Written & Directed By: Corneliu Porumboiu
Cinematography: Tudor Mircea
Editor: Roxana Szel

Cast: Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Martin, Rodica Lazar, Augustif Villaronga, Sabin Tembrea, Istvan Teglas, Cristobel Pinto, Antonio Buil 

Not everything is as it seems for Cristi, a policeman who plays both sides of the law. Embarking with the beautiful Gilda on a high-stakes heist, both will have to navigate the twists and turns of corruption, treachery, and deception.

A calm and composed film noir that is a slow burn throughout. That involves quite a bit of players even though it starts out more intimate. It grows with each new detail.

It’s a neo-noir that is not as comedic as presented within the trailers. While it has dark humor it is more a thriller. 

The film plays out non-linear at first but is presented and put together with different timelines as we flash forward, back, and then sometimes current time. Told lien this for the audience to get more intrigued and keep the story moving forward in a way that adheres to what the audience is familiar with. 

The film comes alive in the third act with twists and turns that allow for some surprises, but still never quite speeds along or leaves details by the wayside.

The film does offer a femme fatale abs one hell of a seduction scene. Even though other than that scene. It never quite explains why the two characters bond enough to overly look out for one another, especially her considering her position. 

The film offers more of a character study of sorts. Even though with so many characters it offers quirk in the language being studied abs used for this caper. Though seems more there to explore the situation and relationships more than being integral to the plot overall.

Though at first the film might be light shearers but have a tough attitude. It soon shows itself to be violent and dangerous also. Where no one Is truly safe or can be completely trusted.

As everyone has their own agenda here including the so-called good guys. While the film offers style it also seems at times to be overly artistic for such a simple premise.

Though we never quite get any answers for why the lead is so tightly wound or got so involved in the first place. As for its many introductions, the film seems only interested in the lead mostly. Who only really changes more out of circumstances. Not organically or emotionally compelled to.

The film is a great jaw-dropping modern interpretation of femme fatale in the form of actress Catrinel Martin still some questions or connection and plans of characters.

She has a great and strong entrance. Where she is illustrious and iconic, but through the rest of the film, he becomes more of a background character losing the Great strength she was shown as having only to become revitalized by the end. 

Definitely an inspired film. Not the action Oriented kind. Yet it keeps you invested.

Grade: B


Directed By: Steven Soderbergh 
Written By: Scott Z. Burns
Cinematography: Steven Soderbergh (As Peter Andrews) 
Editor: Steven Soderbergh (As Mary Ann Bernard)

Cast: Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum, Vinessa Shaw, Polly Draper, Ann Dowd, Laila Robins, Mamie Gummer, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Marin Ireland 

A young woman’s world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.

Following up his pandemic movie CONTAGION that was a bigger offering with a smaller tale might seem like a step-down but it’s a movie that packs a wallop even though you don’t expect it. Unfortunately by the end, you don’t feel anything. It’s certainly entertaining but it comes off more as a smart artistic popcorn movie. It does its job but at this point movie, fans might be expecting more or stronger From director Soderbergh from his journeyman auteur reputation. This might be what the film suffers from the most 

It’s a movie where things happen but you never quite feel anything it is quite clinical to watch and experience. Even as the twists happen you should care somewhat 

It’s a claustrophobic tale of what happens in all Those high-rise apartments of the haves. As most of the characters come from money and are privileged. Though Channing Tatum heavily billed again he is in the movie very little. 

It feels like it should be bigger even though it focuses more on a singular story 

Each character is smart except for the early victim. So that is refreshing as the film comes more alive when Jude law’s character is more or less fighting for professional and personal survival and all the twists are coming to light, Just as the third act is his plan taking place 

It’s a tale you would expect to be told bigger and more extravagant but with Soderbergh’s style, it focuses more singularly on the plot dynamics allowing room for the character but more or less being to the point and less indulgent. While the film. Still has style and is more technical 

It’s a bigger film from him but still a smaller story though this film feels less experimental than some of his others. This one doesn’t call attention to itself as much and has a stronger script and story than usual.

