exhausted. In fact, that's my only real criticism of the film is that it goes on for far too long ...I was diggin' it but I was getting to a point where I was wondering if it was ever going to end and it was starting to lose its impact. Regardless, incredibly well written with fully believable characters, complex relationships and genuine, unbridled chaos!

May the Devil Take You Too [2020]

aka Sebelum Iblis Menjemput: Ayat Dua

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Alfie and Nara, the two survivors of the first film, are literally dragged into another fight with evil spirits. The premise of this one was ill defined and a bit confusing ...I wasn't quite sure what we were all doing here. The gags, effects and nightmare imagery certainly had that Evil Dead vibe but it felt more forced on you in this one. Overall, it felt sloppy and unstructured, as if they were just finding a cheap way to come up with more ghoulish bloodshed pulling out too many tried and true but tired tropes to get the thing done. Ending was weird, too. Good, but not great.

Mardaani 2 [2019]


SP Shivani Shivaji Roy is locked in an intense cat & mouse thriller with a rapist / assassin. The Mardaani series features our bright, tough and likable female protagonist confidently battling against a chauvinistic system while struggling to reduce the out-of-control crimes against women in India. In a trick that could have gone very wrong, the totally psychotic antagonist breaks the 4th wall by talking directly to us throughout the film making us intimately complicit in his crimes. One of the best films I've seen come out of India in a long time. Good stuff!

Mayhem [2017]

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A virus, which causes everyone to lose their inhibitions, attacks a prominent law firm. For the next 8 hours, no one is responsible for their actions. This exquisitely well-written, ultra-violent comedy had me thoroughly entertained from start to finish with some grossly genuine laugh-out-loud moments. Practically every scene had a visual gag or a quotable line that was precisely presented without it ever being forced on the viewer making the whole thing an absolute riot. If you enjoy films like Evil Dead II, Mom and Dad, and Deathgasm, you'll love this one.

Metamorphosis [2019]

aka Byeonshin


After a priest's horrific failure at an exorcism, the demon vows to destroy his entire family ...and proceeds to follow through on its threat. Moving along at a pretty good clip, the film only pauses long enough for you to catch your breath before hitting you with another gruesome and violent sequence of events that'll have you clutching your armrests with tension. The story may be a bit simple and shallow but they certainly make up for in sheer aggression and demonic imagery. One of the best "battle with a demon" films I've seen in some time. Terrific!

Meatball Machine [2005]

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Parasitic creatures of unknown origin inhabit humans turning them into macabre machines of destructive power for the sole purpose of killing and eating each other. Whatever vision that description may have conjured up in your mind won't even begin to approach the slaughter and mayhem of this film. Soaked in blood, this way over-the-top gore fest is relentless and unforgiving ...and it's a love story. Very entertaining in its absurdity. What bothered me more was the constant choppy and shaky camera work which was making me ill. Otherwise, fun!

Melancholia [2011]

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A rogue planet is on a collision course with earth and we get to watch how dysfunctional people use the time. The first 15 minutes of this movie has some spectacular imagery. Then we spend an hour as a participant to an uncomfortable wedding reception. Then we spend an hour watching a few people doing nothing in particular. Everyone in this film is so pathetic and nothing happens except a lot of pain everyone inflicts on themselves and each other. I couldn't wait for the earth to get destroyed ...put us all out of our misery. Go watch These Final Hours instead.

The Messengers [2007]


As far as I can tell, this movie has nothing to do with messengers. A family buys a new home (haunted, of course) in the country to farm sunflowers. I find it amazing in the movie world how ghosts tend to haunt just one or two victims and everyone else thinks the victim is crazy. So, I had to sit through that as well as a pretty basic haunt film. Some well done scare tactics with long, rather dull, scenes in between. Not a bad film just doesn't give us anything beyond what we'd expect or any real surprises.

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey [2005]


Excellent documentary detailing the history and culture of metal music - how's it's impacted society and changed the world. Quite a lot of attention is also devoted to explaining and defining the various metal sub-genres. Very well put together making it both a treat for headbangers (even the closet variety, like me) and an informative glimpse into the metal sub-culture for those who are not.

Memoirs of a Murderer [2017]

aka 22-nenme no kokuhaku: Watashi ga satsujinhan desu

A serial killer, who killed 5 people in the 90's before the Statute of Limitations laws were changed and therefore can no longer be punished, publishes a book about the killings and becomes a media sensation. Is he the killer, a fraud, or is something else going on here? Extremely gripping film with not just one but 2 major twists of them a complete game changer. The characterizations and story were strong and compelling, albeit a bit melodramatic, at times. Ignoring the fact that no one aged a day in 22 years, this is an excellent film.

Memories of Murder [2003]

aka Salinui chueok

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The film chronicles what is basically referred to as the Zodiac of South Korea as 10 women were raped and murdered between '86 and '91 and the killer was never caught. Three vastly different detectives and how the case affects them is central in this character study of hope, wishful thinking and violent frustration. Director Bong Joon Ho ( Mother, Snowpiercer) delivers another personal, intense story that firmly holds you to your seat.

