Wonderstruck
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Thank You for Your Service
Murder on the Orient Express
Lady Bird
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Battle of the Sexes

Battle of the Sexes 

*** 1/2 The ad campaign is selling Battle of the Sexes as a high comedy, but it’s also a complex behind-the-scenes relationship drama as much about tennis legend Billie Jean King’s hidden identity politics as the overt social ones driving the plot. Directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton (Little Miss Sunshine, Ruby Sparks) with […]

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Sofia

Sofia 

The best love stories don’t have happy endings, and Chicago filmmaker Justin Nico Flocco’s Sofia, shot in Argentina and chronicling the stranger-in-a-strange-land odyssey of a young American on the streets of Buenos Aires, is a brief, polished love and loss tale heavy on mood and style that holds its narrative cards close until its final […]

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mother!

mother! 

  * * A tale told with sound and fury signifying very little, Darren Aronofsky’s mother! may be his first movie misfire. In a career of audacious pictures, proof positive of membership a very small club of contemporary auteurs, Aronofsky is as visionary as they come—even when the vision spirals out of control. And this […]

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Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth 

*** 1/2 It isn’t Shakespeare, but rather a wicked subversion of Jane Austen on order in the terrific new Lady Macbeth, a tightly coiled portrait of a desperate Victorian housewife who goes to, well, drastic measures for liberation. The picture has the tasteful elegance of any number of drawing room period dramas, but “sense” and […]

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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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Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming 

*** The Marvel superhero franchise, labored with one picture after another churned out to capitalize on the individual and collective Avengers is as commoditized as American movies get. They don’t even have to be good. Except now there’s one that is, and it happens to be a bit or a surprise because it really shouldn’t […]

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The Beguiled

The Beguiled 

*** Sophia Coppola’s The Beguiled, for which she won the directing prize at Cannes this year, is a sum of its parts picture with enough going for it to recommend, but not quite enough to transcend its inherently pulpy story. But it sure is fun while it lasts. Based on Don Siegel’s 1971 film of […]

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Maudie

Maudie 

*** 1/2 Renowned Nova Scotia folk artist Maude Lewis get a biopic in Maudie, a portrait of an artist that spans succeeds in being extraordinarily affecting in the hands of star Sally Hawkins. Working from a screenplay by Sherry White, Irish director Aisling Walsh follows Lewis from the 1938 to 1970, and Hawkins’ revelatory performance […]

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Beatriz at Dinner

Beatriz at Dinner 

***1/2 Beatriz at Dinner may be a wisp of a movie—the credits roll at about the 70-minute mark—but it’s one that couldn’t feel more timely and tapped into the current zeitgeist of what it’s like to be a have or have not in contemporary America. However, which of the two principal characters fits those descriptors […]

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