An Unexpected Crime Thriller

An Unexpected Crime Thriller

And the horror of war as a horror movie

(November 15, 2018) Reviews CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? is based on the autobiography by Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy), a real-life biographer who began writing magazine profiles for the likes of Katharine Hepburn...

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The Boys and the Band

Beautiful Boy and Bohemian Rhapsody

(November 8, 2018) Reviews BEAUTIFUL BOY. The truism that addiction is no laughing matter is apparently and unfortunately not lost on concurrent father and son memoirists David and Nic Sheff, nor on Luke...

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An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn

(November 1, 2018) Reviews AN EVENING WITH BEVERLY LUFF LINN. Some screenwriters write a script for a specific actor. Wes Anderson famously wrote Royal Tenenbaum for Gene Hackman and had to cajole the...

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Sharper than Ever

Halloween and The Sisters Brothers

(October 25, 2018) Previews HALLOWEEN. John Carpenter remains one of the largely unsung heroes of 20th century American popular cinema, whose work is more influential than widely discussed and almost a genre...

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First Man Misses its Moonshot

El Royale overstays its welcome

(October 18, 2018) Previews FIRST MAN. "Hey Girl" memes and references to The Notebook (2004) aside, Ryan Gosling has become one of the most versatile, self-challenging leading men in Hollywood, with a constantly...

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Venom Has Teeth

And A Star is Born shines

(October 11, 2018) Reviews VENOM. As much as I am loath to describe and discuss yet another Marvel movie (where are the emojis on this thing?), I admit a sense of morbid curiosity...

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Long Nights

Night School and Hold the Dark

(October 4, 2018) Reviews NIGHT SCHOOL. Kevin Hart, like his frequent costar Dwayne Johnson, lives by hustle. One of the biggest stand-up comics in the world, he came by it honestly, after decades...

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No Filter

Assassination Nation and We the Animals

(September 27, 2018) ASSASSINATION NATION. This far into our waking national nightmare, when hours seem like days and each sunrise reveals more desperate attempts to hamper or undo the personal, social and legal...

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Stylish Monsters

A Simple Favor and The Predator

(September 20, 2018) Reviews A SIMPLE FAVOR. The thing here is style: a modern noir about a missing person, a psycho-sexual thriller soaked in gin and dressed in devastating clothes, played out in...

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Peppermint's Not So Fresh

Juliet is warm and sweet

(September 13, 2018) PEPPERMINT. Due to the recent and ongoing action movie renaissance, there is in every new shoot 'em up the hopeful possibility of transcendence, or at least a couple of entertaining...

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Flesh and Fury

A Prayer Before Dawn

(September 6, 2018) A PRAYER BEFORE DAWN. I left A Prayer Before Dawn feeling like I'd been beaten to a pulp in a Thai prison, but I mean that as a compliment.  Jean-Stéphane...

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Puppets in L.A.

And hip-hop opera in Oakland

(August 30, 2018) THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS. So they've got this this LA detective noir filled with violence and drugs and sex, enacted by puppets — Henson puppets, no less! — and Melissa McCarthy?...

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Crazy Good

Crazy Rich Asians earns the love

(August 23, 2018) CRAZY RICH ASIANS. Director Jon M. Chu's adaptation of Kevin Kwan's bestseller is already a big deal in that it's the first all-Asian cast from a major Hollywood studio since...

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Monsters Back from the Past

BlacKkKlansman and The Meg

(August 16, 2018) Reviews BLACKKKLANSMAN. I've never subscribed to the notion that hatred is borne of fear. There's truth to it, I suppose, but it has always seemed to me an attempted defense...

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Long Lost

Triplets, adolescence and undercover exes

(August 9, 2018) THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS. There are stories, obscured by the complacency and subterfuge of modern life, that retain the power to surprise and amaze. Some, through exploration, become chilling reminders of...

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Nothing's Impossible

Fallout stunts, Don't Worry shows empathy

(August 2, 2018) Reviews MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT. Whether or not we need more missions impossible remains the subject of debate. Despite the retention of stars Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames, and the...

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