Marebito [2004]

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A strange and surreal story of a videographer that discovers a world under this one. He brings home what appears to be a girl. Then his personal world and his sanity begin to slowly disintegrate. The relationship between him and the girl was interesting but the hand-held camera stuff was not good quality (strange for a videographer) which became irritating and ultimately, the movie's ending left me sort of hmmmm.

Mara [2018]

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Nearly the same movie as Dead Awake, it's yet another horror movie centered around sleep paralysis. With so many out now, you'd think they'd get more creative ...or at least, scarier. But, unfortunately, this is just another run-of-the-mill film on the subject. In fact, much of it seems to be a combination of bits and pieces of other similar horror films, including the obligatory bathtub scene required by all sleep paralysis films. The inevitable ending didn't help much either. It held my interest but that's the best I can say for it.

Message from the King [2016]


A woman's distress call brings her brother from South Africa to L.A. to try and help her. This is a strong, dramatic, and deeply personal film with some wonderful performances all around, especially the late Chadwick Boseman. Gritty and, at times, quite violent, it kept me wondering just who this guy was as he was definitely more than he appeared. The ending cleared that up with a minor surprise that had me smile. Very good crime drama.

The Matrix [1999]

Well, who hasn't seen The Matrix franchise? For those few that haven't ...Neo, a computer hacker, enters the "real" world where he discovers that the reality we all live in is actually a computer construct developed by machines that rule the earth. It's hard to rate individual movies in a serial franchise as, especially in this case, the trilogy make up a single story. But, in my attempt to do so, this one sets up the intelligent premise with a perfect balance of exposition, incredible action and well-defined characters, as well as hint at the surreal philosophies to come.

The Matrix Reloaded [2003]

The machines are tunneling to Zion to wipe out the rest of the free humans and Neo is told by the Oracle that he must go to the source to stop the genocide. If we're rating the movies individually, this one is my favorite of the four. Now that the rules are set, a lot of new colorful matrix characters are introduced, a chase scene that is easily one of the finest ever, and a whole lot of philosophy that is smart, intriguing and thought provoking. A nearly perfect cinematic event.

The Matrix Revolutions [2003]


The third film in the series depicts the machines attempt to destroy Zion and Neo's attempt to stop it. Far less complex than the previous films as everything culminates into a massive mechanical war that is truly impressive. Lot of people really disliked this film, compared to the others, with the way it ended. But for me, it was a perfectly logical conclusion to an amazing story. May not have been a perfectly happy ending but it was fitting and made sense. No complaints here. I loved it. It'll be interesting to see where the 4th film will take the story.

The Matrix Resurrections [2021]


After establishing peace between the machines and Zion, Neo once again becomes a cog in the Matrix knowing that something is wrong. Making a film that's unnecessary and having 20 years to do it, I expected it to be quite astounding. What we have here is a nostalgic visit to characters we've enjoyed spending time with and some interesting ideas but that's about it. The first half was a variation of the first Matrix, the characters weren't as compelling, the action, though good, lacked the artistic flair we would expect and it just ended abruptly. Fun, but...

The Masque of the Red Death [1964]

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Satan worshiper Prospero (played with sinister glee by the incomparable Vincent Price) provides refuge for the elite in his castle, indulging in decadent debauchery, while the local area succumbs to the red death. Much better than I thought it would be, it inspires me to see the other Roger Corman 'Edgar Allen Poe' films in the series. Well directed, beautifully shot with saturated colors and exquisite sets, and acted with all seriousness by everyone far beyond what you'd expect, this was a truly enjoyable surprise from a movie I just never paid attention to before.

Maze Runner 3: The Death Cure [2018]


The rebels try to find a way into the walled city to rescue their friends while the folks in the city try to find a cure to the virus. This film is totally formulaic from start to finish with no surprises and there were more than a couple scenes that were implausibly convenient. But the actors did a great job, the action was tight, and the spec fx were well done. If you don't expect too much and you don't nit pick the film to death, it's a very fun and exciting ride.

Marrowbone [2017]

aka The Secret of Marrowbone

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A mother, 3 sons and a daughter are starting a new life after a tragic past with a cruel father. When the mother dies, the eldest son tries to hide and protect the family until he's 21. And why is the attic bricked up? This was an eerie slow burn that doled out the story in tiny pieces that simultaneously frustrated and dared you to stop watching. I figured out the twist about half-way through but it doesn't matter. It was still a very well developed, mysterious and compelling story. Anya Taylor-Joy was, once again, fantastic as was Mia Goth.

Men in Black: International [2019]


New recruit, Agent M (Tessa Thompson), gets teamed up with Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) to save the world from the re-emergence of an alien called The Hive. This latest entry in the franchise doesn't measure up in quality to the older ones - some things appeared more forced than natural, the wit, although good, wasn't great - but it's still a really fun ride. Although they pushed her as hero and him as buffoon far too often, the chemistry between Hemsworth and Thompson that we saw in Ragnarok is still here making them a pleasure to watch onscreen.

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