It allows the mystery of Rooney Mara’s character vacant looks and silence to shape her character and situations. As again when a character uses it to her advantage what people believe about her by her silence and looks. What identity and beliefs they put onto her that might be totally opposite from who she is. They put a character onto her when she is an actual person. She ends up Being the ultimate muse in an unartistic story. One that is mroe made up of successful characters in the medical profession. An unexpected feels Fatale if sorts 

Showing how easy it is for even the most rational of us to fall into a belief of certain fantasies that take the form of supposed responsible thought. Though managed to do it without making it a tale of the weakness of falling into temptation and paying the price for it.

The film seems more like it will be a psychological drama. When actually it will be more of a character-based thriller. This works for this film as it is unexpected and you don’t see it coming. Just as the film involves sex it isn’t very erotic or sexy. 

This is one of the more commercial and straightforward films of Steven Soderbergh. As this one whole cerebral and technical doesn’t feel like an experiment it seems like a smaller project for him that is almost like a short story for him instead of a novel. Which is how full his films can sometimes be. Either with a story or the number of stars usually, cast. 

This is the most likable performance I have found so far of Jude Law’s career. Where he gets to be innocent yet shrewd and the only way out for him is through his Intelligence. Not his looks, wit, or tortured soul. What also helps is that here the performance is mroe natural and effortless. No baggage. As here he plays more of a person, not a character or type. No different look or wardrobe to hide behind. Here he and his performance are stripped down. 

You go into this movie looking for a twist or expecting a thriller and that is what you get but the film plays the more technical side than the emotional. Though it is shockingly mean-spirited and more psychologically ruthless than expected. 

It also shows the passing of time as in the past Catherine Zeta-Jones would be the seducer and audiences would have loved to see her in a same-sex relationship and love scenes. Here as she plays just another victim. It might remind some audience members of the passage of time. Times have certainly changed.

In the end, this is a film that seems simple but then grabs you and takes you through a maze. That is stronger than it appears to be. A throwback to films aimed at adults that wants you to think and figure them out. 

Grade: B- 


Directed By: Barbet Schroeder
Written By: Richard Price
Based on the Original Screenplay “KISS OF DEATH” By: Ben Hecht & Charles Lederer
Based on a story By Eleazar Lipsky
Cinematography: Luciano Tovolli
Editor: Lee Percy

Cast: David Caruso, Nicolas Cage, Samuel L. Jackson, Ving Rhames, Stanley Tucci, Helen Hunt, Michael Rapaport, Kathryn Erbe, Jay O. Sanders, Hope Davis, Anthony Heald, Philip Baker Hall, Paul Calderon, Anne Meara, John Costelloe 

A reformed convict goes undercover with the help of an angry detective to ensnare a psychotic mobster.

When I saw the trailer I knew I had to see this film as soon as possible. I had seen it on the show COMING ATTRACTIONS on the E! Channel when it used to be more devoted to film and film lovers. Not so much gossip. This trailer had me hypnotized so much I taped it and would watch it over and over again. Keep in mind this was before the internet. 

One of my favorite trailers at the time. The cast was seductive so I ended up watching it on opening weekend. 

I know this is a remake but i haven’t seen the original. Which unknown was noteworthy for Richard Widmark’s giggling hitman. There are no signs of that here. Even though Nicolas Cage steals the show as the villain here. Though that might be due to the script trying to make him come off as memorable as Richard Widmark.

This film is supposed to be a thriller though most of the time plays like a dark comedy. One that is central To New York’s character types. Even as it has More thriller elements and framework. 

Everybody seems to speak way too loudly throughout and every sentence or word seems to end and be with an exclamation point. 

This is a modern remake for the 1990’s with what would end up being an all-star cast in the middle of their careers and some just been naming their hot streaks. 

The film seems to borrow part of the cast of PULP FICTION. As the dialogue also tries to be loose and have criminals have odd yet funny conversations emblematic of that  film. It even has a few actors from that movie in it’s cast but it has an overall style of cool. A violent cool with bits of dark comedy thrown in. Where it again always feels like the characters are playing types more than real human beings for the most part.

This movie was supposed to help make a movie star out of David Caruso after being a lifelong character actor and being on a hit Television show. Which pulled him to fame and leaving that show after two seasons to be a movie star. Here is a role he was used to just not being at the center of attention.

