Browsing all articles from December, 2016.

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures 

* * * 1/2 There is nothing wrong with a feel-good movie that does its job well, and that is what you get with Hidden Figures, the inspiring new movie about the real heroes behind NASA’s space race that manages to be both smart and entertaining in its depiction of three African-American women who took […]

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Fences

Fences 

* * * Denzel Washington brings August Wilson’s celebrated Fences to the screen in a sum-of-its-parts movie adaptation both eloquent and long-winded, thematically expansive yet, at times, claustrophobic. Working from a screenplay completed by Wilson prior to his 2005 death, Washington takes a traditional, almost reverential approach—perhaps too respectful—in letting the language dictate the directorial […]

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Stephen McKinley Henderson and Jovan Adepo on “Eternal” Fences—Fathers, Sons and Lost Dreams Haunt August Wilson’s Landmark American Drama

Stephen McKinley Henderson and Jovan Adepo on “Eternal” Fences—Fathers, Sons and Lost Dreams Haunt August Wilson’s Landmark American Drama 

It’s a rarity in American film to observe some of the best actors working, delivering some of the most powerful dialogue of the last century—and in close-up, no less—but that is precisely what you get in Fences, Denzel Washington’s screen version of August Wilson’s landmark play about an African-American family struggling with demons of failure […]

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Passengers

Passengers 

* Spaced out stinker Passengers, which has been pushed hard by marketing its two big stars, is a confused and altogether empty fantasy that takes place on a huge ship careening through deep space.  Isolation, love, companionship, stalking—all enroute to a newly inhabitable planet?  Why not? The kind of bad movie only really talented people […]

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Fair Play to Those Who Dare to Dream: La La Land Director Damien Chazelle and Star Rosemarie Dewitt on Courage of Artists, Lovers

Fair Play to Those Who Dare to Dream: La La Land Director Damien Chazelle and Star Rosemarie Dewitt on Courage of Artists, Lovers 

In a bravura act of movie invention, filmmaker Damien Chazelle has fashioned a throwback that’s also contemporary; a musical that is intensely dramatic; a love story of élan and heartbreak; and one of the best-ever movie love letters to starry-eyed, pure of heart struggling artists who learn about the courage—and sacrifices—needed to make it to […]

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La La Land

La La Land 

* * * * A dazzling achievement in technique and emotion cementing the status of visionary young director Damien Chazelle as a modern auteur, La La Land is the most accomplished movie of 2016 and perhaps the most enjoyable, a musical throwback about Los Angeles dreamers pursuing art and love with élan and heartbreak. The […]

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 

* * Everything old is old again in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first “spinoff” installment from the beloved franchise and one that is largely unmemorable—save a terrific final act—and so slavish to its alignment with the mythology of that famous faraway galaxy it forgets to engage the audience. A precursor to the […]

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