Browsing all articles by Lee Shoquist.

Silence

Silence 

* * Martin Scorsese’s inflated spiritual opus Silence is as much of an endurance test for the audience as for its persecuted Jesuit priests in 17th Century feudal Japan, a contemplative picture so lacking in momentum that you may, at the end of 159 minutes, feel as if you are the one who has been […]

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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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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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Hailee Steinfeld on The Edge of Seventeen and Brink of Big Hollywood Career

Hailee Steinfeld on The Edge of Seventeen and Brink of Big Hollywood Career 

Full disclosure—movie and pop star Hailee Steinfeld makes me feel like a teenage girl in all the best ways, not least because she can turn a pop song inside out with fully felt vocals and a music video persona sincere enough to let you know she means it. She does the same in the movies, […]

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Arrival

Arrival 

* * * * Arrival, starring Amy Adams as a linguistics professor called upon to decipher the language of an alien race, is a science fiction film filled with heady ideas, emotional currents and a sense of discovery that engages both the brain and heart as it eventually gets at something profound about the human […]

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Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge 

* * * 1/2 They don’t make them like they used to, except when they do. Hacksaw Ridge is one of the year’s best-constructed, most passionate movies, a true story of uncommon bravery both on and off the World War II battlefield, one of a conscientious objector who nonetheless enlisted and faced persecution from fellow soldiers […]

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