Nicolas Cage here is off-kilter as always. Muscle bound and hilarious. As he plays an over the top mobster’s son who Caruso is trying to take down or more like the cops are forcing him to. He is murderous yet childlike at instances 

In the end the most despicable character and true villain of the film is Michael Rappaport who causes all this trouble and is taken down early and quickly.

While the film tries to feel realistic. You are always aware that it is a production. As it even feels thoroughly always like cinema. Never like any kind of reality or relatable. 

For all the violence and tough talk by the end it seems a little too cut and dry. Where it ends up feeling lightweight by the end. No matter how far it has taken us. 



Directed By: LP
Written By: Ellen Rapoport 
Cinematography: Tim Orr
Editor: Christian Hoffman 

Cast: Nasim Pedrad, Anna Camp, Sarah Burns, Lamorne Morris, Robbie Amell, Heather Graham, Jessica Chaffin, Jessica Lowe

A panicked young woman, with her reluctant friends in tow, rushes to Mexico to try and delete a ranting email she sent to her new boyfriend.

It’s Nice to see Nasim Pedrad in the lead. Even if from the beginning we notice her character is disturbed and throughout the movie seems to get worse and more desperate. That it is hard at times to have any sympathy for her. 

But just as she really barely had time to make her mark on Saturday night love this film doesn’t seem to be the best material for her it gives her more to do but nothing really to do to make a mark. She is attractive and entertaining. Though just as the film

Focuses on later. It’s hard to age. Any sympathy for her and you wonder why her friends do either.

As they have real problems but while having humorous scenes. They barely have anything to do but sit back and watch her and at times get pulled into the ridiculousness.

At times the film gets a little raunchy but it more stays ridiculous than gross

As the script isn’t really that great it seems like a script talking down to the audience as even the premise seems strange for a feature that just like the main character reeks of desperation. 

Maybe as it comes off more like a stereotype a more male one about how they truly believe women view relationships basically needy 

That seems like a female version of the movie OVERNIGHT DELIVERY. Whereas this film has more the feel of early Netflix premiere movies. This film Works but strangely feels haphazardly put together. 

Which makes sense as this was originally meant to be made in 2009 with Isla Fisher starring. As the material does feel dated. 

Even if it is refreshing To see a female character be quite messy as the lead and having the male love interest more, have it altogether more and love her for being herself and be there to try and keep everything on the straight and narrow. Even if he has a minor problem But is willing. To get over it for her

In the end, the film shows that there is somebody for everybody. Even those who you might not expect. Unfortunately, I doubt that the same can be said when it comes to this movie and an audience.

Grade: D+ 


Directed By: Patrick Mille
Written By: Patrick Mille, Julien Lambroschini & Sabrina Amara
Cinematography: Andre Szenkowski
Editor: Samuel Dansei

Cast: Vanessa Guide, Alison Wheeler, Margot Bancilhon, Philippine Stindel, Patrick Mille, Christine Citti, Susana Pires, Chico Diaz, Joseph Makebra 

Four childhood friends reunite for a wedding in Rio, only to find themselves on the run through the Brazilian countryside after accidentally killing someone at a drug-fueled party.

The film feels very 1980s inspired. As the plot feels high concept and simple. As it takes a GIRL’S NIGHT type story and takes it further and more action-oriented.

It even feels directed like an interaction action film from the 1980s. So that you always feel a bit of nostalgia. If you are a fan of films from the decade. 

The film offers a kind of girl’s gone wild scenario. As the characters deal with being on vacation in Brazil for a friend’s wedding and their lives not going too well. So they decide to show e fun no wild out. Which eventually leads to trouble. The film presents deals with them trying to stay out of trouble as more complications are presented.

Even though the film sounds like it would more be  T & A fest. It is more for female viewers. As most of the male characters are stupid, evil and manipulative.

The film sets up an older male villain. Whose motives are understandable partially. As he is only reacting to the death of a loved one. One who ended up being reprehensible. Showing that the Apple doesn’t fall far from The tree.

The film plays so broad but then reins in some scenes that want to be more dramatic or character building. 

The film certainly switches tones as it begins like a screwball comedy and then becomes more hardcore at first serious then action but tries to keep a sense of humor through it all. Leaving the film to be inventive and thankfully fast-paced.

