New Movie Releases

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Starring: Ethan Hawke, January Jones, Bruce Greenwood, Zoë Kravitz, Jake Abel, Peter Coyote (voice)

Good Kill

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The Story: A fighter pilot turned drone controller finds himself increasingly questioning the morality of his job. The Lowdown: Strong performances, a trenchant message and brilliant uses of imagery help to overcome a screenplay that leans toward preachiness.
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Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Josh Helman

Mad Max: Fury Road

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The Story: Max Rockatansky helps transport some refugee concubines across the desert to a supposedly better land. The Lowdown: While it isn't likely to change your idea of cinema (at least I hope not), isn't worth the hype and has its share of problems, this is one wild — even hallucinatory — ride that's worth…
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Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin

Pitch Perfect 2

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The Story: After an embarrassing performance nearly dooms their a capella group, the women of the Barden Bellas try to win an international competition to restore their good name. The Lowdown: The sequel to an exhaustingly dull, overlong, predictable and generally unfunny movie somehow one-ups its predecessor in all of those categories.

Special Screenings This Week

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Starring: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz, Peter Boyden

Blow Out

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In Brief: Brian De Palma does Antonioni — replacing the damning image from Blowup with an incriminating sound recording (our protagonist is a movie sound effects man rather than a photographer). More aptly, I should say De Palma does Antonioni as one might imagine Antonioni on speed. That's to say that Blow Out (1981) is no slow-paced moody think-piece…
manhattan murder
Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Alan Alda, Anjelica Huston, Jerry Adler

Manhattan Murder Mystery

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In Brief: Viewers who attend the showing of Orson Welles' The Lady from Shanghai on May 20 will quickly understand it's being followed  with Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery, since the two movies are connected. Otherwise, Manhattan Murder Mystery is probably best known as the film that reunited Allen with Diane Keaton, though that wasn't the original idea. That only came about after his…
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Starring: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, Bonita Granville, John Loder

Now, Voyager

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In Brief: If you deliberately took every soap-opera trope you could think of, packaged them in the glossiest movie the studio system could manage, threw in doses of culture for Hollywood's notion of intellectuals, filled it with top-notch movie stars and then served the whole with a swooping Max Steiner score (largely built around the…
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Starring: Pascal Greggory, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Charles Berling, Jean-Louis Trintignant

Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train

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In Brief: My entire familiarity with Patrice Chéreau prior to seeing Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train (1998) rested on seeing the video presentation of his famous (or infamous, depending on whom you ask) 1976 staging of Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle at Bayreuth. In terms of his talents as a filmmaker this told me nothing, but…