We review films. You see films. You need to know where to see those films. You may want to know what we thought of those films. Here’s where you can read what we thought of the film you’re about the see. Click on the film links to read THE FULL BYT REVIEWS.

Avengers: Infinity War Now playing in D.C.

While Marvel has dominated theaters for the last decade, that might actually be to their detriment when it comes to Avengers: Infinity War. Despite promising stakes and all-out Marvel war, the audience knows where Marvel’s money comes from. The casual audience member can tell that Marvel has a much clearer potential investment in characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy or Spider-Man then say, Falcon or Wong. In addition to this, when ultimate power and unlimited potential is on the table, it’s also hard not to imagine how limitless possibilities actually means a lack of stakes. When everything is possible, nothing really matters in the long run. -Ross Bonaime

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Beast Now playing in D.C.

There are three critical things about Michael Pearce’s debut Beast. First, it is utterly bonkers. Second, it knows its bonkers. Third, it loves that it’s bonkers, embraces that it’s bonkers, and never misses a chance to double down on being bonkers when other, more “serious” films would’ve kept their distance. It’s approaching such fraught with such swaggering confidence, confidence that permeates every level of the film, tying it all together. A moment of trepidation and all would’ve been lost. Beast is all-in, all the time. That alone earns it a certain undying affection that little else can garner. -Max Bentovim

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Black Panther Now playing in D.C.

This is a big deal, and it’s a big deal worldwide. The film does more than follow the paint-by-numbers of superhero blockbusters; it builds an entirely new nation that feels futuristic, and examines why this seeming utopia appears to be untouched by colonialism, advanced far beyond our current technological understanding. -Vesper Arnett

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Blockers Now playing in D.C.

Blockers is a shrewd comedy about growing up. It has the wisdom to realize that growing up is a process, one that continues for men and women who are well into their forties. -Alan Zilberman

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Deadpool 2 Now playing in D.C.

If a remake is ever proposed, finding someone better suited to the role would be difficult, and Ryan Reynolds spent years trying to get the “correct” Deadpool movie out. The enthusiasm surrounding this character is such that Reynolds is himself a marketing machine, and he snags a writing credit as well as his producing credit. Ryan Reynolds is much smarter than us. -Vesper Arnett

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First Reformed Now playing in D.C.

First Reformed is the culmination of Paul Schrader’s singular career. After close to fifty years in the movie business, Schrader has written and directed his masterpiece. This is not an easy film to categorize: it is personal, political, allegorical, religious, and thrilling all at once. It features Ethan Hawke in his best performance to date. This is film is challenging – some scenes defy explanation – and yet the screenplay is concise and literate. Parts of it are even funny. After you leave the theater, you may be astonished, confused, or angry. No matter what, you will want to talk about what you just watched, but you’ll probably need to sit in contemplative silence beforehand. -Alan Zilberman

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I Feel Pretty Now playing in D.C.

Essentially there’s nothing special or unique about I Feel Pretty. At less than 2 hours, it’s the easy listening version of a romcom. The only thing that felt briefly fresh in this film was Michelle Williams, so the rest of the movie just felt like a collection of missed opportunities. -Diana Metzger

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Isle of Dogs Now playing in D.C.

Wes Anderson likes to impose tight restrictions on his characters, then watch them wriggle out of it. Think of the forbidden love between adopted siblings in The Royal Tenenbaums, or another kind of forbidden love between two twelve year olds in Moonrise Kingdom. His work invariably echoes his past work, to the point that the most recent Wes Anderson film always feels like “the most Anderson-y.” This is certainly true of Isle of Dogs, a stop-motion animated adventure about thoughtful pups and how they cope within a draconian Japanese prefecture. There is no restriction tighter than our own innate natures – and that is particularly true for animals bred to be pets – so one of the film’s many joys is to watch his furry, soft-spoken heroes handle an absence of nurture. -Alan Zilberman

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Let the Sunshine In Now playing in D.C.

Romantic entanglements only feel dire to the person stuck within them. To outsiders, those problems can seem inconsequential or downright indulgent. Most movies do not treat them seriously, either: a romantic hero is usually in a frothy comedy, or a maudlin melodrama. Let the Sunshine In, the new French drama from acclaimed director Claire Denis, treats romantic entanglements with uncommon respect. Her middle aged heroine is in the throes of a existential crisis, worrying that the end of her romantic and sexual life means the start of death. Denis handles the material with a focused, empathetic touch, keeping things from her perspective so we share her moments of frustration and relief. -Svetlana Legetic

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Life of the Party Now playing in D.C.

