Movie Reviews

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Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson, Brian Gleeson, Stephen McHattie, Kristen Wiig

mother!

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The Story: A couple trying to conceive find their bucolic life upended by unexpected guests. The Lowdown: Aronofsky goes full Buñuel in a career-defining work of symbolist genre-defiance, a polarizing magnum opus that requires an open mind and a strong constitution.  
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Starring: Martin Scorsese, Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Steven Van Zandt

Rumble

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The Story: The untold tale of Native American's influence on the history of rock 'n' roll. The Lowdown: An interesting facet of our national culture that's unfortunately hindered by its documentary format.
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Starring: Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge, Nicole Flyus, Anton Selyaninov, Frank Hakaj, David Ivanov, Harrison Sheehan, Erik Potempa

Beach Rats

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The Story: A Brooklyn teen struggles to accept his homosexuality in the face of pressure from family and friends. The Lowdown: A film more interesting than enjoyable, redeemed largely by a remarkable performance from star Harris Dickinson and exceptional camera work from cinematographer Hélène Louvart.
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Starring: Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams, Jenna Fischer, Michael Sheen, Luke Wilson, Jemaine Clement

Brad’s Status

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The Story: Pushing 50 and looking back in anger, Brad takes an extended trip down not-so-good memory lane while his son is off on his first round of college interviews. The Lowdown: A good cast and an OK script are let down by directorial fumbling and an ending that leaves you wondering just what exactly,…
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Starring: Michael Keaton, Dylan O'Brien, Sanaa Lathan, Taylor Kitsch, Charlotte Vega, Shiva Negar

American Assassin

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The Story: After his girlfriend is killed in a terrorist attack, a young man joins a CIA black ops mission to take revenge on the organization responsible. The Lowdown: Brainless, heartless, and all around miserable, this is typical back-to-school studio dumping-ground fare.
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Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal, Kôji Yakusho, Adriana Barraza

Babel

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In Brief: Alejandro González Iñárritu and his writing partner Guillermo Arriaga made their bid to move into the mainstream with Babel (2006), a film that was nothing if not ambitious. Taking their standard approach of multiple stories that ultimately connect to create a larger picture, they moved a step further by making the stories global…
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Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson, Mélanie Laurent

Now You See Me

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In Brief: Louis Leterrier's 2013 Now You See Me basically has all of the elements that I hate in a film — it's an exercise in style over substance with effectively no attention payed to character or story, the cinematic equivalent of a cheap off-Strip Vegas floorshow. Which is why I'm surprised that I don't hate it, at least…
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Starring: John Chu, Haley Lu Richardson, Parker Posey, Rory Culkin

Columbus

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The Story: After his father ends up on his deathbed, a son travels to a small town to look after him and ends up in a friendship with a young woman. The Lowdown: A surprising little movie, gorgeously shot and intricate, with a wonderfully genuine humanity to it.
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Starring: Menashe Lustig, Ruben Niborski, Yoel Weisshaus, Meyer Schwartz

Menashe

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The Story: A recently widowed father must prove to his orthodox Jewish community that he is fit to retain custody of his son. The Lowdown: A touching, thoughtful and frequently tragic story that transcends its religious trappings to become something universally relatable.
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Starring: Catherine Frot, Catherine Deneuve, Olivier Gourmet, Quentin Dolmaire

The Midwife

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The Story: A graveyard shift midwife at a failing Paris clinic meets a woman from her past, throwing her life into turmoil while trying to hold it all together for everyone around her. The Lowdown: Provost delivers Ozu by way of Chantal Akerman in this razor-sharp portrait of troubled, dreary, ordinary lives.
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Starring: Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Bill Skarsgard, Nicholas Hamilton, Jackson Robert Scott

It

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The Story: A group of young misfits in small-town Maine must confront an ancient evil that feeds on fear. The Lowdown: A competently executed adaptation of Stephen King's classic novel that proves sufficiently scary to justify its existence, if not the excitement surrounding its release.
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Starring: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Marta Bario, Claire Keenan

The Trip to Spain

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The Story: Two friends travel through Spain eating at fine restaurants and dealing with the intimate problems of their lives. The Lowdown: A classic case of diminished returns from a film franchise that was already a bit flimsy. Unfortunately, more of the same with only a good cast and an interesting ending going for it.
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Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Nat Wolff, Pico Alexander, Jon Rudnitsky, Michael Sheen, Lake Bell, Candice Bergen

Home Again

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The Story: On her 40th birthday, Alice meets and falls for a younger man who moves into her guest house while he pitches his script around LA.  The Lowdown: "Written and directed by Nancy Meyers' kid" are now the seven dirtiest words in show business.
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Starring: Robert Young , Florence Rice, Frank Craven, Lee Bowman, Cliff Clark, Henry Hull, William Demarest, Astrid Allwyn, Gloria Holden

Miracles For Sale

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In Brief: If you could disregard the fact that Miracles For Sale (1939) is the last film of the great Tod Browning, it would a perfectly acceptable — if largely undistinguished — potboiler of a murder mystery. The fact that this film is the swan song of one of the greatest horror directors of the early cinema, however,…
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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 telling,…
The Stranger (1946)Director:Orson WellesShown: Orson Welles
Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, Orson Welles, Philip Merivale, Richard Long

The Stranger

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In Brief: Orson Welles' most financially successful (and therefore least admired) film, The Stranger is a fairly straightforward suspense thriller — but it's a suspense thriller that only Welles could make. Its hero is a Nazi hunter (Edward G. Robinson) who's obsessed to the point of being a little unbalanced. Its villain is an unregenerate…
EndlessPoetry
Starring: Adan Jodorowsky, Pamela Flores, Brontis Jodorowsky, Lenadro Taub, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Jeremias Herskovits, Julia Avedano, Bastian Bodenhofer, Carolyn Carson, Adonis

Endless Poetry

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The Story: Alejandro Jodorowsky continues his surrealist autobiographical fantasy by recounting his late adolescence and early adulthood in Chile, a period in which he devoted his life to becoming an artist. The Lowdown: A profoundly affecting examination of family and artistry from one of the great masters of modern cinema.
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City of Ghosts

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The Story: The civilian journalists of Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered risk their lives to expose the grotesque violence being perpetrated against the Syrian populace at the hands of ISIS. The Lowdown: An oppressively bleak but undeniably powerful portrait of the men struggling valiantly to undermine ISIS' stranglehold on the Middle East.
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Starring: Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Christoph Waltz, Holliday Grainger, Jack O'Connell, Zach Galifianakis, Tom Hollander, Matthew Morrison, Judi Dench, Cara Delevingne, Kevin McKidd

Tulip Fever

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The Story: A young orphan is married off to a wealthy businessman in 17th-century Amsterdam, but her life is complicated by an inability to conceive and a torrid affair with a painter.  The Lowdown: Not even the profusion of attractive naked people on screen can justify the existence of something this irredeemably dumb.
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Starring: Lake Bell, Ed Helms, Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser, Amber Heard, Wyatt Cenac, Dolly Wells

I Do … Until I Don’t

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The Story: Three couples participate in a documentary with the premise that marriage is no longer a workable system, each coming to terms with the problems in their relationships. The Lowdown: A new low for lazy romantic comedy cliches, this one is best avoided and forgotten.
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Starring: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart, Ernest Truex, John Qualen

His Girl Friday

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In Brief: If you’ve never seen His Girl Friday (1940), this is definitely one of the greats from the “golden age” of movies — and it’s a film that still holds the record for the fastest dialogue in the history of movies. That crackling, witty banter is delivered by people who know exactly how to do…