In trying to stay out of trouble they are lead into all sorts of criminal activity and hijinks that eventually allows them to have a full-fledged adventure. That stays on the move and exposes a silly and unexpected side. 

Even if the last-minute hardcore action seems a bit much. 

The four leads all play types more than characters but all are needed for their particular skills that help along the way and they all have their own appeal. 

The more darker-skinned characters are shown more as villains, tough and dangerous. It doesn’t seem intended that way but still comes off that way and noticeable. 

The film offers an interesting tale of a girl’s vacation in its own way.

The film unfortunately might be entertaining as you watch it but by the end feels forgettable. 



Directed By: Chris Addison 
Written By: Stanley Shapiro, Paul Henning, Dale Launer & Jac Schaeffer 
Cinematography: Michael Coulter 
Editor: Anthony Boys 

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp, Tim Blake Nelson, Timothy Simons 

In this remake of 1988’s “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” 2 con-women hustle in a small French Riviera town – one for small amounts from average men, and one for higher amounts wealthier men. They bet on what looks like an easy target. The winner gets $500K from him, and the loser leaves town forever.

This is an example of when a film Shows the best jokes of the film in the trailer. Which weren’t very funny, to begin with, but at least leaves the audience intrigued. 

This film is a female remake of the comedy DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS. With Anne Hathaway playing mroe the aristocratic Worldly con woman and Rebel Wilson playing more the sloppy con woman who could stand to learn from Hathaway’s character.

There comes a point in watching the film. Where you can understand the studio loving this idea and getting two stars to be In it but then the script comes along and no one noticed any problems? Or felt it wasn’t with it in the end. Nobody while filming thought this could be better? 

As the film comes across as one extended sitcom as far as set-up’s and its broad mroe physical humor. Leading to many awkward moments in what are supposed to be wide comedic sequences. 

Anne Hathaway is having the time of her life with various over-the-top foreign ridiculousness accents and she looks breathtaking throughout. As always the height of fashion and coming across elegant as a fashion magazine ad. Though there is one scene where she uses a voice that I wish the film or her character had been mroe like that. When she says she likes a bracelet because of how shiny it is 

Rebel Wilson goes over the top. As her character seems constantly sex-starved and crass, but while she can be funny. Many times here she is either the butt of the home or just goes overboard or is used that way. 

They both could have benefited from a better script. Even if half the audience remembers the original film And the twists and turns the film feels lazy in how it gets there.

Even with the update of making their big mark, a Mark Zukerberg Esque tech millionaire who has social anxiety feels a bit too spot-on and modern. 

Though the two female co-Stars do have good chemistry. It also feels like they are trying to squeeze humor from an unfunny movie. Nothing in this film ever feels believable. 

For as cynical as the film tries to be it goes too easily for more a light touch. So that it never rises or comes close to the laughs or being as memorable as the original film. This just feels like an Unneeded modernized update that came perhaps too soon. Coincidently after a successful musical broadway run of the original.

One will say that the film looks beautiful as all the surroundings are picturesque. The film does contain one brief touching moment.

Grade: D 


Written & Directed by: Eliza Hittman
Cinematography: Helene Louvart
Editor: Scott Cummings

Cast: Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder, Sharon Van Etten, Ryan Eggold, Theodore Pellerin 

A pair of teenage girls in rural Pennsylvania travel to New York City to seek out medical help after an unintended pregnancy.

Not only a good movie, purely New York movie, a movie that reminds me of the many adventures New York offered pre-Covid for youth but an emotional tour de force that takes you through it. 

It’s a delicate film that is all about the details. Including a lead performance by Sidney Flanigan that is strong. It necessarily in what she says but what she says in her silence and body language.

This is  a movie that is raw & natural and totally believable in The films docudrama filmmaking but also outstanding acting in more a physical way where the silences enhance the mood but also say everything that is not being said 

Especially in the scene where she must answer questions at the clinic and the answers out of the multiple choices are the title of the movie and the camera never leaves her face as she answers and gives us some background on her character and situation.

Though it does showcase a strong form of family and relationship between her and her cousin including the lengths her cousin is willing to go through for not only her but also from them to survive the streets of New York.

We see her home life and see why she is making the decisions she must. As she has a lazy stepfather who doesn’t even try to hide his contempt or his careless nature for his girlfriends kids and especially her.

