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Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson, Dan Stevens

Colossal

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The Story: An alcoholic writer returns to her hometown after her boyfriend kicks her out, only to find that her drunken shenanigans are having real-world consequences on the other side of the globe. The Lowdown: A darkly comic story with a serious message at its core that deftly juggles its tonal shifts and disparate genre tropes while…
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Starring: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine, Aaron Clifton Moten, Lloyd Kaufman, Larry Fessenden

The Transfiguration

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The Lowdown: An isolated teenager with a tragic past and a vampire obsession begins acting on his murderous fantasies, until an unexpected romantic connection challenges his worldview. The Lowdown: A complex psychological portrait of trauma and violence that will be particularly appealing to devotees of vampire cinema.
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Starring: Marta Mazurek, Michalina Olszanska, Jakub Gierszal, Kinga Preis, Andrzej Konopka, Zygmunt Malanowicz

The Lure (Córki dancingu)

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The Story: Two mermaids come ashore in Poland looking for men to love and/or eat, only to wind up fronting a family band in an underground strip club. The Lowdown: A staggeringly strange blend of horror movie and musical that falls disappointingly short of delivering on the feminist potential of its premise.
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Starring: Conrad Veit, Alexandra Sorina, Fritz Strassny, Paul Askenas, Carmen Cartellieri, Fritz Kortner

The Hands of Orlac (Orlacs Hände)

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In Brief: Robert Wiene never quite outgrew the shadow of his German Expressionist masterpiece The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), but in the case of 1924's The Hands of Orlac, he did manage to come close to recapturing the magic of his earlier film. Reteaming with Caligari star Conrad Veidt, Wiene adapted a celebrated French novel about a concert pianist…
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Starring: TatIana Samojlova, Aleksey Batalov, Vaseli Merkuryev, Aleksandr Shvorin

The Cranes Are Flying (Letyat zhuravli)

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In Brief: Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov (I Am Cuba), The Cranes Are Flying (1957) is the only Russian film ever to win the coveted Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival — and not without good reason. This postwar melodrama eschews the traditional rigidity of Russian formalist montage techniques in favor of a more free-flowing camera, which perfectly…
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Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland, Angus Macfadyen, Johann Myers

The Lost City of Z

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The Story: An explorer finds the remains of an ancient civilization while mapping an uncharted river in South America and dedicates the rest of his life to finding the lost city he believes to be hidden in the jungle. The Lowdown: Writer/director James Gray relies on classical cinematic forms in his compelling adaptation of author David Grann's nonfiction best-seller…
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Starring: Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner, Marie Gruber, Johann Von Bülow, Anton von Lucke, Cyrielle Clair, Alice de Lencquesaing

Frantz

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The Story: A mysterious young Frenchman befriends the family of a fallen German soldier following World War I. The Lowdown: Timely social commentary in a weepy melodrama's clothing, François Ozon makes a rare misstep by overreaching in both style and narrative.
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Starring: Chris Evans, McKenna Grace, Jenny Slate, Lindsay Duncan, Octavia Spencer

Gifted

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The Story: A man raising his niece, a promising young math prodigy, is drawn into a contentious legal battle when his mother challenges him for custody of the girl. The Lowdown: A predominantly unobjectionable film, but one whose only gift is a talent for emotional manipulation.
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Starring: Guillaume Canet, Guillaume Gallienne, Alice Pol, Deborah Francois, Sabinz Azema

Cezanne and I (Cezanne et moi)

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The Story: Paul Cezanne and Emile Zola share a turbulent friendship that spans decades and involves some of the most famous artists of late 19th-century France. The Lowdown: Watching paint dry may well be more fun, depending on the painter.
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Starring: Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn, Darryl Hickman

The Tingler

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In Brief: Quite possibly the best thing legendary schlockmeister William Castle ever turned out prior to producing Rosemary's Baby — and certainly the best remembered of his films due to its incredible theatrical gimmick (Percepto), The Tingler is an absolute must see for fans of Castle's unique brand of low-budget exploitation horror. Castle's films are generally less notable for their…
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Starring: Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Rob Reiner, Ed Begley Jr, Fred Willard Fran Drescher, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Paul Shaffer, Anjelica Huston

This is Spinal Tap

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In Brief: One of my favorite films of all time is in a delicate position, and only you — the Asheville moviegoing community — can help me save it. Many of you have no doubt seen, or are at least aware, of 1984's This is Spinal Tap, the film that not only launched the cinematic careers…
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Starring: Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Anjela Nedyalkova, Kelly Macdonald, Shirley Henderson, Irvine Welsh