Few movies this summer will have lower stakes than Life of the Party. Co-written by Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone (who also directs), the comedy centers on a 40-something woman named Deanna, who, following a surprise divorce, decides to go back to college to finish her degree at the same school her daughter is attending. That’s it. The universe is not in danger, there are no dinosaurs, there’s not even a plot to rob somebody at the Met Gala. Just a sweatshirt-inclined mom with a midlife crisis. Maybe it’s because the stakes are so low that I’m able to overlook the uneven pace of Life of the Party, and the lack of dimension in the secondary characters. More likely, it’s because despite the fact that it’s not a particularly well-constructed film, it made me laugh and kept me engaged. -Trisha Brown

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A Quiet Place Now playing in D.C.

Every moment is drenched with tension that will easily make you squirm in your seat, that is, when they’re not essentially copying the pacing (and some of the plot points) of 10 Cloverfield Lane while playing very fast and loose with their in-universe rules! A Quiet Place is a movie I deeply want to love. It’s got actors I respect, an original premise and some truly gripping scenes, but there are just enough missteps to make me leave the theater feeling vaguely disappointed. As a emissary for the genre (at least, that’s how I think of myself in my head), I would easily recommend A Quiet Place to horror rookies, but it’s no It Comes At Night, that’s for sure. -Kaylee Dugan

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Rampage Now playing in D.C.

The greatest strength of Rampage is that everyone involved seems to know exactly what this film is: an action extravaganza based on an old arcade game that featured giant monsters set on destroying cities. -Trisha Brown

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RBG Now playing in D.C.

The structure of the film is like long-form profile you might find in Vanity Fair or New York Magazine. Cohen and West introduce Justice Ginsburg, with a mix of playful teases and evocative quotes, before they dig into a more traditional biography. They gloss over her early life – she was just Ruth Bader back then, a reserved young woman who grew up in Brooklyn – focusing instead on her career is a civil rights advocate. Before becoming a judge, Ginsburg spoke before the all-male court so that men and women would have equal treatment under the law. We hear excerpts from her arguments, and quiet forcefulness of what she says is disarming. -Alan Zilberman

Ready Player One Now playing in D.C.

Thankfully, Ready Player One doesn’t become engulfed with its own references and takes a more balanced look at increased entertainment intake. The story still remains silly, and the virtual world can often look comical. Plus a person’s pop culture knowledge still seems to outweigh anything else about a person to a troubling degree. Yet for all the flash and ridiculousness of Ready Player One, Spielberg’s adaptation is a solid step up from Cline’s story, repairing its biggest flaws and embracing nostalgia in just the right ways to make one of Spielberg’s finest blockbusters in years. -Ross Bonaime

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The Rider Now playing in D.C.

Describing the premise of The Rider does not do it justice. It sounds like a typical indie drama, or something out of a Nicolas Sparks novel. What makes the film special is director Chloé Zhao’s empathy for her subjects. So much could have gone wrong, since she uses a cast of non-actors and bases the film on their lives, and yet she finds an unassuming naturalism that draws the viewer into small, high stakes world. There is also a lyricism at work, to the point where The Rider recalls the grandeur of classic John Ford westerns. That Zhao achieves so much, with only a crew of six at her disposal, is nothing short of remarkable. -Alan Zilberman

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The Seagull Now playing in D.C.

He’s plucked a peach, though whatever accolades this project deserves should go first to his cast. There are such strong supporting turns that Annette Benning’s excellent work in the aging-actress-who-can’t-relinquish-the-spotlight leading role ends up quite thoroughly overshadowed from the wings. -Alan Pyke

Solo: A Star Wars Story Now playing in D.C.

You remember the end of A New Hope, right? Han Solo arrives at the Death Star at the last possible moment, blasting Darth Vader’s ship, which allows Luke to complete his mission. It is arguably the emotional high point of the film, where the plucky innocent and the weary scoundrel unite with a common purpose. Solo: A Star Wars Story is like that scene, except it lasts for two and a half hours. Despite its frequent action and character reversals, it is an oddly static film, with roguish heroism as its primary constant. The actors all do fine work – in particular, Alden Ehrenreich is convincing as Han – yet they work in favor of a film with few surprises and zero risks. It might be the first inessential Star Wars film. -Alan Zilberman

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Tully Now playing in D.C.

More than Marlo’s relationship with her husband or her children, it’s her dynamic with Tully that makes this Reitman’s best film since Up in the Air and Cody’s finest since Juno. Cody is smart enough to not moralize that the path of the youth is ignorant, or that Marlo’s life deserves more appreciation. Cody only brushes slightly against these ideas, instead showing that the grass is always greener, and that both are equally problematic in their own unique ways. For the writer who was once almost too quirky for her own good, Cody shows a perfect amount of restraint, even in a third act choice that could’ve been played much bigger than it is. -Ross Bonaime

A Wrinkle in TimeNow playing in D.C.

How would a story written before we made it to the moon that is so complicated, that casually throws around words like tesseract, work as an adaptation today? It didn’t work in 2003, and it doesn’t really work now. -Vesper Arnett

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