This is a slight disappointment not in the film but myself. As I didn’t feel the film as much as many others obviously did. It didn’t necessarily speak strongly enough, but I can recognize Its beauty, power, and strength 

Though also while never a crowd follower the film never reaches the expectations that were built up by others who praised the film. That never quite came ahold. 

It’s not a bad film very far from it. For me the film just never felt like it strongly connected with me. Even though I can see its quality. 

Definitely would recommend for others. As it is a smaller film that should be seen. As it is a small

The Film that packs a wallop especially when not looking. Though don’t come looking for a shocking ending out of nowhere or a sad element that seems to take over all that has come before. 

Though I know it shouldn’t count. Seeing it on a smaller screen doesn’t help. As if seen in a theater the film seems like it is meant to be mroe of an experience where the audience is meant to follow and practically be by the main characters side constantly. So that we are practically experiencing it with her. 

On a smaller screen it’s easier to get distracted. And for us not to necessarily be as strongly immersed in the proceedings. It’s a humanistic look at a problem that persists in society that tries to put more and more regulation on it.

Grade: B+


Directed by: Rachel Lee Goldenberg 
Written by: Rachel Lee Goldenberg, Jenni Hendricks, Ted Caplan, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson & Bill Parker
Based On The Book By: Jenni Hendricks & Ted Caplan 
Cinematography: Doug Emmett
Editor: Julia Wong

Cast: Haley Lu Richardson, Barbie Ferreira, Giancarlo Esposito, Breckin Meyer, Alex Macnicoll, Sugar Lyn Beard, Denny Love, Betty Who, Mary McCormack, Jeryl Prescott 

A 17-year old Missouri teen named Veronica discovers she has gotten pregnant, a development that threatens to end her dreams of matriculating at an Ivy League college, and the career that will follow.

This film doesn’t really offer anything new. Except for teens who are savvier. even when it comes to birth control and sex but still find themselves making the same mistakes.

While I can give the film some points for being witty. It is mroe episodic and comedic in nature than the situation would have you believe. Like the similar film from. The same year NEVER,  SOMETIMES, RARELY, ALWAYS 

It deals with teen pregnancy and abortion but here. While it has its dramatic moments. The film ends up being a kiddy comedy and road trip movie a live all Else.

A coming of age tale about two best friends reuniting and eventually finally communicating and learning g about themselves and each other finally being truthful in the minefield of teenage life and high school.

One of the most appealing aspects of the movie is that while it is made for all audience members and some adults might actually enjoy the film. The film is obviously made for teenagers. Characters they can identify with and the filmmakers are smart enough to make it a film not full of preaching nor talking down-to the audience but offering characters who aren’t perfect and make mistakes but also are likable and loyal.

Of course most of the characters they meet along the way move the story forward but feel more like stick characters or comedic relief. Who only help to confuse the situations and characters.

The boyfriend character I am happy the film dismantles and exposes. Where he still has toxic masculinity even though he believes himself to be right because he is nice and sensitive. Yet still seeks to control his girlfriend and kind. Even though when the condom broke but neglected to tell her. Even tho consensual could easily also be seen as sexual assault. The film doesn’t go there but seems a little implied 

Also though the movie is entertaining again Haley Lu Richardson walks away with the movie and it shows that she has graduated from this type of material. She has been in So many of these films at this point. That while she is good. She deserves better.

Barbie Ferrera is the only other movie I have seen her in other than EUPHORIA the television series and while this character is less sexual. She is still kind of the outsider and she excels at the character. 

Grade: C+


Directed By: Jakob Lass
Written By: Jakob Lass, Eva-Maria Reimer, Ines Schiller, Hannah Schops & Nicolas Woche
Cinematography: Timon Schappi
Editor: Adrienne Hudson & Gesa Jager

Cast: Ella Rumpf, Maria-Victoria Dragus, Enno Trebs, Orce Fehschau, Franz Rogowski, Lana Cooper 

Having failed to get into the police force, Margarete takes up training as a security guard. One night she runs into a sexually aggressive ex-colleague who insists on hailing a taxi to take her home to his place. Enter Tiger: short brown hair, a tough girl and a fighter, the cab driver. Realizing that the situation is far from consensual, Tiger speeds off with Margarete, leaving her companion standing in the street. It won’t be the last time she rushes to Margarete’s aid. Tiger lives in an attic flat with two men. She knows how to wield a baseball bat. Stealing a uniform from security and renaming Margarete ‘Vanilla’, she begins to steer her life in a completely different direction.

