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Laura Leon

Laura Leon

Game On

by Laura Leon April 17, 2014

thumb_16cinpicDRAFT

  Kind of like Moneyball for the professional football, Draft Day manages to find suspense, drama and, of course, humor—it’s directed by Ivan Reitman—in the inner machinations that make the annual NFL college draft so compelling ...

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All American Hero

by Laura Leon April 10, 2014

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  I know what big-budget movie I’m going to see again this year, and that would be Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And get this—neither my 8- nor 11-year-old accompanied me the first time. Sure, it ...

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There Is No Cure

by Laura Leon March 20, 2014

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  Sam Rockwell can make just about any movie that much better than it ought to be. He has the uncanny ability to be sort of handsome, sort of goofy and sort of dangerous—all at once—with ...

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A Dog and His Boy

by Laura Leon March 12, 2014

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  Saturday mornings growing up were nothing to my brother and me without the adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle and their assorted friends, especially Mr. Peabody and Sherman. The improbable adoption of a boy by an ...

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Still the Greatest

by Laura Leon March 6, 2014

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  Last year, the enormous success of the miniseries The Bible stunned those who don’t really interest themselves much in matters of Christian faith, or think it’s something largely confined to fly-over states and a once-a-year ...

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Inescapable

by Laura Leon February 27, 2014

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  The Past isn’t just the title of Asghar Farhadi’s latest film, a worthy follow-up to A Separation, but a character in and of itself. Like in DuMaurier’s Rebecca, the past is ever present, encircling the ...

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Alive

by Laura Leon February 19, 2014

thumb_08cinpicGLORIA

  It’s a rare thing indeed to see women onscreen doing the mundane things that real-life women do every day: vacuuming the car, waxing, taking yoga classes, working. Rarer still is to see women “of a ...

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Missed Adventure

by Laura Leon February 13, 2014

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  Near the end of World War II, President Roosevelt commissioned a few middle-aged artists, sculptors and architects to go behind enemy lines on a special mission: to rescue the great artworks of Western civilization, which ...

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The Real Thing

by Laura Leon February 13, 2014

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  We were talking recently about how some kids just out of high school don’t know how to do certain things we used to take as givens when it came to holding a job—things like making ...

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Love is Strange

by Laura Leon February 10, 2014

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  Set in 1987 over the course of a long, hot weekend, Labor Day tells the melodramatic tale of a socially stunted woman, Adele (Kate Winslet), whose life, and that of her son Henry (Gattlin Griffith), ...

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Tested, Found Wanting

by Laura Leon January 23, 2014

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  The fifth edition of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan franchise, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, is meant to be the start of something new. It’s a combination origin story-reboot (because writers in Hollywood can’t seem to dig ...

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Courage Under Fire

by Laura Leon January 16, 2014

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  With a title like Lone Survivor, it’s pretty apparent what the outcome will be, but even for those familiar with the remarkable story of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, the unfolding that leads to that conclusion ...

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Thespians!

by Laura Leon January 16, 2014

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  August: Osage County is one of those movies you leave amazed at the performers’ collective ability to ingest ginormous chunks of dialogue and spit it out like so many verbal tacks. Then you remember that ...

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Ain’t That America

by Laura Leon January 8, 2014

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  I couldn’t wait to dislodge myself from a matinee showing of Nebraska. The theater was hot, and it was packed, and I’m notoriously claustrophobic. The film itself takes place across vast expanses of Middle America, ...

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A Spoonful of Sugar

by Laura Leon January 2, 2014

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  Most people of a certain age recall their first time seeing Mary Poppins, the Disney confection about a brisk and no-nonsense nanny who tightens up the Banks family ship before departing on a favorable wind ...

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Best Cinema 2013: Laura Leon

by Laura Leon December 24, 2013

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    1. Enough Said Poignant—and not just because costar James Gandolfini died suddenly prior to its release—warm, funny and wise, Enough Said is amazingly just like real life. 2. Dallas Buyers Club This is a wise and compelling story ...

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A Matter of Faith

by Laura Leon December 5, 2013

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  Playing the decidedly dowdy title character, an old Irish lady, Judi Dench reminds us that she can do much more than what has become her standard, stereotypical commanding role, whether it is an English queen ...

All-American Hustle

by Laura Leon November 27, 2013

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  Am I a broken record or what, referring yet again to Matthew McConaughey as a tremendously gifted actor? Well, so be it. Traditionally, actors who change their appearances are bound to get Oscar recognition, and ...

Hammer Time!

by Laura Leon November 13, 2013

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  The beginning of Thor: The Dark World has audiences wondering whether or not they’ve entered into yet another Lord of the Rings installment. That’s because Anthony Hopkins’ Odin intones a preface to what otherwise is ...

Bad Trip

by Laura Leon November 13, 2013

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  So there’s a stammering Brit who longs to be in a loving relationship and has the luck to be able to travel back in time to make things right . . . are you sold ...

Like Watching People Type

by Laura Leon October 24, 2013

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  Desperately trying to spin a political thriller a la All The President’s Men, blended with the modern relevance of The Social Network, The Fifth Estate meanders along, continuously showing its audience images of pasty-faced computer ...

American Hero

by Laura Leon October 17, 2013

  There’s a game of wits at the heart of Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass’ biopic about the ship captain of the Maersk Alabama who gained fame for keeping a cool head amid a potentially deadly Somali ...

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You Are There

by Laura Leon October 10, 2013

thumb_41cinemapicPARKLAND

  Based on Vincent Bugliosi’s Four Days in November, Parkland attempts to evoke the national sense of loss, horror, helplessness and regret engendered by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but from the perspective of ...

A Fine Romance

by Laura Leon October 3, 2013

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  Throughout her filmmaking career, Nicole Holofcener has displayed an uncanny ability to create characters whose thoughts and fears tap directly into our own. Or is it me? To call her movies chick flicks is derisive, ...

Needs a Good Slap

by Laura Leon September 26, 2013

thumb_39cinemapicSHARING

  Depending on how seriously you take the concept of sex addiction, Thanks for Sharing is either really engaging or thoroughly preposterous. In any event, it’s a movie that never quite delivers. Adam (Mark Ruffalo), an ...