New Movie Releases

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Starring: Jason Bateman (voice), Jamie Berard, Alicia Finch Lee, Adam Reed Tucker, Nathan Sawaya, David Pagano

A LEGO Brickumentary

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The Story: Documentary about — well, Legos. The Lowdown: How you feel about this documentary is almost certainly going to be determined by your fondness for Legos and the various creative uses to which they can be put. Well made, but definitely specialized.
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Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, Ashley Aufderheide, Keir Dullea, Beth Dixon

Infinitely Polar Bear

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The Story: Autobiographical account of growing up with a bi-polar father. The Lowdown: Sweet, but not cloying — and carefully dodging the bullet of romanticizing mental illness — this is a remarkably assured debut film from Maya Forbes, with terrific performances helping out.
DF-11873 Margo (Cara Delevingne) and Quentin (Nat Wolff) enjoy an unforgettable evening together. Photo credit: Michael Tackett
Starring: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith, Halston Sage, Jaz Sinclair

Paper Towns

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The Story: When the girl he's fixated on disappears, a young man follows the clues she's left behind in order to find her. The Lowdown: Ultimately, the movie doesn't quite work, but most of the cast make up for a lot of the shortcomings.
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Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Jane Krakowski, Dan Aykroyd

Pixels

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The Story: Aliens intercept footage of a 1980s video game tournament, implausibly interpret said footage as a declaration of war, and inexplicably employ 8-bit game sprites on steroids as the arbiters of Earth’s annihilation. The Lowdown: A contrived confluence of '80s and '90s nostalgia that never rises to the promise of its concept.
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Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Oona Laurence, 50 Cent, Rachel McAdams

Southpaw

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The Story: A champion boxer finds his life unraveling after the sudden death of his wife. The Lowdown: A cheesy, cliché-riddled boxing drama built around a gimmicky performance by Jake Gyllenhaal.
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Starring: Billy Crudup, Michael Angarano, Thomas Mann, Ezra Miller, Logan Miller, Tye Sheridan, Nelsan Ellis, Olivia Thirlby

The Stanford Prison Experiment

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The Story: A filmic recreation of the controversial 1971 psychological experiment of the same name. The Lowdown: Powerful, but decidedly unpleasant, look at the effects of power and the loss of power as evidenced by college students acting out the roles of inmates and prison guards. Strong stuff, but rather flatly made. It succeeds mostly…

Special Screenings This Week

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Starring: Hugo Silva, Mario Casas, Pepón Nieto, Carolina Bang, Carmen Maura

Las Brujas de Zugaramurdi (Witching & Bitching)

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In Brief: Alex de la Iglesia's Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi was saddled with the moronic English language title Witching & Bitching — the translation of its Spanish title is The Witches of Zugarramurdi — but don't let that put you off this magnificent mash-up of the kind only Alex de la Iglesia could provide. On the surface, it may…
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Starring: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Gunnar Björnstrand, Margaretha Krook, Jörgen Lindström

Persona

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In Brief: Calling Ingmar Bergman’s Persona (1966) the filmmaker’s most disturbing film is a pretty bold assertion, but I think it may well be true. It is certainly one of his most difficult films — possibly the most impenetrable film in his entire oeuvre and the most seemingly bizarre. From the moment the film begins — with…
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Starring: John Wayne, James Stewart, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Edmond O'Brien, Woody Strode

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

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In Brief: Few films are as deeply flawed yet so wonderful or so essential to a great director’s filmography as John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). I suppose Josef von Sternberg’s The Devil Is a Woman (1935) runs a close second, and for a lot of the same reasons. Both films contain all the…
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Starring: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor, Rudy Vallee, Sig Arno

The Palm Beach Story

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In Brief: The Palm Beach Story (1942) is almost certainly not Preston Sturges’ best film, but it very well might be his funniest. It’s almost certainly his fastest-paced and has a plot device that would have made Shakespeare proud. What we have here is the tale of Gerry (Claudette Colbert) and Tom Jeffers (Joel McCrea), a…