Movie Reviews

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Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Julian Dennison, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, Eddie Marsan

Deadpool 2

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The Story: Deadpool returns, this time going up against a time-traveling commando to protect an obnoxious teenage mutant. The Lowdown: Somehow sillier and yet more socially conscious than its predecessor, this cynically minded sequel earns its R rating by delivering more of the raunchy metahumor that made the original such a surprise hit.
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Starring: Hamilton Morris, Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, Natassia Gorey Furber, Gibson John

Sweet Country

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The Story: After killing a white man in self-defense, an aboriginal man flees into the Australian outback. The Lowdown: A stark, often brutal movie that doesn't rely on shock and ugliness, but humanity instead.
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Starring: Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau, Lane Scott, Cat Clifford

The Rider

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The Story: An injured rodeo rider must decide whether or not he'll risk his life by getting back in the ring. The Lowdown: A deconstructionist docudrama staring nonprofessional actors effectively playing themselves that takes aim at the mythos of machismo established in classic cowboy cinema.
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Starring: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

RBG

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The Story: A look at the illustrious career and indelible legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Lowdown: A fawning and occasionally superficial documentary, the shortcomings of which are largely overcome by the significance and appeal of its subject.
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Starring: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen

Book Club

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The Story: When four "friends of a certain age" read the 50 Shades trilogy as part of their monthly book club, they're inspired to make some changes in their love lives. The Lowdown: The first entry in the 50 Shades Extended Cinematic Universe brings nothing new to the table or the genre but sets up…
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Starring: Chishû Ryû, Shima Iwashita, Keiji Sada, Mariko Okada, Teruo Yoshida

An Autumn Afternoon

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In Brief: It has been said that Yasujirô Ozu’s films are all the same, and while that’s a thematically valid point, it’s not technically true. Nowhere is this more obvious than in his final film, An Autumn Afternoon (1962), which is essentially a reworking of his 1949 film Late Spring. They have similar plots, the same star…
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Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray

The Apartment

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In Brief: Potentially Billy Wilder's most cynical comedy (if far from his most cynical film), The Apartment (1960) dealt with material that was particularly daring in its era. That the film still packs ample dramatic weight and resonance nearly six decades later is a testament not only to Wilder's directorial prowess, but also to the emotional honesty of…
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Starring: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola

Disobedience

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The Story: The estranged daughter of an Orthodox rabbi returns home for her father's funeral, only to be confronted with the harsh judgment of her community over an illicit love affair from the past that may not be as defunct as she thinks. The Lowdown: A methodically paced and carefully constructed character study of two women in love but separated…
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Starring: Péter Rudolf, Bence Tasnádi, Tamás Szabó Kimmel, Dóra Sztarenki, Ági Szirtes, József Szarvas

1945

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The Story: A small Hungarian hamlet is gripped by paranoia in the immediate aftermath of World War II when a pair of Jews return to the village, possibly to reclaim their property from the people who exploited it in their absence. The Lowdown: A moving morality play on a shoestring budget with an unfortunately timely message.
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Starring: Itzhak Perlman, Toby Perlman, Alan Alda, Amnon Weinstein, Stefan Valcuha, Billy Joel

Itzhak

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The Story: An intimate look at the life and legacy of legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman. The Lowdown: A concise and adroitly directed documentary delving more into the personality of Perlman than the details of his career.
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Starring: Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke

Breaking In

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The Story: A mother fights to protect her two young children during a home invasion. The Lowdown: Panic Room knockoff minus all the inventiveness the director of V For Vendetta should have brought to a project like this.
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Starring: Victor Sjöström, Ingrid Thulin, Bibi Anderson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Jullan Kindahl

Wild Strawberries

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In Brief: Ingmar Bergman was just 40 when he made Wild Strawberries, but he shows much of himself in the character of 78-year-old Isak Borg (Victor Sjöström). The very fact that he cast filmmaker Sjöström — a pioneer in Swedish film who had an impressive career in Hollywood silent film as Victor Seastrom — is…
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Starring: Gyurme Tethong, Tsewang Migyur Khangsar, Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong, Tencho Gyalpo, Tulku Jamyang Kunga Tenzin

Kundun

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In Brief: "Important" films from Martin Scorsese tend to be divisive, not only because audiences would rather see him reiterate the same gangster tropes in perpetuity  (remember when nobody showed up for his excellent Silence last year?), but also because the director himself seems to get a little lost when he starts dealing with more serious subject matter. While The Last Temptation…
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Starring: Paul Birch, Beverly Garland, Jonathan Haze / Richard Garland, Pamela Duncan, Russell Johnson

Not of This Earth / Attack of the Crab Monsters

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In Brief: In 1957, this pair of Roger Corman cheapies played on a double bill and was advertised as a “Terrorama! Double Horror Sensation!” As with most sci-fi horror pictures of its era, the ad campaign smacks of wishful thinking. Yet there’s no denying that Not of This Earth (a premise Corman liked so much that…
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Starring: Lior Ashkenazi, Sarah Adler, Yonatan Shiray, Yehuda Almagor, Shira Haas

Foxtrot

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The Story: An Israeli family is devastated by the news that their son has died while performing compulsory military service, only to discover that a terrible mistake has been made. The Lowdown: A brutally conceived and beautifully executed political allegory that deftly balances human tragedy with occasional touches of blackhearted farce.
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Starring: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, Ron Livingston

Tully

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The Story: An overtaxed mother receives some much-needed help from a mercurial young night nanny. The Lowdown: An interesting take on the burdens and societal pressures of motherhood that goes thoroughly off the rails in its third act.
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Starring: Robert Sheehan, David Tennant, Kerry Condon

Bad Samaritan

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The Story: When a burglar discovers a woman held prisoner in a house he's robbing, he goes on a mission to bring the woman's captor to justice. The Lowdown: The pretty standard and otherwise forgettable low-budget thriller has only the whacked-out performance by David Tenant going for it, but that's enough (he's worth it).