Not quite sure what the point of the film. Then again with five different credited screenwriters. That could explain why the film goes off in so many directions. Even though supposedly most of the films dialogue was improvised. 

Is, as the poster makes it almost look like a vigilante film and the way it plays out is an adult coming of age film. Where the two main characters don’t exactly switch personalities but it seems the influence of one in trying to make the other confident creates a kind of monster that has been lying underneath.

So that the film becomes slightly psychological but never quite reaches a dramatic depth. Most of the characters are unlikeable throughout 

The film does come alive in random Fight scenes. 

The film plays like a character study where one character is quiet yet wants to be in power as a security guard. She is read randomly by a random person yet never does anything with it though explains her behavior to the audience to a certain degree.

The film starts on many levels thinking it will be a female-empowering vigilante movie, then a revenge or even a bad influence movie, but it seems the characters mentality changes and switch personalities to a degree. Where one becomes more aggressive and crazy with power. Whereas the other injured and dealing with several degrees of loss becomes more quiet. As her friend also seems to go crazy.

Where the audience might be hoping for a kind of superheroic third act. Where friend becomes nemesis and we realize we watched the origin story of each side. It never goes there.

It does show the title character has bad taste when to comes to those she chooses to trust. 

It even sets the stage for a villainous male but does nothing but set up more of a reason for one characters rage.

The film seems to have a bunch of elements running around that influence one another but never come together cohesively to make an engaging film in whatever genre it so chooses. As it seems the film realizes it doesn’t have much to run on and decides to make things up late to add Some action to the film

As vanilla becomes a sociopath due to repression, failure and always being told what to do as well as

The film might have been stronger focusing on one or the other strongly and then letting the other be seen more obscured to see how they affect each other and at least give more of a full range to at least one character. 



Edited, Directed & Written by: Chloe Zhao
Based on the book by: Jessica Bruder
Cinematography: Joshua James Richards

Cast: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May

After losing everything in the Great Recession, a woman embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.

This film shows a subculture of people that is growing. Due to these hard economic times. 

The film uses few professional actors Star Frances McDormand to command the screen and give us a protagonist to sympathize with and relate to. As well as hold certain narrative storylines make it more a docudrama than it being a plain old documentary

Most of the cast are non-professionals seemingly playing themselves. We get interludes woven into the story where they talk about what they went through and how they came to be in this way of life. 

We get to know McDormand’s character so that the film ends up being a character study of sorts. As we get to know more and more about her slowly. 

The Power of Frances McDormand’s performance is that she fits right in seamlessly and feels like a natural ember of the non professional cast. As she is our guide throughout.  She seems to be the conduit for others to tell their tales. 

The character is Less stabilized and more like the title nomadic. As the characters have limited opportunities but always find work or ways to barter. They have room to control their own destinies. 

The film sets up her and David Strathairn’s story mroe as a side story to the narrative that introduces drama and relationships. 

The film reminds one that David Strathairn has always been underrated. As he always plays the character memorably and to the extent with nothing extra or Unnecessary. Never calling attention to himself or his performance. Just as with McDormand this plays perfectly into his talents.

As much as it is mentioned and shown. Surprised this movie wasn’t put out by Amazon Studios. 

She can’t settle even when she knows it’s better. Not to mention it seems that she has always been I plus I’ve thought maybe as she had a life that was stable until it all came crashing down. She is afraid that if she ever puts her trust instability it would all come crashing down again. Showcasing a lifestyle that is full of freedom and no dependent on anyone or anything. 

Consistently expressing themselves that one could easily identify. As it feels so relatable. As we are immersed in this lifestyle it comes off as if we are having an experience. Not knowing where fact and fiction exactly differentiate. 

The film ends up being life-affirming with beautiful tracking shots of the Midwest Americana landscapes 

Even though with the third act the film explores more of a domestic city temptation 

Grade: A-