Dunkirk
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Beatriz at Dinner
The Beguiled
Lady Macbeth

A Cure for Wellness

A Cure for Wellness 

** An exercise in cinematography and art direction—and little else—by director Gore Verbinski, A Cure for Wellness is an early candidate for Bloated Movie of the Year. A miscalculation that thinks it’s bold and inventive but is actually labored and routine, with an unconvincing lead performance from star Dane DeHaan, the picture generates little interest […]

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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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The Bye-Bye Man

The Bye-Bye Man 

*** There isn’t a lot to say about The Bye-Bye Man, except that it capably fits into the early year dumping ground of movies in which studios have little faith, and cheaply made horror films that spring up to make a quick buck.  This entry, which has a few good scares and a notable cameo by […]

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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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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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