The Disapperance of Eleanor Rigby: Her/Him
Chicago International Film Festival
Fury
Birdman

Birdman

Birdman 

* * * 1/2 Birdman, Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu’s audacious backstage redemption tale, is at once an incisive portrait of the artistic ego and a rage against the dying of the (spot)light, a personal movie about art as savior, second chances, aging, irrelevance and an indictment of a fickle industry that eats its own when they are […]

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Fury

Fury 

* * * 1/2 The aptly titled new war picture Fury, starring Brad Pitt as an American sergeant leading a band of GIs through Germany at the close of the World War II, is a machine of a movie that storms both the battlefields and the emotions.  Fashioned by writer-director David Ayer as visceral, gripping […]

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Kathleen Turner Honored at 50th Chicago International Film Festival

Kathleen Turner Honored at 50th Chicago International Film Festival 

  The great movie star Kathleen Turner was honored last night the Chicago International Film Festival during a brisk, ninety-minute tribute that featured scenes from her (many) memorable performances and a livewire Turner, who shared memorable anecdotes from her storied career onscreen, some of the most vividly acted portraits put on film in the 1980s. […]

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Oliver Stone attends 50th Chicago International Film Festival

Oliver Stone attends 50th Chicago International Film Festival 

The 50th Chicago International Film Festival continues this week after a rousing Sunday night visit from maverick filmmaker Oliver Stone, in town to present two very different yet seminal pictures, the controversial Natural Born Killers and his one-reviled, now better appreciated Alexander. Stone stopped by the red carpet to discuss revisiting Alexander on this fourth version […]

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The Disapperance of Eleanor Rigby: Her/Him

The Disapperance of Eleanor Rigby: Her/Him 

**  Her/Him ***1/2  Them Comprised of two distinct features and running 195 minutes, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her/Him is both too much and not enough.  Arriving a mere few weeks after the film’s initial release, a 122-minute version titled Them, the new cut is a sometimes lovely, mostly unwieldy thing, a well-acted, meandering and […]

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Chicago International Film Festival Celebrates 50th with Liv Ullmann, Colin Farrell

Chicago International Film Festival Celebrates 50th with Liv Ullmann, Colin Farrell 

The 50th Chicago Internal Film Festival kicked off its Opening Gala last night at The Harris Theater, with a star-studded red carpet affair followed by a screening of celebrated Norwegian legend Liv Ullmann’s new adaptation of August Stridberg’s Miss Julie. And while the festival’s half-century milestone was the story of the evening, another story was […]

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This Is Where I Leave You

This Is Where I Leave You 

* * Too clever by half and too broad to be genuinely funny, the contrived family dramedy This Is Where I Leave You favors situational contrivances over honest characters.  It’s the sign of a distinctly modern movie such as this that after winding us up with hijinks for the duration of its running time, it […]

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A Walk Among the Tombstones

A Walk Among the Tombstones 

* * * Someone is murdering the wives of New York drug dealers in the diabolical mystery A Walk Among the Tombstones, an appealingly low-key detective thriller featuring a top-of-his-game Liam Neeson as independent private detective Matthew Scudder, author Lawrence Block’s hardboiled crusader featured in 17 of his popular crime novels. It’s been nearly three […]

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The Possession of Michael King

The Possession of Michael King 

* * For awhile, the supernatural thriller The Possession of Michael King, about an atheist documentarian and grieving widower who turns to the supernatural for answers, delivers the goods—ingenious concept, strong acting, palpable atmosphere and some genuine scares.  And while there’s nothing quite new in David Jung’s moderately compelling “found footage” feature, there are spooky […]

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For 

* * There’s one thing to recommend—or maybe two—in Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s tediously stylized mayhem opus Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and that’s a delicious Eva Green as a scheming femme fatale who leads several men to doom. Green, who similarly elevated this year’s Spartan epic 300: Rise of an Empire, […]

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