T2 Trainspotting

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The Story: A crew of formerly drug-addled miscreants reunites after two decades of bad blood to take stock of their misspent lives. The Lowdown: A fitting follow-up to an unquestionable classic that may not please the most ardent purists but makes a moving statement on the struggles of maturity and the pitfalls of nostalgia.
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Starring: Aaron Poole, Kathleen Munroe, Ellen Wong, Kenneth Welsh, Evan Stern, Daniel Fathers, Grace Munroe

The Void

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The Story:  A small-town cop stumbles into a world of cosmic monstrosity when he encounters a blood-spattered junkie on the run from a mysterious cult. The Lowdown: A love letter to gore fanatics and one of the best films yet to come out of the current throwback-horror renaissance.
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Starring: Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Julia Roberts, Mandy Patinkin, Joe Manganiello, Jack McBrayer, Danny Pudi, Michelle Rodriguez, Ellie Kemper, Ariel Winter, Jake Johnson, Meghan Trainor

Smurfs: The Lost Village

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The Story: The all-male Smurfs discover a village populated entirely by female Smurfs. The Lowdown: An entirely unnecessary and largely forgettable film that seeks to address the gender imbalance in the Smurfs universe but doesn't get much further than acknowledging that the franchise had a parity problem in the first place.
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Starring: Abel Ferrara (as Jimmy Laine), Carolyn Marz, Baybi Day, Harry Schultz, D.A. Metrov

The Driller Killer

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In Brief: Director Abel Ferrara (King of New York, Bad Lieutenant) made his feature directorial debut — at least if we're not counting his "adult" work — with this gory 1979 slasher flick. Ferrara also stars as the titular killer, a painter driven to madness by loud neighbors and mounting debts, but as is typically the case with…
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Starring: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi

Your Name. (Kimi no na wa)

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The Story: Two high school students find themselves transposed into each other's bodies, leading to an unexpected romance — and an even more surprising plot twist. The Lowdown: A work of staggering beauty, both aesthetically and emotionally. Even those with qualms about animation or subtitles should see this film.
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Starring: Roland Møller, Louis Hofmann, Joel Basman, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Zoe Zandvliet, Mads Riisom, Peter Oskar Bökelmann

Land of Mine (Under Sandert)

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The Story: A tough sergeant leads a group of young Nazi POWs in an attempt to remove landmines from a stretch of beach on post-World War II Denmark. The Lowdown: A proficient attempt to humanize "The Other" that's more distinguished by its subject matter than its execution.
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Starring: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz, Anders Danielsen Lie, Ty Olwin, Hammou Graïa, Nora Von Waldstätten, Benjamin Biolay, Audrey Bonnet, Pascal Rambert

Personal Shopper

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The Story: A spiritual medium who seeks to contact her recently deceased brother becomes haunted by a malevolent presence that may not be what she was looking for. The Lowdown: This rare misfire for esteemed director Olivier Assayas plays to Kristen Stewart's weaknesses, failing to deliver the chills its premise promises.
GHOST IN THE SHELL
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek, "Beat" Takeshi Kitano, Michael Carmen Pitt, Juliette Binoche, Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Peter Ferdinando, Kaori Momoi, Anamaria Marinca, Daniel Henshall, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara.

Ghost in the Shell

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The Story: A cybernetic counterterrorism operative in a dystopian future searches for the truth when she finds herself embroiled in a corporate conspiracy that has stripped her of her memories. The Lowdown: A pale simulacrum of the classic manga and anime franchise that lacks the convictions of its inspiration.
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Starring: Nade Dieu, Sarah Adler

Notre Musique

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In Brief: I was a young film studies major in 2004 when Jean-Luc Godard's Notre Musique premiered in New York, and I had a membership to the Film Forum that guaranteed me discounted tickets — which was convenient, because I wouldn't have been able to afford them otherwise. Andrew Sarris, one of my professors at the time, intensely…
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Starring: Dorothy McGuire, George Brent, Ethel Barrymore, Kent Smith, Rhonda Fleming, Elsa Lanchester

The Spiral Staircase

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In Brief: A classic Noir from one of the masters of the form, Robert Siodmak's The Spiral Staircase (1946) is heavily indebted to the director's early work in Germany and France. The film's use of chiaroscuro lighting and dutch angles evoke the German Expressionists, touches also evident in Siodmak's adaptation of Hemmingway's The Killers (also 1946). Dorothy McGuire delivers a…