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Leave No Trace (2018)
Slow, unengaging, and forgettable
I guess I should have followed my instincts and walked out of the theater when I got bored at the 20-minute mark so I could see something else. This movie takes until almost the very end to build any palpable tension. I even found myself greatly disliking one of the protagonists, which is a bad sign. Overall, not only was I not engaged, I was not entertained, nor was I left to ponder any thought-provoking moments. Oscar-hopeful, this is not.
Three Identical Strangers (2018)
Facinating story, but your shock value will vary
This is a very interesting topic that is well researched and well told by the director. Kudos to him and I expect an Oscar nomination for this film. This is a very difficult story to tell and particularly to wrap up into a tight, cohesive package.
But was it shocking, as much as the marketing materials claim that it would be? The level to which you will be offended by the "bad people" depends on how you view it in context of the time period of the 1960's versus today as well as your own sensibilities. At the very least, this film allows you to initiate interesting discussions about this topic either with yourself, against others' opinions expressed here, or with other people you know who have seen the films. Few films can do that, and for that reason, I'd suggest to go see it.
I do have some beefs. One item that I did not feel merited inclusion was the suggestion that these twins were chosen for the study based on the mental illnesses of their mothers. There was no evidence to support this, and this idea was squashed by the academic near the end. Was it added for shock value? No doubt, as I heard gasps in the audience.
What about the Nature vs. Nurture argument -- was it truly settled? I'd say No, it was not done convincingly so, as the Nurture > Nature conclusion was mostly, albeit emphatically, delivered as a statement of opinion by one of the research assistants at the end of the film. Worse, the implication that Eddy committed suicide, yet his two brothers did not, due to his stricter upbringing was far too big a reach by the filmmaker for me to accept, even when the dad was shown as clueless as to how he could have helped.
Despite my issues, I still suggest you watch this film. At the very least, it will cause you to think.