Dunkirk
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 

* 1/2 Luc Besson’s epic folly Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a work of unbridled “creativity” that left me agog—and not happily—at its high-concept silliness performed with all the energy of rigor mortis by two sullen, miscast stars without clue what kind of picture is going on around them while Besson […]

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Dunkirk

Dunkirk 

*** 1/2 Dunkirk is, quite simply, the most astonishingly immersive war picture ever made. Does that make it the best? In a feat of visual storytelling that will not be equaled in a movie this year, co-writer and director Christopher Nolan creates a symphony of images, sound and fury onscreen, recreating an early WWII episode […]

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The Lovers

The Lovers 

* * *1/2 Debra Winger and Tracy Letts are a long-time married couple having affairs with other people in The Lovers, as incisive a portrait of marital discord as American movies have seen in years. What happens when you feel a long-dormant spark for the spouse you’re about to leave? And what happens when you […]

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The Lost City of Z

The Lost City of Z 

* * * How turn of the century British army officer ended up missing in the Amazon two decades later is the mystery of James Gray’s The Lost City of Z, an enigma of a movie that manages a unique paradox—it absorbs us even while it suspends us in a state of detachment. In telling […]

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The Zookeeper’s Wife

The Zookeeper’s Wife 

* * * 1/2 The primary reason to see The Zookeeper’s Wife—and it’s a good one—is a moving performance from Jessica Chastain as real-life World War II heroine Antonina Zabinska, proprietor of the Warsaw Zoo and savior of more than 300 Jews rescued from the Warsaw Ghetto and hidden in her basement while Nazis infiltrated […]

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Men, Mid-Life, Melancholy: Danny Boyle on the Bittersweet Irreverence of T2: Trainspotting

Men, Mid-Life, Melancholy: Danny Boyle on the Bittersweet Irreverence of T2: Trainspotting 

Danny Boyle, the celebrated British filmmaker who won the Oscar for 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, makes pictures—notably Shallow Grave, 28 Days Later, The Beach, 127 Hours and Steve Jobs—that are visual and aural tapestries of throbbing momentum, precisely shot, edited and scored, aces at seizing an audience, whether saving the world from a global pandemic, saving […]

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Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast 

* * * * Magical, winning and transporting, Bill Condon’s live-action adaptation of the famous “tale as old as time” is a complete success on all counts. Beauty and the Beast looks great, sounds great and generates real enchantment. What’s not to like? It’s been 26-years since Disney’s now legendary version became the first animated […]

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Raw

Raw 

* * * * Descent into insanity or embrace of true nature? The audacious, outrageous French horror film Raw is as unsettling as movies come, a full-blooded freak show with patently serious psychological currents, convicted performances and a lot on its mind about its uncomfortable constitution of feminism, sex, body horror and self-actualization. First time […]

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Get Out

Get Out 

* * * 1/2 Jordan Peele’s debut feature Get Out is the first terrific commercial movie of 2017, a smart, inventive and consistently surprising social critique disguised as a commercial horror film that both provokes and entertains in equal measures. It’s been nearly fifty years since Stanley Kramer’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner examined similar territory, Katherine […]

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Split

Split 

* * * 1/2 M. Night Shyamalan’s Split is a surprisingly thoughtful thriller doling out waves of psychology and shocks, a return to form for the once heralded filmmaker after a string of high-profile misfires. Shyamalan, whose career high came at the beginning with 1999’s The Sixth Sense, has toiled around with lesser fare for […]

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